Published on September 3rd, 2012 | by octaneblue2
Review: Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
System(s): PlayStation Network, PlayStation 3 (PAL region-only disc release)
Release Date: August 21, 2008 (PSN), September 12, 2008 (PAL region-only disc release)
A direct sequel to Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is the first title in the series to be released on the PlayStation Network. Described by developer Insomniac Games as a “mini-adventure”, is it worth spending your booty on Quest for Booty? Or should you ignore this one and just look elsewhere for your platforming fix?
Ratchet is looking for his buddy Clank, who was captured after the events of Tools of Destruction. His quest to find Clank will lead him through the various pirate-themed areas in the game. These areas include floating airship, islands, and caves. The game looks very impressive, exceeding the graphics on many disc-based games. So a game like this is a great example of nice-looking games being available for the PlayStation Network service. In terms of sound, the game has a nice soundtrack too, with several pirate-themed tracks going along with its overall theme. The game’s cast of characters are fully voiced by voice actors, and all of them sound just great. Like its predecessors, there’s plenty of humorous dialogue scattered throughout the game.
Previous games in the series feature a combination of platforming and shooting elements; Quest for Booty features the two of them as well, but is slightly more focused on the platforming aspect. Ratchet will come across several instances where he’ll have to make his way through series of platforms, swing across wide areas, and grind on railings. These parts are fine for the most part, with the main issue being the camera. It’s not perfect, and there are instances where the camera just doesn’t focus on where you want, leading Ratchet to fall into the water or into the abyss. You can control the camera with the right analog stick, but for parts like when you’re walking across a skinny walkway, the camera auto-focuses back on Ratchet even after you’ve moved it around.
The game features various weapon types for Ratchet, most of which are very unique and entertaining to use. Ratchet is armed with a wrench that can be used for melee attacks, but also can turn screws in the ground around to cause bridges to activate, and can pick up certain objects off the ground. Some of the guns in the game are definitely more useful than others though, namely the Predator Launcher, which locks on to multiple enemies, and the Fusion Grenade, which detonates on impact and destroys most enemies quickly. Other creative weapons include the Nano Swarmers, which cause a hive to pop up and cause nanosects to swarm enemies, and the Tornado Launcher, which does pretty much what it says. Unfortunately, this weapon, which is controlled by the Six Axis functions on the PS3 controller, doesn’t always work that well when you tilt around. Each of the weapons gain experience points each time they defeat enemies, and when upgraded, gain a bit more power and increases in capacity size.
Quest for Booty has an odd balance in difficulty. Most of the enemies can be defeated with some of the weapons named above, and the game is generous with spawning boxes that has extra ammo for Ratchet. The problem though is that at some points, enemies spawn in large groups, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by attacks. Health Boxes are available, but their distribution was not planned very well. There are spots where there are multiple boxes right near each other, and other times where, after being attacked by groups of enemies, there are no Health Boxes around unless you backtrack to an unused one. If Ratchet does die, the only consequence is that he just respawns from the last checkpoint. But that brings up another problem: some of the checkpoints were not placed well. The most notable example is a part where you’ll fight against hordes of robot pirates, and the damage you’ll take adds up quickly. There are only two health boxes, and they do not respawn. Not only do you have to fight the robots, but you also have to shoot a pirate ship that’s constantly shooting cannonballs at you throughout the fight. If Ratchet dies at any point here, you have to start this section over completely. It was a bit odd that this part ending up being much more difficult than the last area of the game.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty has some frustrating moments, but it’s a fun platformer overall. The adventure is very short, lasting only about 4 hours, and lacks replay value. At least the game is reasonably priced to balance that out. This is mostly recommended for fans of the series; anyone who has yet to play a Ratchet & Clank title should definitely start elsewhere.
+ Fun weapons
+ Funny dialogue
+ Great graphics
– Camera doesn’t always work
– Imbalanced difficulty
– Lack of replay value
Final score: 3.5 out of 5