Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review #379: Transformers - Devastation

 A beautiful oiled machine or nothing but scrap metal?
 Remember Platinum Games? They make some pretty dope games, focusing on action, creativity in combos and style. However, in order to produce their bigger projects, they also have to dabble into more simple, lower budget games. Not unlike Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Legend of Korra, Transformers Devastation follows Platinum's 'Generic Action Game' blueprint to a tee, it's fun, it works... but it leaves something to be desired.

 Basically, Megatron is up to no good, so it's up to Optimus Prime, Gridlock, Bumblebee, Wheeljack and Sideswap to stop him and his cohorts. The first thing that might disappoint players is that Decepticons are unplayble, and while you could argue that they wouldn't fit with the plot, seeing how all five Autobots are pretty much glorified skinswaps, it lays a bit flimsy as an excuse. The game consists of seven chapters that seem to get shorter and shorter as you advance through the game, lasting up to... 4-5 hours at most, but at least stages have optional side missions as well as about 50 challenge missions if you are so inclined.
 If you've ever played an action game by Platinum Games, you'll feel right at home. with both Weak and Strong attacks that can be chained in four-hit combos as well as a dodge button that, if timed correctly, will slow down time, letting you get in some hits on your opponent. There're two gauges below your health bar, one fills slowly over time and lets you use your unique Special Attack, one of the few things that set apart each Autobot, while the other fills as you deal damage, and is used to engage your super attack, which once again, is unique to each character.

 As you low through enemies and explore stages you'll come across loot, not that far unlike Diablo. Each Autobot can equip up to four weapons, most characters can equip most weapons, but there are a very few weapon only usable by some. Regardless, besides the two unique moves mentioned above as well as the stats, every character uses every weapon in the exact same way. Grimlock is a bit more fun than the rest, since his Vehicle mode, a T-Rex, actually gets its own unique moveset, soemthing the Vehicle Modes can't claim. Excess weapons can be used to power up your favorite weapons, as well as putting their unique buffs on them.
 Combat is fast and furious, landing hits in feels very good, and it runs very smoothly. You can also link vehicle attacks after your four hit combos, and these look badass. But, for as fun as melee combat can be, it will eventually grow a bit boring, since there isn't much room for creativity. It doesn't help that the game only has 3 different 'Stages', the Town, which makes up four chapters, and two underground bases. It quickly grows old. And as fun as combat is, it lacks a bit of finesse, there's no hard lock-on, instead, your character will soft lock into the nearest enemy, which can be a bit annoying when you are trying to attack a certain enemy, but the game will lock you on to another enemy, closer to you, but hidden behind the camera or something.

 Transformers - Devastation is a good game, but it's also lacking. It's fun to smash enemies to bits... but it's also repetitive and simplistic to a fault, with little room for creativity on the player's part. The game looks gorgeous... but there're so few environments and enemy types, with most bosses been reused at least once. There're many different weapon types... but the all more or less behave the same, and making all five characters almost indistinct from one another was a missed opportunity, not to mention the lack of playable Decepticons! Whether you're a fan of the franchise or not, there's fun to be had with Transformers, but don't expect another one of Platinum Game's greatest.
 7.0 out of 10

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