Transformers: Devastation was the game I yearned for over a year. Once I heard Platinum Games was releasing a cell-shaded version of our favorite robots in disguise, I was hooked. The graphics looked stunning and the voice acting heard in the trailers kicked my nostalgia meter into overdrive.
All the things I listed above were spot-on perfect. The voicing was superb, thanks in no small part to the original voice actors reprising their roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker’s voices brought me back into my underoos, not in a creepy way, but more of a crunching-down-my-Cap’n-Crunch kind of way. Their ability to fit comfortably into Optimus and Megatron’s characterizations after all these years was uncanny.
The graphics were definitely impressive – you could tell the developers didn’t want to drift too far from what older fans would remember and feel connected with. Cell-shading and a very apparent attention to detail made this game feel like I was drifting into the original animated series… until I started fumbling over the quirky combat mechanics. That’s where things started pulling me out of my childhood and into a disappointed and frustrated adult. While I struggled to master the movement and combat that Platinum Games tried to instill in the game, I found myself worrying about the thing I never did when I was a kid: money. I continued to feel frustrated that my $60 was spent on a game that felt a bit repetitive and clunky at times.
Action games are meant to feel seamless when you can land combos and direct the targeting with ease, but Transformers: Devastation struggled to deliver in this regard. There were moments that really made me feel in control of my character and then there were times I felt like it didn’t matter what button I was pushing, I was just drifting through an uncontrollable ride of button-mashing.
While Transformers: Devastation takes a great step in a familiar direction, Platinum Games just didn’t quite master the feeling of remembrance I yearned for. Because of this, I gave Transformers: Devastation a nostalgic, but disappointing, 7/10 rating.