Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: Ratchet & Clank: Q Force(Full Frontal Assault)

Ratchet & Clank: Q Force(Full Frontal Assault)
PS3, PS Vita, PSN
RRP: AU$24.95 retail $23.95 digital
Hoping to get the bad taste out of my mouth left by the mediocre Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, I jumped at the chance to play this game but surprise, surprise... it's better than All for One but still doesn't hold a candle to the others. Well, find out why by reading my review.

The story for the campaign mode has a former Quark fanboy named Stuart(last seen in Ratchet & Clank 3: Up your arsenal if I remember) out for revenge because Quark has disappointed him on numerous occasions. He does this by taking down the planetary defenses of a few planets, which in turn allows the Grungarian marauders to invade these planets. Now the Q Force has to turn the defenses back on a defeat the new menace.

First thing I need to address is the humor... it's still a funny game but not as much as any of the other games... small game, small amount of humor... but smaller then Quest for Booty. Secondly, cross play with the PS Vita and a free PS Vita copy with the PS3 retail version is brilliant! Finally is that I'm glad they made it a retail and digital release so the lazy can download it and the smart can have a REAL copy.

Gameplay is what we've done about 10 times over the last 10 years now. If it moves... shoot! Well there's more to that but I don't feel the need to go over that because it's hot in Australia at the moment and I assume by now we've all played at least 1 Ratchet & Clank game, so I'll go into the new. Q Force is a tower defense game. The story mode and online play a little different to each other but is similar at the core.

Story mode has you protecting a base and turning on the planetary defenses for the most part. You go out and unlock weapons pods, build base defenses and take down enemy defended key nods to gain access to the planetary defense before defending your base from a final onslaught while it powers up. Your base will get attacked every once in a while while exploring but that's what building defenses are for. You win each level by keeping at least one base generator operational after defeating the Grungarian barrage during the planetary defenses powering up sequence.The story mode is easier with a partner but you can only play with PSN friends or a couch friend. The story is also criminally short, sure it's a downloadable title but I need a REAL Ratchet & Clank game again.

Unfortunately this game's main focus is online multiplayer... ugh! The thing I'm never fond of had to be the focus didn't it?! Online you can play 1 Vs 1 or 2 Vs 2 and you fight to destroy the other teams base. The online game works in phases. The first phase is Recon and you hunt down bolts and nodes to unlock weapons and buy defenses. Phase 2 is Squad and you build your invading force during this phase with the bolts generated by the nodes you've captured. The third phase is Assault and during this phase you attack your opponents base or defend yours. These phases will cycle over and over again until one team is victorious. During any phase you can build defense but be warned... they don't stop the other players, just their Grungarian marauders.

The flow and outcomes of online matches will take time and a good internet connection to get used to. Once you've learned the maps and play with people in your own country, it can be fun... sorta. One thing that pisses me off is the lack of a local competitive mode! I mean come on, the PS3 supports 4 players and most people own TV's that are 40 inches or more in size so why not?

So what's the point of this Ratchet & Clank game? Experimentation would be my guess. I mean look at it, big name game series with a new play style. It's not the first time it's happened with a big name franchise and it won't be the last, though it's kinda sucky when it happens.

So what's the verdict then? Well it's a good game for what it is but flawed and the story feels rushed and it's short. The tower defense style of gameplay is an interesting take that needs to be a little more flesh out. The lack of local competitive modes royally sucks but it's online competitive can be fun if there's no lag in the connection... which never happens for the most part. It's a game that's pointless if you want a decent single player game but if your looking for an alternative to online military shooters then it's pretty good, although most won't stay for long. Either way for AU$25 it's good value for money.

Score 3/5

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