Review: Ratchet & Clank: Q Force
FYI, this story is more than a year old
The Ratchet & Clank series made its impressive debut exactly ten years ago. Since that time, the dynamic duo has starred in over ten separate video games across many different PlayStation platforms.
And since this is the tenth anniversary of the popular series, is Ratchet & Clank: Q Force Assault a worthy new addition to the long running franchise?
The Ratchet & Clank series have been going on for a long time and it’s quite an achievement for Insomniac Games to retain the same type of humor that both Ratchet & Clank is well known for.
Not only are the two main characters funny in this game, they are also joined by the very humorous Captain Qwark again as well. Too bad Dr. Nefarious isn’t in this game like he was in last year’s All 4 One video game, although the three aforementioned characters are fun to watch and listen to with their one-liners and signature personalities.
Long time Ratchet & Clank fans will be in for a surprise when I tell them that Ratchet & Clank: Q Force is not a platforming game. Although there are still some platforming elements that are included here, Ratchet & Clank: Q Force plays more like a tower defence game more than anything else.
This is because your main goal of the game for you to defend a bunch of generators from being destroyed in your home base. You have up to seven generators for you to defend and if all of them are destroyed by the enemy, it’s game over.
Defending the generators in this game becomes both a repetitive yet expensive task. Because you are unable to defend the generators yourself all of the time, you will have to venture off and collect nuts and bolts so you can spend them on turrets, mines and barriers to defend the base in your absence.
This is where the game gets really repetitive because every aim for each level is exactly the same as the last. You always start off having zero weapons in your arsenal and you will have to find nodes to open and collect weapons in each level.
Not only that but you will have to find and fight your way through heavily guarded “key nodes” so you can turn on the “planetary defences”. After doing that, you are required to defend the base from an onslaught of invading enemies until the defences finally come online.
This part of the game is without a doubt the hardest part of each level and will frustrate many gamers each and every time.
Personally, I would have preferred if there was some sort of variety to the missions in this game. Basically, every level has the same objective and the game becomes a repetitive chore very quickly.
Although you can unlock new weapons and make weapons you already have more powerful, you still have to find them all over again whenever you start a new level...
Another annoying aspect of the game is that it is designed solely for a 2 player co-op experience. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although the game becomes a downright nightmare if you’re trying to play the game all by yourself.
One person cannot simply play this game on their own because trying to prevent all of the generators from being destroyed from invading enemies advancing from multiple sides of the base is a near impossible task to do.
The task is slightly easier when playing in co-op, but this becomes very difficult too when they bring in tanks and other vehicles with missiles and bombs!
Unlike with last year’s All 4 One video game, being different characters in this game do not give you access to any other special abilities whatsoever. You can only play as three characters in this game and they are Ratchet, Clank and Captain Quark.
Sadly none of them differ from one another as they all have hover boots and they also have the same punching combination. It feels redundant having different characters in the game when they all have the same moves.
The visuals in Ratchet & Clank: Q Force is nothing special either. Sure some of the environments and planets in the game look better than others, although the visuals overall are not a huge leap in quality compared with its many predecessors.
If you played past Ratchet & Clank games before on the PS3, chances are that you will not be totally impressed with this latest offering.
Outside of the single player mode is the game’s multiplayer offering. The multiplayer in this game plays a little differently from the single player mode.
It’s quite fun to play and it offers a very helpful hands-on tutorial to teach you the basics. It kind of reminded me of the multiplayer mode from the old Star Wars Battlefront games where you have to capture “zones”. Still, it’s quite sad to see that there are only three maps that are available for you to play...
Unfortunately, Ratchet & Clank: Q Force is not the tenth anniversary celebration that is worthy of being a part of the popular franchise. By stripping all of its platforming elements, this game becomes nothing more than a repetitive chore to play with horrid level design and downright boring gameplay.
If you are into tower defence type of games, you may enjoy this game for a short while. Overall though, the whole game is nothing compared to its excellent predecessors and its hard difficulty makes it hard to recommend for younger gamers.
Graphics: 7.0Gameplay: 6.0Sound: 7.0Lasting appeal: 6.5