Friday, 6 November 2015

Transformers Devastation Review


 
As you read my blog couple weeks ago you can tell I love PlatinumGames, so when Transformers: Devastation was shown at E3 I was so excited. Not only was it being made by one of my favourite developers, but also it looked like one of my favourite childhood TV series.



Also for people who don’t follow Platinumgames, they are making the new Nier game with Square-Enix and they had a new trailer this week showing gameplay. Wow what a improvement from the first game. I can’t wait to get my hands on it as not only will it have a great story like the first, but it will also have good gameplay and the music sounds really good also.

So, here's my review of Transformers: Devastation.




 Story


The story takes places on earth when suddenly a huge explosion happens, in which metal claws emerge to destroy the city. Megatron and his Decepticons arrive to harness the plasma energy surrounding them to try to bring back Cybertron, Optimus and the Autobots. Their aim is to stop Megatron from completing his mission and saving the human race.



Just like the TV series, it has the normal saturday morning cartoon story-bad guy wants to destroy the world and the good guy has to stop it. Even though it’s cheesy, it suits the old classic feel so wecll and brings bak the nostalgia feel that you had from your childhood.



If you liked Transformers when you were growing up and don’t like the new designs from the Michael Bay movies, then this game is for you. Platinumgames has made the perfect feel of what the cartoon series is along with the visuals and voice acting. It even has the mid way episode quick pan of Autobots and Decepticon symbols like your'e watching a episode of the cartoon.



Visuals & Sound Design 

The visuals are spot on with Transformers: Devastation making you feel like you are playing an episode of the original series. All the Autobots and Decepticons designs have been remade into a 3D world perfectly whilst staying true to the original design. Even the transformations look great and give you a satisfying feeling when you transforming thanks thanks to the visual and sound que

The enemy variety is also a nice nod to all Transformers fans having cameos from many different Autobots and Decepticons, so it is likely that your favourite will be in the game somewhere. 

On a sound design approach they have done a great job on the voices, bringing back key voice actors from the series, having the sound clips from fighting and transforming into their vehicle form, giving you a good clues as to when best time to dodge a incoming attack would be, even when you can’t see them on the screen.



There is one bit of Transformers: Devastation visually that could of been changed, but i think Activision only gave them a certain budget and time so PlatinumGames wasn’t able to give as much variety on level design. Most of the game takes place in the city and a couple of other locations, making it feel a little bit of the same after each chapter. I wished we could have seen more variety like a forest, or in a huge ship perhaps. Allowing us to explore Autobots ship would of been amazing, giving little nods to the series for nostalgia etc. Hopefully if they do a sequel we get to see more Transformers and places from the series, making fans even more excited for the nostalgia.



Gameplay


Like all PlatinumGames titles, gameplay is where it is at and yet again they deliver a solid action game, giving you fun and a deep combat system that doesn’t get stale or lose it’s charm. 
 

The combat system allows you to string together long combos between multiple enemies, feeling satisfying and visually appealing. You have a a medium attack and strong attack swapping back and forth between the two to start combos, after the 5th hit if you press R1 at the perfect time you will transform into your vehicle form, giving a strong blow to the enemy whilst allowing you to juggle between enemies. If your'e able to keep up the combo, this is best way to get the upper hand on the enemy allowing for a better grade at the end of that section. 

You have a ranged weapon type too that can vary from machine guns, sniper rifles, unique weapons etc. This is best to keep either the enemy at bay in tight situations or to attack enemies on top of buildings or flying around.

L1 allows your characters to do a unique attack that varies from each Autobot you can take control of (5 in total). For example, Optimus, who does does a full circle in his truck hitting all surrounding enemies, Bumblebee slides under the enemy and gets behind them for quick sneaky attack, Grimlock has a very cool unique attack where he runs and grabs the closest enemy in your path to then smash them into the ground. There are also another two characters, but I won’t spoil all the surprises. 

If you hold R1 you can turn into your vehicle form anytime, allowing you to drive about making it quicker to get around or dodge incoming attacks or even give yourself a bit of space, you can even attack in this form allowing for stronger attack. I wish they did use this form a little more in unique ways but most of the time it was to drive against wind turbines or destroy purple shields on enemies. I would of loved more levels that gave you cool things to race after or escape from but was little under used. 

If your'e familiar with the Bayonetta series, Transformers also has the dodge roll what if timed correctly will slow down time, giving you the chance to allow in some more damage. 

The combat system like all previous PlatinumGames titles is very satisfying. Also you can unlock more moves with the money you collect in the game, there are loads of weapons to collect around the levels, giving you variety to your combat. Want to be quick and agile? Use the twin sword and machine gun combo. Want to be powerful? Use the hammer and grenade launcher to destroy enemies in your way. There are so many variety of weapons from common to unique that it can constantly change up your play style even up to the end of your playthrough.

At the start of the game you start off as Optimus but soon you unlock the other 4 playable Autobots that all have a different feel than the others, especially Grimlock who is more a fists and grappler. I do wish that they allowed you to play as the Decepticons, giving you more length to the game and little more variety but guess this is something we can hope for in the sequel if one does happen (and hope it does!). 




Also I wished instead of all ground vehicles that we got at least one flying type, allowing you to fly around the stages, but that’s another thing that might be added next time, I did love in the High Moon Transformers games that they had a few vehicles stages allowing you to drive around loads or fly making it fun flying between all the the set pieces getting to your next location. 

Yet again PlainumGames has made for some very great boss battles making each different from the last. At the end of the game they even just keep throwing more and more boss battles at you, keeping the scale at a high right to the end.

There were two parts of the game what felt a little off, like they had just added it in the game to offer little more variety but it just ended flat. One was a shooting section at Insecticons which was very easy, and another was a side view of driving over a bridge shooting at a enemy. I didn’t mind either being in the game as it was short but didn’t feel like was needed in the game either. 

I feel like Platinumgames also gave us enough enemy variety without making any of them outstay their welcome. This makes each encounter different than the last whilst also allowing you to change up how you approach each situation from flying types, strong brutes, fast agile enemies, etc. That's not even including all the boss battles that have to be approached completely different than normal enemies so that you can survive, especially on the higher difficulties. 

The final part of the gameplay is the games length. It lasts only 6 hours, although a little longer if you do all of the side missions. Being nearly the same price as a full price game, I do feel like is a little bad but thats if you only play it once with one character. The game makes you feel like you want to play it multiple times with each of the playable characters. Not only do they each feel different, they also have new dialogue in each scene, giving a plus to the fans of the series. I feel like even though it is a short game compared to the normal standard for games these days, it didn’t outstay it’s welcome. 



Lasting appeal
 


The first play-through will last about 6 hours depending on your skill level and what difficulty you play it on, but if you feel like playing every character all the way through each you can easily get 25 hours of game here. This is not even including all the different weapons to use or trying to get best ranking on each chapter.



Final verdict



Transformers: Devastation from PlatinumGames is a solid action game that has been given a deep combat system and a great nostalgia feel for old Transformers fans. It does have a couple things to improve for the sequel which will hopefully happen. If does, I hope Activision give them little bit more money and time to really define what the Transformers franchise can do. It would also be great to make the game more than 10 hours long with a little more variety.



Score: A solid 8/10.

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