Fans of the original generation 1(G1) Transformers television show will feel right at home as soon as they start up Transformers: Devastation. Peter Cullen, the original Optimus Prime voice, says “Transformers Devastation”, as players press start at the title screen. The entire game is a blast of nostalgia and plays homage to the ‘80’s show that popularized the Transformers franchise.
All of the characters in the game are made to look like their G1 representations and many of the original voice actors have come back to voice our favourite robots. Peter Cullen(Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron, Soundwave), Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee), Gregg Berger (Grimlock, Long Haul), and Michael Bell (Sideswipe, Scrapper), are all back for another round of Transformers.
The plot, of course, revolves around the Autobots trying to stop the Decepticons from hatching another plot that could have dire consequences for the people of Earth. The story is fairly entertaining and pays a lot of respects to the original cartoon, fans of the show will notice many Easter eggs like during a fight sequence when Megatron randomly shouts, “Why throw away your life so recklessly?”
Players are able to take control of five individual Autobots throughout the story, the team consists of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock. This rag tag bunch of good guys take on the Decepticon team which features Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, the Constructicons and Stunticons, Blitzwing, and more.
The Autobot team is a bit unusual, as traditional characters such as Ironhide, Ratchet and Jazz are replaced by lesser-known characters like Sideswipe and Wheeljack. This is understandable however, as Ironhide would play too similarly to Optimus Prime and Ratchet was a carbon copy of Ironhide in the original show. After the voice of Jazz, Scatman Crothers, passed away in 1986, the show paid tribute to him by never having Jazz speak again, which could explain his absence.
The game design is beautiful. From the Transformers themselves to the scenery everything is touched with cell shaded animation. Watching your character transform into a vehicle and back to a robot looks so good that I did it for five minutes before moving on with the story.
The controls are smooth and easy to master, every button has a purpose and it does not take too long before players start memorizing devastating combos for the next wave of Decepticon grunts. The game has a nice ratio of exploration and battle time, players can actually enjoy driving around before entering the ring with another Decepticon. As players’ continue to make their way through the story they will see their team of Autobots grow stronger, and they will find new weapons along the way.
The Weapon collecting is one of the best elements of the game, players can gather weapons from Decepticons they have beat in battle like Starscream’s Null Ray. By combining weaker weapons into stronger weapons, they’ll continue to grow in attack power and gain additional buffs as well.
The fighting gameplay is where Transformers: Devastation starts to lose some points. At first it’s really fun to mash buttons and pummel the Decepticons into the pavement, but as players progress, they may find the gameplay gets rather repetitive. Every boss is ridiculously strong the first play through, with fights coming down to how well a player can dodge incoming attacks. If a player times his button right, time will slow down and allow the player to get in a few blows on the Decepticon they are facing.
While each boss has different timings and different attacks, each fight pretty much boils down to the same element: dodge and attack. Occasionally a player will get an interesting chase fight, but for the most part fights are basically all the same.
If you are a huge fan of the Transformers’ franchise then I would say purchasing Devastation is more than worth it. You get a chance to run around as some of your favourite Autobot characters and battle some fan favourite Decepticons as well. If you are not really invested into Transformers, I would recommend spending your money somewhere else. The gameplay on its own does not warrant the money it costs to purchase the game and you really need to be a Transformers fan to enjoy everything that happens in Devastation.