Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault Impressions
So Insomniac announced a new Ratchet & Clank game and I was thrilled, they said it would be a sort of Tower Defense game and I was crestfallen. Tower Defense? Really? To say I was skeptical would be a massive understatement. What I’ve seen however, has made me a believer.
Full Frontal Assault is still a Ratchet & Clank game at it’s core. You still have the variety of fun and wacky weapons at your disposal, Groovitron anyone? The story goes something like this, you’ll be heading down to three different planets to fight off the Grungarian Marauders, a nasty bunch of mercenaries that Quark has employed in the past. Weapon pods have been dropped from orbit beforehand, but due to a glitch, they’ve dropped all over the place and malfunctioned. You have a base with two entrances that you’ll need to protect. Between waves of enemies attacking, you’ll have time to explore the surrounding area, looking for bolts, weapon pods and enemies.
Finding weapons is critical for defending your base. You’ll pick them up on the battlefield or collect them from weapon pods. The pods are interesting in that unlocking them gives you a choice between three random weapons. Strategy comes into play here as you may never see these weapons again. You really have to choose carefully, balancing what weapon you’re most comfortable with and what might be the best choice to defend you base in later levels.
Like all Ratchet & Clank games, you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons through use, and you’ll be using them a lot. You can set up defenses with turrets along either of the two ‘lanes’ into your base. When enemies begin attacking, you’ll see two lanes side by side on the right side of your screen glowing to alert you as to where the next wave of enemies is coming from. I saw a setup with flame turrets and mines that slow time. You’ll find that some enemies target the defenses specifically, forcing you to deal with them first, while others are just marching towards the entrance to your base.
You have a weak barricade over the entrance to slow enemies down that get that far along with a last ditch weapon I saw triggered. It turned all nearby enemies into sheep that fart fire. I was told that they probably wouldn’t be sheep by the time the game ships this Fall but they’d be something funny that will fit right into the Ratchet & Clank universe.
The gameplay looks fast and frantic at times and always felt like good old Ratchet & Clank from what I saw. Along with the Grungarian Marauders, there will be appearances by a few enemies from past games which should make fans very happy. You play as Ratchet, Clank or Quark in any number of modes, earning medals, armor and perks. There’s a single player campaign, local co-op or competitive with 2 player split screen, and even online co-op and competitive. The campaign will be roughly Quest For Booty size across three planets. With the randomized weapons and all the upgrades available, it’s designed for multiple playthroughs so it should definitely keep people busy.
Everything I saw got me completely turned around on this game and I’m now really looking forward to it. It felt much more like a Ratchet & Clank game than a straight tower defense game which made a huge difference for me. Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault will release this Fall exclusively on the PlayStation Network.