Classification: PG - Contains Mild Violence
Ratchet & Clank has been dishing out quality platform titles for last the six years, but this is the first downloadable title. For $25 you get a bite sized three-hour journey compared to the usual 15-hour marathon. Just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean a loss of quality though; if anything I think they’ve made sure each minute counts. With each new title, the puzzles, graphics and gameplay raise the bar to new heights of technical marvel that make you feel like you’re a paid advert for Sony when describing the game. Gigantic, vivid 3D worlds with extraordinary amounts of detail without any draw-in, pop-up or frame rate issues are without doubt, stunning. I always rate gameplay over visuals and sound, but when the graphics are this good and the very funny voice-over acting is spot on, it’s hard not to just sit back and go “wow”. The fur on Ratchet’s face is so detailed that it’s almost like watching a Pixar movie! The storyline is a spoof on Pirates of the Caribbean with Ratchet taking on his old nemesis the robot pirate, Captain Slag. (Is there anything cooler than a robot pirate?) All action is viewed from a third-person perspective and with each level you’ll have a number of primary and secondary objectives to complete. Completing all the primary objectives will allow you to move onto the next. The secondary are side quests that aren’t mandatory, a bit trickier, but have high reward value like new guns or different cutscenes. Avoiding swinging blades and grinding rails, precise jumping, timing slides, solving riddles, ‘Simon says’ and dodging boulders are the meat and potatoes of all the objectives.
Despite being a platformer, there’s still a lot of ‘all-guns-a-blazing’ action with a massive assortment of upgradable guns to blow the hell out of anything that moves. Controls, like everything else, are perfect. Intuitive controls make for a very smooth and responsive Ratchet. The left analogue controls Ratchet’s movements. The right analogue controls the camera, but I never used it once due to the excellent default placement. Square utilises the wrench, which can attack enemies, manipulate objects and grab glowing grubs to light the way through dark caves. Manipulation with the wrench has been upgraded for Booty - you are now able to ‘lasso’ certain objects to pull and push them into more favourable positions, adding a whole new dimension to the puzzle element. Switching weapons is vital, as certain weapons are more useful against specific enemies, but to counter this, with more use, your weapon will ‘level up’ with better range, capacity and rate of fire. Even though this may sound complex on paper, you’ll be jumping all over the place acting like Rambo in no time.
So what’s bad about this game? Well, apart from only being three hours long, it’s still quite easy to finish, just like last year’s game, Tools of Destruction. So if you’re new to Ratchet it might be best to grab Tools of Destruction first from the bargain bin. Other than that, Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty is super polished and well worth the cash.