More than meets the eye indeed. Could have used a bit MORE though.
The Autobots arrive to a city that is clearly under attack by Decepticons. They encounter Megatron and learn that he has gained access to an ancient Cybertronian artifact. The Autobots spring into battle to stop the Decepticon leader but they have no idea what they're really up against. -summary
License titles have been quite the surprise for several years now not only being playable titles, but several have actually gone somewhat beyond the call of duty and I would even dare to call them good. The Transformers though, at this point have little to prove because these titles have been good for quite some time. Transformers: Devastation continues the hot streak with some solid gameplay, yet it is rough around the edges and feels held back in areas.
Tranformers is an action based, hack and slash game that follows the Autobots through 7 chapters as they try to stop Megatron from "Cyber-forming" the Earth. In other words, Megatron wants to turn the planet into solid metal, which is actually quite ridiculous when the Decepticons overall mission has always been to bleed the planet dry of all its energy since Cybertron is practically a dead world. Megatron always has been over the top with his schemes, but this is a bit too "Galvatron" insane, so whatever.
The Autobots must battle many generic Decepticons along with many well known characters such as Starscream, Soundwave, Shockwave, and Devastator. It was quite a surprise to see the likes of Blitzwing and Menasor. One thing for sure, this game has great potential to pull nostalgic strings.
The Autobots roster includes, Optimus Prime, Sideswipe, Grimlock, Wheeljack, and Bumblebee.The player will be able to upgrade weapons by accessing Autobot HQ called the Ark, and combining weapons to create stronger versions. Despite there being plenty of guns and melee weapons to use, the Autobots clearly play the same and you have just as much a chance defeating Devestator with Bumblebee as you do with Prime. The combat is fairly easy to understand but difficult to master though; at it's core this is a button masher in some way because there really isn't much skill in getting the combos to work. However, there is a dodge move that leads to slow motion counters giving the Autobots some type of edge. This move isn't that easy to master and under intense pressure it can be a pain to get working, but this is where practice simply comes in. They also have two special attacks with one taking some time to build up; this is a good thing too because that attack is truly devastating and it can get the player out of some tough spots.
The battles strength definitely lies in the boss battles which can be quite tough; these fights are epic especially for fans. There are some nice twist added to the Decepticons powers and they simply work well with what they have. There is some type of variety thrown in to break up the hack and slash, such as a driving segment jampacked with loads of action, and even one chapter that forces the Autobots to race a Decepticon to a specific point. There is some lame stuff thrown in there like some uninspired plat-forming, but I'm glad anyway these segments weren't over the top, because this stuff feels out of place with Transformers. There is unlockable stuff such as challenge missions, but there's no online feature and it's all about the main game which is pretty short somewhere around six hours. There is replay value for the completest out there who would probably want to unlock everything and continue to upgrade their favorite weapons as they tackle the more difficult setting.
This game is a love letter to fans of G1. The visuals are very well done in regards to the character designs. The cel-shading is spot on as classic characters such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Soundwave look just the same as they did years ago with a modern update. The animation is quite fluid following the fast paced melee and shooting combat. This also goes for driving stages that will pit the Autobots against an onslaught of gunfire and explosions; and speaking of explosions, many of the battles are quite amazing with vibrant backgrounds with plenty of things going on in the heat of battle such as pillars of flame and lava, along with ricocheting laser blasts creating caged battle fields. This game has several moments looking so well done visually. The production values continue to impress with familiar voices for many characters with Soundwave stealing the show of course. The original transforming sound effect is in play giving the fans that icing on the cake. The BGM works into the action superbly creating intense boss battles.
Unfortunately, the graphics definitely have their issues. For one thing the world feels way too small, and traversing the same areas does get tiring quite fast. This game really did need more locations. Another issue I found to be quite big is the manual camera. This is one of those occasions where a fixed camera would have worked lovely, because when things get too tense, the enemies, especially bosses like Megatron and Shockwave will be all over you quick with many devastating blind-siding hits. The controls are wire tight though, and it's quite easy to flip through firing weapons on the fly. I will say that driving could have used some improvement as it feels kind of rough, and in combination with camera issues it can make some portions a little frustrating.
While Transformers has its issues and it can feel tedious at times when compared to more ambitious titles similar to this like God of War or Dante's Inferno; it wouldn't be honest of me to say I had no enjoyment playing this. I will admit that a lot of my fun had something to do with being a long time Transformers fans. I was into the story as it progressed and it simply opened another dimension into the Transformers mythos that can be explored further, plus I got into many of the interactions and battle dialog; with that said, that's who I would recommend this to strongly because fans are going to get a huge kick out of this. Non Transformers fans will find some fun here, but they certainly won't be too gripped by it. To them, a very light recommendation or they can simply skip it for something with a lot more to offer.