The story is well handled but ultimately an excuse for huge battles. Megatron has a MacGuffin and it’s up to a few Autobots to stop him. Boom, cue fighting. Thankfully that’s all it needs, as if there’s one thing Platinum Games can nail every time it’s spectacle fighting. There’s been clear effort put into how each character should combat their foes and their alternate modes work in battle, from Bumblebee’s agile blasts to Grimlock’s powerhouse style. Give Beyonetta more guns, have combos transformer her into a car (or t-rex) and you’ve got this game’s greatest strengths in a nutshell.
Some of the real fun this time stems from the Diablo-esque loot system, with characters able to carry four items at once to enhance damage or alter their play-style in some way. Looting and upgrading weapons is never so cumbersome it gets in the way of the fast pacing or becomes a requirement, but pausing to tinker with the fan-servicey weapons never fails to be rewarding. It gives certain sections of the game some surprising replay value, as you’re often wanting to get a slightly higher rank or a few more items to hit that much harder. Well, that and to see how lines vary from one Autobot to the next in some of the more story driven environments.
Sadly, the game’s Achilles heel is ultimately its repetition. Having so many characters on hand seems fun at first, but you quickly start to see how a wider move-set was divided up between them, resulting in some obvious limitations. It also recycles certain boss battles and ideas a little too often to hold up to scrutiny, and while fun they lack some of the bizarre creativity which made Metal Gear Rising’s foes so memorable.
Overall, Transformers Devastation is very much a game of the moment. It’s fun to be sure, and seeing giant robots fight one another is addictive as ever, but its style and repetitive nature means it will lack the staying power of the Cybertron duology. Definitely pick this one up if you’re after another fantastic spectacle fighter, but don’t expect to be talking about it much in the months to come.
TRANSFORMERS DEVASTATION / DEVELOPER: PLATINUM GAMES / PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW