The latest game in the Ratchet & Clank franchise is the multiplayer Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One.
After the bumbling yet loveable imbecile that is Captain Qwark leads Ratchet and Clank into the perilous hands of their arch-nemesis Dr Nefarious, the quartet is captured by a new enemy, forcing them to work together to defeat their unknown captors.
Ratchet & Clank’s penchant for cartoon violence and dry wit has turned the series into a classic since it’s inception in 2002.
As the first game to release after the excellent Future trilogy, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One has a tough act to follow.
In comparison to the acclaimed trilogy that proceeded it, All 4 One doesn’t quite hit the mark. Some of the great gadgets of the Future trilogy have been left out, such as the Omniwrench’s Kinetic Tether Ability which moved bridges and powered spring pads. This may have been done to put each character on an equal footing, but you may feel that some previously great ideas were left out in order to pursue a more co-operative experience. Why couldn’t they have given all of the characters kinetic tethers?
The game has some great mini missions, and the many ways in which all four players have to work together to traverse the map and defeat their many enemies makes up for the change in style from the Future trilogy. After each mission segment ends, points are added up to see who did best which adds a fun competetive element to what is ostensibly a co-op game.
The plot is quite good too, the graphics are as good if not better than the preceding games, and the humour remains amusing for all ages. Quark and Nefarious also develop a great side story through the cut scenes which is great to watch and makes you forgo playing Ratchet or Clank in favour of the comedic pair’s dialogue.
This is not a serious game. Ratchet & Clank games rarely are, they are continually loved for their jovial attitude towards gaming.
In keeping with the series’ traditions Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One comes with a great variety of weapons, from Pyro Blasters to Frost Cannons, Arc Lashers and Plasmabomb Launchers. Each character also gets a special weapon of their own; these all come with a unique cartoony introduction when supplied by your faithful robot companions, Cronk and Zephyr, while they are stuck in an asteroid field.
Also, don’t worry; there is flying in space as well.
To reiterate, this game is not as good as the Future trilogy, but it is nevertheless worth getting, just to plug in and have a good time with all your mates, inevitably arguing over which characters you are going to choose.
Despite its flaws, Insomniac Games have attempted a new direction that’s both bold and fresh for the franchise. They’ve done themselves proud.