Published on November 13th, 2012 | by Dembonez192
Review: Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
System(s): PlayStation 3
Release Date(s): October 18, 2011
A new take on the Ratchet & Clank series has caused opposing views to come out between fans of the series and new players like myself. There is no way for me to compare and contrast what is so different about this game to its predecessors. The bottom line is that it was enjoyable for multiple reasons, and there was nothing that took too much away from a fun experience.
The controls are easy enough to learn, and the first area in the game acts as a tutorial to guide players through a series of button mashing to overcome simple obstacles. The second area also acts as a tutorial since new weaponry is introduced there as well. The weapons, like the basic controls, are easy to use. Each weapon obtained throughout the story is designated to its own spot in the inventory. Favorite weapons can also be easily accessed by linking that weapon to a button. In single-player mode, the action freezes while the inventory is opened. That is not the case online.
The second area also dives deeper into the main plot by introducing characters that make reappearances throughout the game. The main characters in Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One are full of personality. Even the minor characters that the heroes run across only once are expressive and humorous. The four playable characters are Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, and the villain Nefarious. All of them become caught up in the same mess and must work together to save the universe.
The cut-scene animations and art style in general is very appealing. It looks so much like a 3D animated movie with all of the cute characters and occasional oddly adorable enemies. This ties into the expressive nature of the characters. It all just fits together to make a visually pleasing experience. On top of this, the different worlds are incredible. The art team did a phenomenal job creating brightly colorful worlds that players only wish they had the time to stop for and take them in.
For those interested in earning trophies, this is a fairly simple task. The trophies are not so tedious and bizarre that at the end of it all, it just felt like a waste of time. Instead, the trophies add replay value to the game and allow players to view playing certain levels from a different perspective. There are also collectibles just like with other Ratchet & Clank games for ALL four of the heroes (yes, Nefarious is helpful this time).
Online play is a cool mixture of cooperative and competitive. Naturally, the characters are all fighting towards the same goal alongside each other. The purpose of the journey is to battle enemies and bosses together while keeping each other alive and cooperating. On the other hand, the bolt system adds a competitive aspect to the game as after each “scan point”, the game ranks the human players to see how they compared to one another. Depending on whether they performed poorly or well in a certain task, they are given a ranking. This boosts the competitiveness and causes all of the players to work hard at making sure they do not have a crummy rank at the end.
While the game freezes and bugs aren’t frequent, they are still pretty irritating. These happen mostly during online play. A game freezing while playing myself is not something that I have experienced. However, on occasion, the game would freeze in the middle of a world causing whoever froze out to rejoin the group. On the plus side, the checkpoint system makes it so that players online do not have to start completely over if someone happens to freeze. If playing with friends, they can always invite that person back to the previous checkpoint.
Playing with randoms has a similar affect, except they are less likely to wait for the frozen player to return. Even still, online makes it possible for players to search for specific rooms with people. Plus, the search also allows players to filter out characters so that they are able to play with their favorite.
The only other glitches that occur during the game are the occasional buggy enemy and quick-time event. Blips of lag cause enemies to not die when they should and also cause quick-time events to fail. Furthermore, there is a section of the game where enemies cause the world to crumble. Lag could potentially cause the world to crumble before the players even reach the area causing them to die automatically. That said, the lag is hardly an issue unless one of the players simply has a terrible connection. The game overall runs smoothly otherwise.
At the end of the day, this is a fun game that is free for PlayStation Plus users that gets players to cooperate with one another while having lots of fun. At times, it may test others’ patience, but hey…that’s why Nefarious is playable.
+ Four-player co-op
+ Expressive animation
+ Cooperative and competitive elements
+ Online room filtering
+ Weapons can be linked to a button for easy access
– Occasional freezes
– Lag’s presence could be problematic
Final score: 4.5 out of 5
If anyone would like to view a playthrough of this game featuring octaneblue, idnthav1, and myself a playlist can be located here.