Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal - PS2

Also known as: Ratchet and Clank III

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Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Insomniac Soft. Co.: Insomniac
Publishers: Sony (GB)
Released: 12 Nov 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Connectivity: Network Adaptor (Ethernet) compatible
Features: Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card


Though the games industry is abundant in generic platform adventures, few have been able to match the level design and gameplay of Insomniac's efforts with Ratchet and Clank. Both Ratchet and Clank and its sequel proved just how well weapons-based combat could be blended with the standard platform formula. However, the third instalment in as many years raises the benchmark even further, bringing the series into the online arena for the first time, but we'll get to that later.

After word spreads of Ratchet and Clank's recent conquest in Locked and Loaded, the twosome is called together by the Galactic President to bring peace to the universe when robotic super-villain Nefarious threatens to wipe out all organic life in the galaxy.

It's an average plot, but Ratchet and Clank 3 is far from standard. On the contrary, the third game in the series not only takes the best from its older brothers, it brings with it a whole bunch of new elements, the most prolific of which is the single-player game comes in the form of weapons. Some 15 new and upgradeable weapons and gadgets have been made available for the third instalment, each useful in one way or another. Moreover, owners of Ratchet 2 can transfer their existing arsenal over to the new game via memory card at no cost.

More interestingly, Ratchet 3's new worlds are made even more diverse thanks to the option to control not just Ratchet, but Clank and the formerly retired super-hero stereotype Captain Quark as well. New vehicles such as the Turbo Slider and Hovership borrow elements from the Jak and Daxter series, pitting players in any number of races or vehicular combat missions.

However, this diverse array of new and improved aids necessitates the need for more cunning and demanding foes, and Insomniac has delivered just that. Enemies now behave far more intelligently, and even demonstrate their ability to use a specific level's landscape to their advantage.

That's the single-player game, and there's plenty of it. But what makes Ratchet 3 really special is the introduction of an online game capable of accommodating eight players via broadband. The online game largely comprises of two teams struggling to take territory from one another in order to ultimately destroy their opponents' base. But with no team eager to give up the ghost, the use of weapons and the commandeering of vehicles to achieve your goals is an absolute necessity. Additionally, the use of vehicles in combat facilitates a much welcome co-operative element that sees one player driving whilst the other takes aim with an arsenal of weapons. There's voice communication available to those with headsets, a lobby where Ratchet veterans can discuss strategies, and the developer has also included an offline split-screen game so that no one misses out.

There's not much more Insomniac could have done to improve upon the first two games in the series, making Ratchet and Clank 3 one of the most accomplished platformers in the industry.


Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal - PS2 Artwork