Deformers Review – Only a Squishy Corpse?
Platforms: PC(reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Ready at Dawn
Release: 21th April 2017
Disclaimer: Review Copy provided by Gametrust
After the horrible Order 1886 developer Ready at Dawn tries to regain their reputation with their latest game, Deformers. A squishy, cute Football/Deathmatch based Multiplayer-only game published by Gamestop. Well, what better concept could there be? So, let´s take a look at their new potential failure.
Due to Deformers’ Mutliplayer-only nature it solely relies on its Gameplay. With offering a huge range of moves, like shooting, jumping, dashing, grabbing and transforming yourself into a cube to block enemies, Ready at Dawn tried to create an own game idea and speed. In addition, you can choose between different classes, that will provide extra bonuses like damage dealing blocking or faster shooting. Since your Blob behaves and feels like a “squishy” ball, the mastery of this quite unresponsive movement, due to acceleration etc, becomes one of the biggest goals during the entrance hours. Mixed with the previously named mechanics Deformers offers a Gameplay that´s chaotic but has quite a deep tactical depth, if you truly want to use it in the best way possible. To be honest, I like the gameplay, it offers enough potential to motivate players but always stays easy to understand and execute, which is a nice little contrast to its childish look.
Accompanying the gameplay are three modes, (Team)-Deathmatch and Formball, on 9 maps, not a great variety considering its Multiplayer-only nature. The Deathmatch variants offer exactly what you would expect, some fast-paced action for some quick rounds. Since they only last ~9 minutes over 3 rounds and don´t require a big amount of thinking, because of the easy-to-learn gameplay, provide the perfect set-up for a great “in-between” experience. Especially the different maps create a nice amount of variety with their own unique structure, like holes or different layers. The Power-Ups on the other hand, that are solely foundable in Deathmatch, sounded like a nice idea but ended up as unbalanced “garantueed-kill” items, that don´t require much skill to use. Some classes are also way more useful than others, leading to a repetition of the same 2-3 classes. For example, the guardian, who deals damage by blocking enemy dashes, is far more useful than the fast speedster, due to the little maps.
Formball however is a completly different story. Heavily inspired by Rocket League, it´s a 4v4 Football mode combined with Deformers gameplay and classes. Meaning you can shoot people, grab the ball and dash it/other players, making it quite a different experience, if you actually play it. Compared to Rocket League Formball is, like the whole game, far easier to achieve good results, while still providing enough challenges to master, like positioning. All in all, it´s a solid mode, that works well with the “hop in hop out”-design and adds an own flavour to the mix. However, and here start the problems, Deformers needed more, Deformers can´t afford to “only” offer solid modes, Deformers needed to be unique in every single way to succeed.
As soon, as we set its price into perspective, Deformers starts to fall apart like a dream, leaving only problems and misconceptions. If you only have 2 main game modes, they need to be absolutely unique and not just clones or uninspired standard, to justify such a low amount of content. The different maps, which are only available in Deathmatch, are not creative enough either, to make it interesting enough. No matter how good Deformers may look, which it does, and how cute it may be or how well its gameplay may be designed, it offers nothing unique to keep it interesting over a long period. Honestly, I wouldn´t have a problem with it, if it had only cost like 15-20 (Euro, Dollar etc), since it would have competed with other indie games. Currently, Deformers positioned itself on top of nearly every other Multiplayer-only game, yet offering nearly no content and even dares to include micro-transactions for cosmetics. No matter the production value, priced at 30 you have to be able to compete at 30 at LAUNCH, which Deformers simply can´t. Everything I just named leads to only one result: A dead game, which sadly became reality.
Deformers has some great ideas, letting it stand out from the rest. Nothing it tries was never seen in a game but no game combined so many things together and still kept such an easy gameplay. I really like Deformers, if I only look at its gameplay or modes and how much fun it can be to jump in for some rounds and relax. Sure, it has flaws, like the Power-Ups or too similar maps but overall Deformers is a good Multiplayer game.
Unfortunately, the price and sheer lack of content are unforgiveable, nothing Deformers offers can justify it. Additionally the micro transaction only pour salt into the wound, making the price even more ridiculous. All in all, a good game may sleep behind all these horrible decisions but I doubt it will ever be honoured, Deformers is already a dead game without a playerbase, which requires you to wait for 10-20min, until your lobby has even 6 players.
All in all, Deformers makes it impossible for me to recommend it, not because I don´t like it but due to the price and content.