06 July, 2016

Reviews: Transformers: Devastation, Dead Rising 3

written by Blain Newport on Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Transformers: Devastation (4 of 5)

I'm old enough to have had Transformers as a kid.  I watched the original show back when it was new.  So I may get more out of pressing right bumper to transform and hear that iconic noise than other people.

But as much of a kick as I get out of the nostalgia, I get more of a kick out of the feeling of control Transformers: Devastation gives.  Multiple times I found myself giggling with joy as I realized how much power and mobility the game allowed for.

In some ways the game goes overboard with options, with random weapon drops, four weapon slots per character, a weapon combining system, a random perk system / money sink, and experience points and credits.  Plus you have six different characters with subtle differences (except for Grimlock, the dinosaur robot, who is more distinctive).  At some level I don't care because you don't need to mess with most of it to complete the game on normal difficulty.  But it still seems like a lot of busy work and time spent in menus for an action game.

I suppose it was intended to distract from the fact that the game isn't long on content.  There's a city map you spend a lot of time in, a high tech map you spend a lot of time in, and a handful of set pieces, but that's about it.  And while you do fight a fair amount of named enemies, you spend a lot of time battling generic enemies and the named enemies are all re-used.

I probably would have felt cheated if I'd paid full price, but as it is, I had a great time.

Dead Rising 3 (4 of 5)

The Dead Rising games are games about killing zombies.
In silly outfits.

And, since the second game, using bizarre cobbled together weapons like this car battery sledgehammer combo.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, wandering around an evacuated downtown full of zombies is pretty amazing.  There's a hunting shop.  Let's get some guns.  I need food and I don't see a restaurant... maybe the gas station?  I wandered into somebody's house and am now wearing the basketball jersey they had hanging in the closet.  It's like the child's dream of getting free run of a toy store, only more violent.

It's kind of a shame when the gamey elements take over, but I like the other game that's in here too.  At some level I know it's just FnF (fight and fetch), but it didn't really bother me.  Between the weapons, vehicles, secrets, and learning the town, there was always enough to keep me feeling like an explorer.  Plus zombies.

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