23rd Oct2015

‘Transformers Devastation’ Review (PS4)

by Phil Wheat


In the history of video games there have been a LOT of Transformers games; from the 1986 Japan-only NES game Mystery of Convoy (later available in some countries via Nintendo’s Virtual Console) to the more recent Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark. And when it comes to video games Transformers titles are definitely a mixed bag – the last title I actualy found myself REALLY enjoying was 2010’s on-rails Wii shooter Transformers: Cybertron Adventures, which was based on the War For Cybertron comic and toy line rather than the cartoon.

Unbelievably, at least in the West, there hasn’t a video game based on the original G1 iteration of the franchise since the 1980s (not counting the mobile phone turned-based title) and the era of the Spectrum and Commodroe 64, making Transformers Devastation something of a big deal in the Transformers community. It’s safe to say, on that basis alone, this game had a lot to live up to…

So does Transformers Devastation live up to expectations? Will this satiate fans urges for more G1 based Transformers action? In a word. Yes.

But then that’s to be expected given this is a Platinum Games title; and much like a lot of other Platinum’s releases, Transformers Devastation is a hack ‘n’ slash fighter (think Bayonetta but with robots) which has the flimsiest of plots on to which to hang the fantastic action:  When Megatron discovers a way to harness the power of plasma energy to cyberform the planet Earth, destroying organic life and turning the planet to metal, Optimus Prime and the Autobots must work to bring down the plasma-powered Decepticons.

Not that you need to know any plot. You’ll spend more time grinning from ear-to-ear seeing and hearing all the classic G1 heroes in action against some of the franchises best villains… Megatron, Devastator, the Seekers, Soundwave and more. Best of all these Transformers are all voiced by their animation counterparts! Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee), Michael Bell (Sideswipe and Scrapper), Gregg Berger (Grimlock and Long Haul), and even Frank Welker (Megatron and Soundwave) all lend their voices to the characters, really making this not only a great gaming experience but also a walk down memory lane for those of us that grew up on the classic 1980s cartoon.

However it’s not all about the G1 era, Hasbro’s Generations/Combiner Wars toy lines have had an influence on this game too. This games Devastator is celarly modelled after the new, and huge, gestalt from the Combiner Wars line rather than his original cartoon iteration. Which is no bad thing… After playing the game you can keep the story going by playing with the toys (or is that just me?)

Graphically Transformers Devastation looks just like a cartoon, eschewing the gritty, dark graphics of past games (which seem to have been de rigueur since the PS2 game in 2002) for bright, colourful, 80s-looking cel-shaded character visuals and some rather basic-looking scenery. Though to be fair any more detail in the buildings etc. and the obvious 0ld-school animation look Platinum Games were aiming for would have been lost.

Essentially an epic Transformers fighting game, with some mini games and missions thrown in for good measure, Transformers Devastation will not only please fans of the franchise but also those that like a good fighting game – the melee action is furious and the devastating combos you can unleash are truly satisfying. Plus each character has his own fighting style, although its a shame you don’t get to pick your favourite character from the get-go. Either way, mark this game down as a must-buy.

Transformers Devastation is out now.


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