Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chamberlain and Chance on Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault.

In a shorter variation of our standard diatribes, Chamberlain and I taste-test and come to some quick conclusions on Insomniac's latest Ratchet & Clank exercise.  When it was announced that Insomniac would be going multiplatform (after a decade of development exclusively for Sony platforms), fans of the spirited lombax and his sage robot companion were horrified at the prospect of never again exploring strange new worlds, meeting strange alien species, and killing them.

Is Full Frontal Assault a return to form for the series, or another disappointing deviation like last year's rail-shooting co-op exercise All 4 One?  Read on...

CHAMBERLAIN : Are you going to play the new Ratchet and Clank episode?

CHANCE : I am but I have no idea when - Far Cry 3 drops tomorrow and that's definitely going to come first.  I'm not sure I'll have the money to pick up both :(

Oh, also, I loved that piece the other day about Spec Ops.

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CHANCE : Okay, so... I put about 45 minutes into Full Frontal Assault last night.

Is this a Ratchet & Clank MOBA?  'Cause that's what it feels like. And that does not make me happy.


I hadn't had a chance to start it yet. Why would they do that?

Maybe I'll give that a pass and finally buy the Walking Dead games.

CHANCE : Well... they said it was sort-of tower defense, and it's also definitely that - but after playing Awesomenauts earlier in the year, the pieces are all here.  There's mobs to kill and money for upgrading yourself and your base, and enemy waves come at your base, and you begin every round without any of your weapons.

CHAMBERLAIN : The game you just described does not sound like ratchet and clank.

CHANCE : Wacky enemies, a lombax, colorful worlds, cool music... but the controls are very standard-third-person-shooter.  You can't run in circles spamming the pyroblaster any more, you have to hold down the aim button and spin the camera to do it.

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CHAMBERLAIN : I just played about 10 minutes of Full Frontal Assault and I never want to see it again. It has made me physically ill.

CHANCE : Mmhm.  It's not quite as bad as this - but it almost feels like a different game that's got an R&C skin.

CHAMBERLAIN : I just don't like mobas (or whatever the genre is called) to begin with. Seeing it forced on to a Ratchet and Clank game hurts.

CHANCE : I totally agree - but I find myself thinking back to the reviews A Crack In Time got when it came out.  Everyone (myself included) said that it was another excellent R&C game, but just another excellent R&C game.  Like, every single review. 

I'd bet Insomniac looked at all the criticisms of ACiT and said to themselves "well, people obviously want us to take Ratchet & Clank in new and exciting directions" - which is why we got All 4 One and now this.

And that's why Full Frontal Assault makes me want to cry like I just lost a childhood friend. 

'Cause I kinda' did.  Perhaps, one day, Insomniac (or another developer) will pick the franchise back up and return it to the days when a spritely, bouncy little fellow tooled his independent way around crazy alien worlds while nodding his head to a trippy-hip space-bop soundtrack with a growing arsenal of increasingly ridiculous weapons... 

But that day is not today.

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