I love Transformers or should I say I loved Transformers. When each birthday and Christmas came around, various robots in disguise were always at the top of my list to the bearded fat guy – apart from that one year when I dabbled in M.A.S.K. – Wheeljack, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Soundwave, Starscream, Grimlock, I had them all. Whenever we went to the video rental shop as well it was always the Transformers movie I rented, and let’s be honest, the Transformers were really the only reason to watch Wac-a-Day unless you were of the age to actually notice Michaela Strachan.
Years passed and I fell out of love with Megatron and the gang, then Michael Bay, Megan Fox and Shia Le Bouef happened and I grew to not only fall out of love with Transformers but actually to hate them with a passion. With a sound and style that all fans of the 1st Generation of Transformers will instantly recognise and love, Transformers Devastation could just rekindle that flame.
Not to give too much of the starightforward plot away, the Decepticons are, as always, being bad guys and looking to annihilate the Cybertronians adopted home planet Earth. This time by cyberforming into a new Cybertron. Never fear though as the Autobots are here to save the day.
Everything about this screams Saturday morning, (and school holiday), television. The characters are serious in their acting and each puts across their distinct personalities without being over the top cheesy. Optimus is heroic, Bumblebee, the lighthearted bot with little quips – yes you have to be of a certain age to nod knowingly at Bumblebee talking and not communicating by playing songs through his car radio. Of course the Deceptions are written just as well. Starscream is annoying, Soundwave is the trusty right hand general and Megatron is well, evil.
Going back briefly to Bumblebee talking, what really drives home the nostalgia trip is that Platinum Games have brought back as many of the living generation one cast as possible and hearing the legendary voices of Peter Cullen (Optimus), Frank Welker (Megatron) and Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee) as you play the game raises the engagement to a whole new level. Quite often I forgot I was playing a game until the Mission Complete screen flashed up.
Devastation slots nicely into the stylish action genre, done so well by Platinum games in other franchises, and the key memo seemed to be ‘let the player battle his foes whilst looking as cool as possible’. This means that you combo your attacks by jumping from robot to vehicle form and back again in order to maximise the damage that is being dished out. That’s not to say it’s a button masher; every Autobot fights differently. Bumblebee is a quick, evasive character, while Optimus Prime hits with the power of a literal truck, all be it a little slower at evading return fire. Sideswipe is the middle ground between them and when played correctly can literally pummel the opposition into defeat by combining wave after wave of attack. Defence is a simple affair; a single tap of your transform button evades an attack. Time it wrong and you will get pummeled, time it right and it slows down time allowing you to get in a few more attacks. Attack really is the best form of defence.
There are a couple of downsides here in the game but none of them are anything you can’t work around. Personally I hated the camera tracking as it had a mind of its own and seemed to go off on a wander, but you can turn this off. For the majority it is based in one small area of the city so you will find yourself treading around old ground battling similar enemies, but the combat is that much fun you never seem to mind too much, and the length; it’s certainly interesting length wise.
Seven chapters with the first three taking around an hour each, the fourth dropped down to 30 minutes and the final three were completed in just under an hour. However completion of the game is just the start as this unlock two additional difficulty levels with completely remixed enemy types. Luckily you get to keep the experience and weapons already earned. The harder the difficulty the better the loot drops as well. Couple this with some off the beaten track side missions, over 50 collectibles and over 50 challenge missions and anyone who says that they have completed this game in five hours or less has simply watched the end credits and is a way off “completing” the game.
Any action game fan will be doing themselves a huge favour by picking up Transformers Devastation. Put simply, it is the fantastic gaming take on the cartoon series that fans have been waiting for most of their lives. I don’t have to tell those Transformer fans to go out and buy it, they already have done and are transforming and rolling out as you finish off reading this review.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 9.5/10 Format: Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 3 / PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Transformers: Devastation by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of three days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.