'Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault'
Sony PlayStation 3 (PS Vita)
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 3.0 stars
Insomniac's "Ratchet & Clank" series is not only extremely popular, but also incredibly fun and varied. Sure the online multiplayer modes are a blast, but the single-player adventures are the reason for the series' loyal following. So why did Insomniac change their award-winning formula so much for "Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault"?
This sequel combines the adventuring and combat aspects of past games with tower defense to create an action/defense hybrid. As a result, players must collect bolts and then use them to purchase towers and other defenses to protect their base and its generators from wave after wave of dangerous enemies. Fortunately, the wacky storyline is reminiscent of past games, but it's still rather forgettable.
To collect bolts, players must guide their character away from the base to explore the surroundings but must also return to help defend it when the defenses are damaged. Sadly, these defenses are damaged and/or destroyed too easily despite any upgrades they receive. As a result, players are forced to constantly zip back and forth, which is both tedious and annoying.
New weapons to use in combat are also obtained by venturing away from the base, but the pickings are slim compared to past games. I also don't like how their upgrades aren't permanent. Instead, players must re-upgrade them every time they begin a new level.
Fortunately, these aspects are minimized when the game is played in co-op mode because one player can stay at the base while the other goes out to obtain weapons and bolts. Too bad there aren't more levels to enjoy. On the other hand, the competitive multiplayer modes are slightly different and quite fun!
"Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault" is a decent distraction at an affordable price, but it pales in comparison to past games in the series.