Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

System: Playstation 2
Release Date: 2004
Published By: SCEA
Reviewed by: Darien

Ever get the impression the developers spent so much time shoehorning a silly multiplayer mode into a game that they forgot to finish the single player mode? I've played games like that. I mean, I'm just sayin'.

My secret's out: I'm a big fan of the Ratchet & Clank games. The first one was great, the second one was better still, and the third one... well, the third one's good. It should have been great. Why isn't it? Well, for starters, it's short, easy, and linear. The first two games featured a lot of going back and exploring old areas to find secrets and such, but this game goes almost in a straight line from area to area to area. The ambience is also lacking in character. The monster design is good, as always, but the weapons leave a bit to be desired. Not a lot, mind, but just a bit; almost all of them seem recycled from the older games, and the rest seem really cool but turn out gallingly useless (read: Plasma Whip). The only weapon that's both truly original and useful is the way kickass Rift Generator.

The assault levels are not my bag. I can see how you'd like them if you bought a Ratchet & Clank game expecting something in the real-time tactical vein; Dynasty Warriors with guns, for instance. But that's not what I want in an action platformer. Especially since the Rift Generator makes most of them a joke.

Truth to tell, what I want from my action platformers is two things: 1) Action 2) Platforming. See, I'm not picky. But I take issue with the abject lack of platforming in this game. As an action game, it's first-rate, but I want to jump over some damn pits already.

The mutliplayer I found to be singularly lacklustre, but who knows? Maybe it will thrill people who are easliy thrilled by shooting real live other people. I harbour a suspicion that Sony was just covering its bases against the encroaching menace of the soon-to-be-realeased-oops-delayed-again Conker: Live and Reloaded on the XBox. Too bad, that; if Insomniac hadn't spent so much time on that, maybe they could have written a proper damn ending, at least.

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