Devastator is a twin-stick shooter developed by Radiangames – with flashing lights, sparks, and an upbeat playlist, Devastator will take you back to the good old days of the arcade.
Radiangames are known for their twin-stick style of games. They have released the likes of Inferno, Ballistic, and Fireball that all utilize using twin-stick mechanics in some sort of fashion. All those games, with some others, came out in the early 2010’s. They are also known for Super CrossFighter.
You control a blue-neon ship from an overview perspective and it’s up to you to shoot the orange-colored enemies and gain as many points as you can. There are three modes in Devastator. While all of them have the player essentially doing the same thing, every mode brings a little variation here and there.
Your ship’s utility is as follows; three types of gun, a shield, and a bomb. The three weapons are reflex, spread, and vulcan. They are a four wide-spread laser that will bounce off walls, a six wide-spread that does not bounce, and rapid fire respectively. Using all weapons is vital as different situations call for different artillery. An open field is better for the six-shot, while an area with lots of weaving in and out is setup for the bouncing lasers. The bomb freezes enemies and becomes larger the longer the button is held, while collecting shields also helps with the offensive. Picking up shield pods will give 50 super ammo and double the points while shielded. Turbo firing is another offensive counter measure. The ability to fire at triple the speed for a short time is helpful, but at the cost of not attacking beforehand.
Enemies in Devastator do need some work. Besides being a different color, I’d say they look exactly like the hero/player ship and as there are eleven different enemy types, it is extremely hard to tell the difference. No one is going to spot the change between a blazer and an interceptor while swarms of enemies are coming towards them, especially when everything is so chaotic.
Each enemy does work differently though; the slicer explodes into two tinier splicers and the elevator shoots while moving vertically. Knowing the difference between each enemy type is key to winning. A similar game, Geometry Wars, has much more distinct enemies than Devastator; various colors and thus distinguishable when encountering them. Devastator would benefit from putting color to its enemies.
There are three game modes: Quadrants, Sectors and Cycles. Quadrants plays as one continuous round with increasing difficulty, Sectors covers fifty-five rounds and serves as a sort of the campaign – it’s here where the challenge comes The final game mode, Cycles, fires randomized rounds your way.
While Devastator is beautiful in its own right, it needs more color than the blues, oranges, and a bit of purple/pink. While it is understandable why there are only so few colors on the screen, it’d be nice to have the ability to change it. For a game as eye-catching as Devastator, it is disappointing that something as simple as this feature was not included.
The music is one the game’s stronger suits: upbeat and catchy. The high-intensity tempo mixed with EDM is a perfect combination and it will bring back the old days of the arcade, where the fast paced music isn’t helping your already sweaty hands. Enemies are on your tail, but the music isn’t here to help. It definitely puts the player in the mood.
One further thing that would improve Devastor would be a skill tree – perhaps after every round, picking a new weapon or upgrade to your ship. This would fix a problem I have – everything is all too simple. Variation can go a long way. The different combinations of weapons or upgrades can be fun if done right. And if the ship changes based on the skill it’d be fun to see what the ship can turn into.
A variation in weaponry would also help with figuring out what to use in certain situations. As mentioned before, the ability to switch between two different weapons is a nice challenge. But to have a multitude of different weapons would be even better.
Devastator is going to be for those who want to grab that old arcade feeling; gamers who want a quick and easy game to just pick up and play. There’s not much to it and for some that will be seen as a warning sign. In my opinion, Devastator could do with a little more to do and some extra variables, but there will be some out there who will find Devastator worth it.
Devastator is available from the Xbox Store