Deformers looks humorously cute and fun at first glance with its squishy character models and arena gameplay, but quickly becomes a borderline nonfunctioning mishap for everyone. The developer Ready at Dawn, the studio that gave us The Order 1886 and the God of War PSP games, takes a very lighthearted and simple approach to online multiplayer arena combat. But a combination of technical and connectivity issues ultimately makes Deformers a very disappointing affair.
The biggest problem with Deformers is the inconsistency with the online matchmaking. The game is strictly an online experience with no offline content whatsoever. You’ll be spending a lot of time looking at the matchmaking menu as you wait to be placed into an online lobby, which more often than not doesn’t happen at all. During the time I was playing Deformers for review, there were massive issues with connecting to the game’s servers that prevented me from playing online for more than two days. However, even after the online issues were thought to be solved, I had lots of trouble getting paired up with other players online. There were also times when I couldn’t even make a custom lobby to invite other players to join, which is both baffling and disappointing since it became a chore to get anything started.
During the few times I actually was able to play Deformers online, there were still many issues that popped up in all of modes that I played online. Players control Formers, squishy beings that can be given different customizable skins and compete in one of three game modes. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are your standard multiplayer game types that have everyone competing points from kills on the map. Form Ball is an abridge version of soccer, in the same vein as Rocket League, but with almost no organization at all.
The problems start to show up when you dive into any mode and realize how frustrating it can be controlling your Former. Rolling around the map has you fighting against the physics of your character’s movement, while simultaneously trying to reach the match objective. Trying to fire ammo or dash towards opponents using a very slippery aim was both annoying and unsettling when I couldn’t reasonably contribute to match. Most deaths came from either falling off the small stages or blindly running into another player’s dash attack.
The technical hiccups that happen make the experience even harder to bear. Games can end up becoming a real mess for everyone in one way or another. Many times I noticed that players would randomly fall through the floor of stages during a match up. Additionally, the poor online connectivity often heightened the difficulty to finish some games, especially when others would quit after being frustrated by what was happening.
During one match in particular, the physics of the stage changed to low gravity but never returned back to normal for the rest of the game due to the poor connection quality. Because of all of this, it becomes nearly impossible at times to play any mode of Deformers smoothly from start to finish, let alone do well during any match.
It’s very unfortunate to see Deformers have so many problems. The premise is very cutesy and lends itself well to humorous moments online. None of this matters however if you can’t play the game comfortably without many complications hindering the time you spend playing. Outside of the connection issues, Deformers a very jagged experience that quickly doesn’t become very fun to play.
This review is based on a digital review code of Deformers for the PlayStation 4, provided by GameTrust.