If Michael Bay played Transformers: Devastation, he would hate himself and all the times he has attempted to capture the nostalgic magic that is Transformers. I have good news, fans that play this game will have a hole in their soul that Bay’s Transformers left behind, filled with the most faithful representation of the Transformers since the beloved 80’s cartoon.
In Transformers: Devastation, you select between Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Wheeljack, Sideswipe and (my personal favorite) Grimlock. You begin the game by immediately battling Decepticons, who are up to no good, of course. Megatron and crew have been setting up mysterious propulsion devices all over the city. The plot thickens when you find out that Megatron is actually under someone else's orders and has a plan to devastate the city and more. Everything is 'more than meets the eye.'
This game is gorgeous. The cell-shading that is used, is perfect in simulating the look of the G1 Transformers cartoon series that so many of us love. The animation is sharp, fast and keeps up with the white-knuckle action that builds this game’s core.
The simplicity of being able to push a button and transform from Autobot to vehicle and back again is very satisfying, the fact that you can do that at any point in the game is pure Transformers fan-bliss. The action is fast, unrelenting and wonderful. Going from 0-60 as a vehicle, transforming and flying into an uppercut in a Decepticon's face is everything 5-year-old me wanted out of a Transformers video game.
‘Transformers: Devastation’ is unflinching and goes a long way to test your reflexes. I couldn't believe that five minutes into the game, I was going head-to-head against Devastator. The boss battles are all satisfying. I mean, they will make you rip clumps of your hair out in frustration at first, but after you defeat them the satisfaction is that much more satisfying for doing so.
Through the game you are able to upgrade and switch out your axes, swords and blasters for weapons with different strengths and elemental powers. A variety of weapons will affect your enemies in different ways, some weapons selections will make for an easier battle in select situations. While the “wrong” weapon selections won’t make it as easy a battle on you, they do not make it completely impossible to defeat your enemy.
Battles consist of hack-and-slash combos combined with carefully-timed counter-attack opportunities. Your selection of which Autobot to use also has a large affect on encounters with the Decepitcons. For example, Bumblebee is fast and can dance around the enemy but doesn't have the same oomf behind his punch as Optimus or Grimlock. As expected speed is sacrificed for strength and vice-versa.
Much like all other aspects of the game, the sound-design is ripped right out of your childhood memories. Voice actors, animation and the classic transformation sound are all in place to give you a nice big helping of nostalgia with a glass of great gameplay to wash it all down.
While the design of the world feels somewhat lacking, it doesn't take away from the addictive action and story that it socks you with. Be prepared though, this game made me so nostalgic that I have been watching my G1 Transformers DVDs pretty much non-stop since I played.
There is nothing about this game that a Transfomer fan will not get behind. But if they can’t get behind it, maybe it’s possible that they are bigger fans of the Michael Bay-former and there is no saving them from that.