Transformers: Devastation Preview – E3 2015

June 25, 2015

The folk at renowned character action game developer Platinum are not unfamiliar with working on IPs belonging to others. While yes the creative spark that summoned the likes of Bayonetta, The Wonderful 101, and Vanquish into this world can be attributed to that talented lot, titles like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and The Legend of Korra were based on properties owned by others. Taking a leaf out of the latter’s book, mostly that partnership with Activision, and Platinum has again taken on the reigns of an existing franchise. And this time it’s Transformers.

Transformers: Devastation is that game, a cel-shaded character action imagining of the popular series, drawing heavy inspiration from the 80s era of “Generation 1” Transformers. And much of this is quickly evident: neon colours and visuals that look just like the cartoon, cheesy rock soundtrack, and the return of much of the original cartoon’s English voice cast, including Dan Gilvezan as Bumblebee. The latter is quite surprise, as Dan has rarely reprised the role in post-series Transformers media.

We got some hands-on time with Devastation and one thing is apparent right from the start: this is a game by Platinum drawing heavy inspiration from Revengeance, unsurprising given they share the same director. If you’re familiar with Platinum’s work you’ll ease into this, as it’s all about big combos, perfectly timed counters, and combining both melee and ranged attacks to devastate your opposition. And it wouldn’t be Transformers without…transforming, which Devastation handles by integrating into movement and the combat system. There’s no limit on transforming, as transformations will be used when moving quickly (think like Bayonetta’s beast sprint) or for ramming enemies. Speaking of Bayonetta, we noticed that perfect counters and dodges momentarily froze time here too, allowing you to rack up those combos and follow up with a vehicle ram.

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It’s not all Bayonetta and Revengeance though. Unlike Platinum’s other work this seems to have a Diablo-lite loot system via enemy drops, along with RPG-like stat levelling and equipment. Though the extent of these game systems was hard to judge during our session, instead something to look into in further previews.

Overall Devastation is shaping up to be a big, cheesy treat for Transformers G1 fans, as well as Platinum fans. Playable characters like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock look to provide a roster more in-line with Max Anarchy over singular protagonist Platinum games, meanwhile enemies like Sound Wave and the titular Devastator are sure to please long time Transformers geeks.

Transformers: Devastation is looking to release later this year on PC, Xbox One and 360, and Playstation 4 and 3.