Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (PS3)

By Wayne Webb

It’s been a while that I have been this disappointed with a game. I try not to be hyperbolic in reviews, but with this new version of Ratchet & Clank – there are so many things wrong that hard to find anything good to say about the game.

It was great to see them back on the console, bringing back the magnificent storylines, the quirky characters and deft humour that are the trademarks of the series. It’s a shame that’s all that has returned. I hated playing this new game – the clumsy controlling of characters, the changes in style and challenge frustrated me, and the missing elements of aiming and camera control had me swearing more than shooting.

Things that have gone wrong here are numerous. No camera control, which means you sometimes walk off of cliffs or can’t backtrack to get bolts and crates, which is an integral part of the game. I kept trying to access the camera, (out of habit) but that right stick now controls your weapons, so in trying to get a better view I change my weapons and find myself in trouble, trying to get the right one back again.

The weapons aim automatically without any help from the player, therefore fighting requires no skill. The swingshot requires no effort in timing, and the bosses are a far too easy to kill. The save points, especially on the first two levels, are so far apart that if you shut down to come back later at the wrong point (and there’s not any clue to tell you where) you can repeat up to 15 minutes of work.

What used to be a fun and frantic shooter that would take some skill and timing is now flat and unfulfilling. The menus are nonsense and figuring them out is more of a puzzle than the simplistic elements of the game, which again is no challenge. To go online you have to enter a code. I have no idea why this is and the instructions on how to do this in the game are non-existent. Fortunately, they are printed in the game packaging, but as no other game I have played recently on the PS3 has made me do this – I wonder what the point is?

I had high hopes for this game, but was left very disappointed. After the substandard use of R & C in Move Heroes, and now this appalling chapter, I feel little love for the franchise anymore. If the same control system is in any new versions, I’ll avoid it entirely.

Pros: The humor, the cut scenes and the return of old characters.
Cons: Zero camera control; no aiming required; infrequent save points; clumsy controls; awkward menus and instructions.

1.5 Shacks Out Of 5