Tea: Chocolate Black Pepper Tea
Neither am I a fan of the Transformers movies or the old TV show. I am, however, a fan of Platinum Games and their distinct style. So, when the game in the title was free on PS+, I thought I should give it a shot even if the source material was not to my liking. Therefore, I apologise in advance, but the story was beyond my comprehension and interest. Too much vocabulary I could not be bothered to look up. With excuses out of the way, let’s see whether the reason I dived into someone else’s nostalgia was worth it.
Transformers Devastation lets you choose from several of your favourite (?) characters from the show. The look is very much in keeping with the source material (at least something I know) and the sounds are equally awful, which is a good thing, I’d assume. The odd mixture of gurgling metallic noises when one transformer does what his name implies is as hilarious as it is annoying over the course of the game. So much for the only connection I can draw to the inspiration.
– Look, it’s your favourite characters: Yellow devil horns, Phallic Gun Arm, and of course Trump America 2018 –
Gameplay is far more my field of expertise and I can say that for the most part the game is fun even for someone who has no interest in Transformers (eventually I will tire of saying this, or will I?!). But this is mainly due to the fact that this game is a watered down Bayonetta. I am not sure Transformers can slow down time in the TV show, but I am going to guess they cannot. Well, in this game a last second dodge lets you enter a slowed down version of the world where you can combo for a brief time, so… Car-Time, Auto-Time, Hasbro-Time? I don’t know. Anyway, it functions just the same as it did in Bayonetta, meaning it is vital in combat and sometimes used for world progression though it is scarce. Combos are the usual Platinum style with the added bonus of several weapon types. You can also use firearms but they run on an unintuitive ammo count which is something I never expected until I was clean out of bullets during a boss fight, simply because Dante never had any problems finding infinite clips of handgun bullets. The way you obtain these weapons is, however, not as you would expect. This game has a loot system, a watered-down loot system but one none the less (I am sensing a picture here). Random chests around the world, challenge mission rewards, and boss drops can all contain weapons of different rarity and these can also be powered up using some of the more common weapons you find lying around. While pumping weapons into others to increase their strength sounds kind of fun, it is much less exciting in the game. I never felt like it made a huge difference. The weapon itself was way more important than its actual stats and you get one of the most powerful ones about 50% into the game, so I just stuck with it and it felt like a breeze. Maybe it was just a really rare drop and I got lucky, but luck should not potentially break the game like this. The only, I hasten to call it “unique”, feature is the ability to transform into a car not only to drive around faster and to occasionally stomp the ground for items, something naturally associated with cars, but also to deliver combo finishing moves. They work in a similar split second fashion like the dodge, but the timing is far more forgiving. Only problem with them is how they tend to home in on enemies which can sometimes look really grotesque and can potentially result in a miss.
– The artstyle sometimes makes it very hard to distinguis between enemy grunts and actual characters. –
Boss fights are a hallmark of Platinum and they certainly tried their best here. The result is, however, a bit lacklustre. You have your giant robots and among them is one stand out sequence were I truly felt tiny in comparison, with the soundtrack delivering the right background for a Goliath-style beat down. The other bosses are mostly villains from the show and they are kind of a let-down, especially the final boss. They do try to make the fight as memorable as possible by switching the scenery, implying huge stakes etc. but it ends up feeling forced and almost cartoonish (okay, kind of fitting, but you know what I mean.). As I briefly hinted at, the soundtrack is absolutely fine. It does its job at the corresponding moments, but it is nothing I would ever put on to listen to outside of the game.
– RULES OF…ugh.. Capitalism…? –
In its entirety, Transformers Devastation is unmemorable. I struggle to recall parts of it as I am writing this. If you want a raw combat experience it is serviceable but nothing revolutionary, and there are enough other games that would scratch this itch far more satisfyingly, like Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising, Devil May Cry etc. The Platinum combat feels oddly out of place in this universe, but if you can ignore the charactermodels it is fun to play. If you are a fan, you may like it or it might be a plague unto the name of Transformers, I would not know. The story did not grip me at all and the ending felt weak. The boss fights are certainly the highpoints of the game, but even they are below average as a whole. In the end, I cannot really recommend the game since it feel internally inconsistent and only granting something absolution for the combat alone is hypocritical to me, therefore Transformers Devastation gets left behind in the cold to rust away an ungraceful death.
Image sources in order of appearance:
- http://www.giga.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/41.jpg (Last date of access: 07.01.2017)
- http://static4.gamespot.com/uploads/original/1197/11970954/2963586-transformersdevastation_dlcscreen2.jpg (Last date of access: 07.01.2017)
- https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81iBR6rllqL._SL1500_.jpg (Last date of access: 07.01.2017)