Monday, October 12, 2015

Transformers Devastation Review: Me Grimlock, kick butt!

Ok... I'll need to make this clear. I am almost 30 years old, which means I have a little bias towards G1 Transformers... I am also wearing a Transformers T-Shirt as I write this. So yeah, I'm an old school Transformers fanboy and that drew me to this game like a moth to a flame... also PlatinumGames made this and they made Bayonetta... and I LOVE Bayonetta! So... bias's aside, is Transformers Devastion more than meets the eye?

Transformers Devastation is actually more related to the Transformers Generation comics than the original Transformers... which was based on the original Transformers. Full circle huh? Like the old TV series, the story isn't very deep in this game. In short, Megatron is "Cyberforming" Earth with the power of the Proud Star, an ancient Cybertronian ship that crashed eons ago & the Autobots must stop him to save the world. The story feels like a lost episode of the TV series... but more action packed!

I love the combat in this game! The combat is so much like Metal Gear Rising and Bayonetta in it's design. It is a fast paced system that requires quick reflexes to maximize your score for high ranks. The game's style is in essence a reskinning of Bayonetta with it's mission structure, secret mission and linearity, but it helps keep the game focused and considering this is Transformers after all... what'd you expect?

So the game has only 5 out of the hundreds of Autobots as playable characters. Some people have already complained about the selection, but I don't really think it's a bad selection. You get to use Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack and fan favourite... GRIMLOCK!! Each Transformer has their own stats and unique skill they can use in battle... but they all pretty much play the same. Grimlock is probably the only one who has any real variation... but it's only because he doesn't turn into a car. Also there is no Decepticon campaign and worst of all... no Starscream betrayal that makes him a temporary Autobot like in the TV series! I want to play as Starscream!

Scattered throughout each chapter are a series of collectibles. These can be both well hidden and in plain sight. Kremzeeks, Decepticon logos, letters and very hard to find Laserbeak's are the things you'll be searching for but here's the thing... they don't get you much at all. You pretty much get 2 trophies/achievements and an art gallery.

Throughout the missions you'll earn loot, yes loot. You'll earn so many guns and melee weapons while playing that you won't know what to do with them... at first. You can synthesize weapons to make them stronger or sell them for money(duh!). There is a surprisingly large variety of weapons for both melee and ranged weapons and they can also have elements and status effects too. You'll end up choosing your favourites obviously, but there's a lot to experiment with. My suggestion is to carry 3 guns each with a different element.

Speaking of money, the game throws money at you constantly throughout the game. You use money to buy items(duh), synthesize weapons, and even level up your stats. Yes... this game has a leveling system... and it doesn't effect the game that much, if at all. The funny thing is that you always need money! Seriously, leveling up higher grade weapons cost so much money and in harder difficulties will have you restocking items constantly! There are also some skills that you need to purchase from the lab and trust me... you need them as early as possible!

To top of the constant need for money, there are items you can make with the money you earn called T.E.C.H. T.E.C.H are equipable items that boost your abilities and can be both beneficial and useless.To top it off... making them is done in a quick timed event and the results are always random. I honestly haven't bothered putting much time into these because of the random nature of attaining them and the fact that they don't help very much from my experience.

I know I usually don't talk about graphics in video games, but I love the how authentic the Transformers themselves actually look. They just look magnificent! It's a shame the environments look like they were made for PS2 and are recycled throughout the game like the running scenes in the old Flintstones TV show. There's only 3 areas the game takes place in and 2 are recycled, maps and all throughout the majority of the game.

The game's length is a little... short. Unless you're like me and look for every collectible in every nook and cranny, you'll only get about 6 hours out of it on your first run through. Not to say that a short games is a bad thing, it's just a lot of people today want long and thick games... despite the fact that they don't know what to do with them... I just made a penis joke didn't I? To the game's advantage though, it's highly replayable because of trying to collect everything and getting SS rank in every mission... assuming you care about those.

Thrown in for good measure... and frustration is a Challenge mode. These are good for earning weapons, money and leveling up your Autobots, but ultimately lead to nothing. I honestly think the mileage in Challenge mode will vary from person to masochist. I honestly just couldn't bother stressing myself on these more than once per difficulty.

Transformers Devastation is a fun 80's nostalgia trip that is, in essence just Bayonetta once again. You can get a lot of fun out of this game if you love fast paced action and grew up with the Transformers, but it all depend on if you think the price is worth it. The USA has it for $50 and so does Australia. Us Aussie's got a good deal on it,  but the USA got screwed! The game does feel like a budget title you'd normally see for $20 on the digital stores, so why did Activision charge so much for it? THE BRAND! It's not cheap to licences the Transformers brand and they expect us nostalgic fans to empty our wallets for it. If you live in Australia and New Zealand, it's great for the price! If however you live anywhere else in the world, wait for it to drop to like US$30 so it's a reasonable price. Regardless, the game is fun and I love it. If you can rent it, do that.

Score 4/5 But don't pay US$50 for it!

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