Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the shops,
The games fought for shelf space so theyíd sell to the tots...
Itís always a struggle for a game to get noticed around this time of year unless itís one of those that have had a multi-million dollar budget splashed on it. Triple-A titles fill the stores to the detriment of others, so itís little wonder that smaller games are taking the jump to being available primarily through download. The new Ratchet & Clank
, is doing precisely that (though there is a small retail run being made available too). Which version will sell best is up in the air, but of course the main question is whether the game is any good or not.
On firing it up, I couldnít quite believe that the R&C
series has been going for ten years. A quick Google turned up eleven separate titles, so someone out there must be buying them. Having never been a massive fan of the series (Iíve played a couple of the early ones) itíd be interesting to see how far the games have come since those early days at the height of the PS2ís reignÖ And in all honesty, itís not really changed that much. While itís obviously prettier, the gameplay feels very much the same Ė but is that necessarily a bad thing?
Itís the usual 3D platforming affair with plenty of running about either beating up or shooting enemies, albeit with an additional tower defence element thrown in to add more of a challenge. The story goes that a mysterious entity has declared war on Captain Qwark (a playable character in the game along with our two eponymous heroes) and itís down to you to smash up everything in site, collect bolts, buy better and better weapons and eventually save the planets that are under threat
Itís all pretty standard, but at least it plays well. Whether youíve got previous experience with the series or this is the first time youíve picked one up, QForce
is accessible from the off. Hints appear throughout and the entire thing is incredibly linear, meaning that that it may well be a little too simplistic for some, but as a quick blast itís actually rather fun.
Oh yes: the emphasis really should be on Ďquickí. You will blow through this in a matter of hours as there are only five (admittedly decent-sized) levels to progress through. The game was originally announced as a tenth anniversary surprise and was never meant to be a 30+ hour extravaganza, but even though itís being released as a budget title (you should expect to pay around £15) you may well feel a little short-changed. A co-op mode is available both online and offline which adds a bit of extra value, and youíll also get the game for free on your Vita should you happen to own one. All told, itís a decent price for what is essentially a palate-cleanser of a game.
Admittedly itís a very pretty game, an explosion of shiny cartoon gloriousness that doesnít have any major graphical issues, but it doesnít really offer anything new. Then again, does it really need to? Fans of the series will lap it up, appreciating the fact that they get a new fix of their favourite characters and itís a very canny way to get younger players who havenít tried out a Ratchet & Clank
release before into the games. However, for someone like me who can either take it or leave it, it was a pleasant but ultimately forgettable experience. A nice way to pass a few hours, but Iíd sooner have something else sitting on my hard drive.
+ Easy to get into and fun in co-op
+ Looks very shiny and lovely indeed
+ Dirt cheap price makes it a perfect stocking filler
- Same old same old, not doing anything new
- Experienced gamers will race through it
- Play it once and youíll soon forget about it
SPOnG Score: 6/10