Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: October 18, 2011
Multiplayer: Yes, offline & online
Read the full review here also: Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
My daughter & I are big fans of the Ratchet & Clank series. We first discovered Ratchet early in the PS3's lifespan with the first Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction in 2007. My daughter was instantly hooked on this furry Lombax, who sort of resembles a cat with really long ears and his tiny robotic friend Clank. Being the good gaming Father that I am, I also played the game so I'd know what she was playing. Instant favorite. We're always excited when we learn about a new Ratchet & Clank game and when we learned it would feature co-op we were very happy that we'd be able to play together. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is the 10th title in the Ratchet & Clank series. A series that has spanned several galaxies and dozens of planets. He's made a few friends and made more than 1 villain very very sorry to have tried to take over the Universe.
After so many adventures, you'd think a Lombax would want to take a bit of break from the Hero business. Well Ratchet had planned to do just that, until he was kidnapped along with Clank, Qwark and Nefarious. Nefarious had initially tried to once again get rid of his most hated enemies in one fell swoop by inviting the Inter-Galactic President Qwark to receive the Inter-Galactic Tool of Justice Award. Nefarious has his robot butler Lawrence reanimate the Light Eating Z'Grute to devour all three Heroes. As is typical with Nefarious's plans, something didn't quite go the way he wanted. The Z'Grute devours the surrounding light and goes on a rampage in Luminopolis. As Ratchet, Clank, Qwark & Nefarious try to stop the Z'Grute a new enemy tries to stop them. The Z'Grute is finally stopped, but our story is just beginning. Our favorite Heroes and their arch-nemesis Dr. Nefarious are captured by someone only known as the Creature Collector. Dr. Nefarious is furious. Not only did he fail to eliminate his squishy rivals but now he must work together with his hated enemies to survive.
In my opinion All 4 One is a beautiful game. The cutscenes are extremely well done as always. During the game you are able to collect "Hero Bolts" which can be used to unlock skins or outfits for each Hero. These skins can be seen not only during gameplay but in the cutscenes as well. The attention to detail is impressive. Everything from the facial expressions & broken crates to the nuts, bolts, explosions & creature features, all of it was smooth. The weapon commercials are funny, but have an almost comic book like look to them. For what it adds to the game, I feel it's very appropriate.
The music & audio voice acting are solid experiences. Nothing stood out as truly amazing, but nothing grates the nerves either. The sound effects are on par for the series. I've always enjoyed video game sound effects like explosions, the metallic ringing as you collect the bolts and even the sound of your spaceship's engines.
Gameplay in All 4 One is pretty much similar to previous installments. At it's heart Ratchet & Clank is an Adventure Platformer game. All 4 One introduces us to a few new strange & bizarre weapons and gadgets, like Qwarks' Quantum Deflector, Nefarious's Cloaker, the Warmonger, the Critter Strike and the Darkstar Fission Tether.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is a somewhat welcome change in direction for one of Sony's most popular franchises. Where previous installments were single player campaigns, All 4 One has co-op gameplay. Offline and Online. In a gaming world where multi-player dominates the landscape, few games actually offer co-op gameplay. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One allows for up to 4 players. You can host a game, invite friends, join your friends or game with random gamers. You can play as Qwark, Ratchet, Clank or Doctor Nefarious. Each has a unique item to use during game play, but otherwise they all play the same. One advantage to co-op is the ability to combine weapons fire on a single target for bonus damage and co-op points.
While co-op can be fun with your friends, or a good group, there are a few drawbacks. The camera angle is fixed making it somewhat difficult to look around, explore or go back especially if people are trying to go in different directions. This can often lead to cheap deaths. If you aren't playing with a mic of some kind it can also be quite frustrating as you have no way of telling your team mates that you need to get that Nanotech just off the edge of the screen or even the Hero Bolt you need as well. Bolts, the galactic currency in the R&C universe are on a first come, first served basis. This can be a problem as often it can take a while to gather enough bolts to buy or upgrade weapons. Sometimes you might end up doing most of the killing while someone else is collecting all the bolts or creatures. As you finish each stage, your adventure is rated. Who died the most, who collected the most bolts, creatures, killed the most enemies and your co-op actions. 'Winning' can net you a few extra bolts and minor 'awards' which is kind of neat, unless you're the one staring at the Noob Award (had the most deaths.)
One other aspect of All 4 One that is different is that whether you're playing solo or co-op, you have to select your starting planet, area, difficulty and character each time you begin the game.
Overall I feel that Ratchet & Clank All 4 One is a solid gaming experience. If you have someone to play with, the game is even better. Obviously some of the minor flaws can be frustrating, but not game breaking. The story is good, the gameplay is solid, the cheeky humor is great, it's a beautiful game. A very good game that I feel most gamers would enjoy.
Presentation: 8/10 Overall I feel that Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is a solid, well designed game. Throughout my gameplay I had a few moments here or there where I was a little miffed, usually during co-op, but still a very well done game. Especially given that this was the first co-op experience for Ratchet & Clank.
Graphics: 9/10 As previously mentioned the game looks very good. It may not be realistic like Metal Gear Solid or God of War, but it's still a very beautiful game. I have yet to be disappointed in anything I've seen graphically in the game. The scenery is gorgeous. The unlockable skins are hysterical.
Sound: 8/10 A solid experience. Music is good, sound effects are great and most importantly, the voice acting doesn't make you want to mute the game.
Gameplay: 8/10 Gameplay is geared towards a co-op experience, which as stated before can be both a fun experience and an annoying one as well. If you must experience the co-op, I suggest you use the mic and play with friends. As far as the solo experience goes, it's still fun, but you won't walk away feeling it was a Great experience.
Composite Score: 8.25/10
Great job mate. Not sure if I should get this one as I don't know if I really care for the 4 player coop malarkey. I more care for the classic epic story! Perhaps now that they are making a Jak HD collection perhaps they will finally follow suit and make the Ratchet HD collection that we have been whining about for ages now. I will probably give this one a try anyway's as I have not missed a single opportunity to play any Ratchet game so why start now?