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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Transformers: Devastation is a cartoon brawler that pits Transformer robots against one another in a fight to the finish. Players choose which Autobot they want to play as, and, while roaming around a city to take on missions, you'll face off against Decepticon enemies. Players will use swords, blades, futuristic guns, and vehicles to smash, slash, and fire at enemy robots. There's no blood or gore but plenty of violence. This game also is the latest title in a popular franchise, covering merchandise, cartoons, books, and more, so players may be tempted to investigate these items after playing. They also may find themselves interested in purchasing downloadable content for the game.
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What's it about?
TRANSFORMERS: DEVASTATION is a combat-centric action game that stars Autobots, who are in a constant battle with other giant alien robots called Decepticons. In vehicle mode, you'll race around city streets to take on missions and reach objectives, and then, with a push of a button on the controller, transform into a metallic warrior to fight against enemies and wreak havoc on the environments you're in. Along with the single-player campaign, this third-person adventure includes 50 bonus missions. You can play as five familiar heroes -- Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Grimlock -- and each fighter has specific skills and abilities, all of which can be upgraded over time, plus there are more than 150 weapons to master.
Is it any good?
Fans of the franchise -- especially the classic TV series and Hasbro’s classic Generations action figures -- will no doubt fall for the charm in Activision's anime-inspired brawler. The controls are tight and responsive, the high-definition "cel-shaded" graphics make it look as if you're playing an interactive Saturday morning TV show, and the voice talent is great, which adds to the high production values. (Transformers voice actors have returned and include Dan Gilvezan as Bumblebee, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, Frank Welker as MegaTron, and others.)
More importantly, the third-person fighting is surprising deep, with many moves, countermoves, combos, and special attacks to execute at the right time. Each of the noble Autobots has specific skills you'll want to unleash, and the environment must be taken into consideration on when, how, and where to do this and which weapon to use to defeat enemies and boss fighters (yes, those epic boss battles are gratifying and memorable). But on the downside, Transformers: Devastation is a relatively short game at about six hours, and many of the gameplay objectives are the same (race here, fight that). Though there hasn't been a lot of buzz about this game -- especially compared to many other blockbusters coming out this season -- Transformers: Devastation is surprisingly fun and somewhat deep, and it has high-quality visuals and sound to satiate even the most finicky fans of the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Are parents OK with this kind of fantasy violence, as it's clearly not based on reality? Is fighting as and with 50-foot robots better than as or with humans? Do the cartoon-like graphics make it more acceptable?
Talk about licensed games. Are games such as Transformers: Devastation made for the fans, or are they made to promote toys and TV shows?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: October 10, 2015
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.