With its Transformers: Devastation gameplay, PlatinumGames unleashed what is widely considered the best game the franchise has ever seen. The classic Generation One look to the characters and the engaging (and often physics-breaking) combat, not to mention voice acting by many returning talents from when the original series aired, turned this game into a treat for longtime fans.
However, there are some things PlatinumGames could improve if they plan on making a sequel.
Collision detection seems off, as many times it seems you’re wailing away on the attack buttons and just trying to score some damage on the target, but it doesn’t look like you’re even connecting. Even boss battles, starting as early as the first one with Devastator, seem to give the big guy just a little too much advantage.
I can understand some gamers want the added challenge. After all, they don’t want to look like a “filthy casual.” The boss characters’ health could be a little more forgiving if it’s going to be that difficult to even score a decent level of damage with Transformers: Devastation gameplay.
As mentioned previously, the amount of physics-breaking combat is a little tough to swallow. I found it almost laughable watching Optimus Prime launch himself into a flying enemy in the form of a big rig truck in mid-air. It might be better just for the sake of some degree of realism to have the ability to create a makeshift ramp and get some speed up to launch a ground-based vehicle into the air.
Another issue I noticed with the collision detection is when you need to jump into a building. Too often you need to try from different angles before your Autobot decides to land on the higher platform. A little more effort and the Transformers: Devastation gameplay could include a simple grab and pull-up move if you can’t jump that high.
For some of us, the game turned us off immediately for one basic reason: The game is too linear and limiting in where you can go. Perhaps the sequel could give us a more open-world feel so we can strategize our attack beyond “there’s the bad guy, destroy him and try not to die.” Sniping enemies from around corners might be a welcome change, though the guns tend to take away from the action.
That’s another issue I noticed with the Transformers: Devastation gameplay. Clipping is pretty horrible. When there is a bad guy atop a building, you can’t simply shoot him in the head. The building is in the way until almost his entire body is visible.
— ScrewAttack Crew (@ScrewAttack) October 18, 2015
Something else I noticed, and I’m not sure if this was a simply aesthetic choice, is that the buildings and roads never seem to show any damage and all appear the same, as reported by Hardcore Gamer. If a robot the size of a mack truck hit the pavement from jumping height, there would be some asphalt getting misplaced. If you shoot a building, there should be a chunk of wall blasted away from it. We had that concept done well back with the Xbox 360 and PS3 (Prototype, Battlefield 4), and this is on current generation consoles. It’s time we updated the Transformers: Devastation gameplay and visuals to reflect more what the consoles can do.
Finally, the graphics and voices for the characters themselves are great the way they are. This game’s sequel could easily be a contender for Game of the Year if the gameplay was more refined and we had more to do before facing the over-too-soon ending Slant Magazine mentioned in their review. Yes, that’s my inner open-world sandbox gamer talking, but there is a reason I love those kinds of games. They let you just do what you want forever even if you never finish the story.
PlatinumGames could have a masterpiece if they could just improve the Transformers: Devastation gameplay and open the world up more in the sequel. Other than that, the game is still quite impressive.
[Feature image via PlatinumGames / Forbes]