Ratchet & Clank QForce
Available on PS3 (Reviewed) & PS Vita
Ratchet and Clank is a series that needs a
break from the gaming world. While the dynamic duo is as charming as
ever, their next generation endeavours have failed to live up to the
Playstation 2 gems we all know and love. Now we have Ratchet & Clank
QForce, which features the classic run and gun gameplay of its
predecessors combined with a tower defence element to try and shake up
the aging gameplay. Itís certainly an interesting move that Insomniac
has made here, and while QForce does have some entertaining
aspects, itís an extremely short and tedious game that fails to live up
to any of the previous games in the series (yes, even All 4 One
was better than this).
QForce welcomes the third-person camera back into the Ratchet &
Clank universe which went missing in All 4 One. Controlling
Ratchet, Clank or Captain Qwark feels as good as it did during the PS2
days, and it certainly makes exploring the maps a lot simpler and
enjoyable. The main goal of each map in QForce is to fight off
wave after wave of robot enemies from destroying your base while also
allowing you to venture off and destroy their bases, discovering weapons
and bolts along the way. You then use these bolts to build turrets
around your base which will assist you in defeating enemies and
progressing through the game. While it certainly is a fresh concept for
the series, itís poorly implemented. Turrets cost way too much (around
1,250 for the basic ones) and they have a short range meaning that it
will be up to you to finish off any enemies that make it past your
defences. Finding bolts can be a chore as well; there are only a limited
number of them in each world so in order for you to have the perfect set
up youíll need to do a lot of exploring. The gameplay doesnít vary from
map to map either, nor does the difficulty, so once youíve got the hang
of things, the games five hour play through can feel even shorter.
Ratchet & Clank games have always been known for their crisp and
colourful graphics and QForce is no exception. The environments
look lush and alive, and enemies are well animated and varied, though
weíve seen some of them before from previous games. However, there is a
problem with the gameís presentation that I have found in every Ratchet
and Clank game since being developed for the Playstation 3; Ratchet
looks rather weird. If you compare his facial features to the PS2
Ratchet, youíll notice a lack of detail in his expressions in later
renditions and I personally find him less interesting as a character,
which is disappointing as he is the driving force behind this series.
This is only a minor complaint however and doesnít affect the overall
appearance of the game.
voice acting in QForce lives up to the high standard set by its
predecessors, with all original voice actors providing great
performances, making the cut scene banter between Ratchet, Clank and
Qwark all the more enjoyable. The rest of the audio is made up of
familiar gun blasts and explosions which never fail to make a conflict
with enemies exciting, especially when youíre low on health and ammo.
Thereís also the classic bolt gathering noise that makes exploring in
Ratchet & Clank that little bit more satisfying, although you wonít hear
it as much in QForce.
Ratchet & Clank QForce scores points for trying something different
with the series, but the so-so implementation of ideas and elements
leaves it falling slightly flat. The game looks and sounds great, but
without the solid gameplay reinforced by some of its predecessors, this
rather short game may be the last time we see Ratchet & Clank for a
while, but it might be for the best.