A Platformer Fan’s Cooperative Dream Come True - Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One - PlayStation 3 - www.GameInformer.com
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Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

A Platformer Fan’s Cooperative Dream Come True

The Ratchet & Clank series has an almost magnetic charm to it. Mixing the graphical polish and wit of a Pixar film with compelling gameplay is a combination that has worked well for Insomiac’s platformer. Play any Ratchet & Clank game around friends and you’re sure to draw a crowd. Until now, enthusiastic onlookers have only been able to do just that – look. Not anymore. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One finally lets you and three others simultaneously jump into the roles of a Lombax, two robots, and a dubious super hero. I recently had a chance to get my hands on this 4-player cooperative platformer at a Sony press event in Hollywood, CA and came away impressed.

Insomniac started off by catching us up on the story. All 4 One picks up right where the comic series and Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time left off – with President Qwark readying an acceptance speech for an award he didn’t earn as Ratchet and Clank tag along to make sure nothing goes wrong. Naturally, the ceremony goes awry instantly. Dr. Nefarious crashes the scene by freeing a deadly beast from stasis. The exotic monster attracts the attention of a creature collector named Ephemeris, who hastily captures Ratchet and his crew. They four characters are eventually released on planet Magnus, the world Ephemeris has been unloading his prized critters. This is the point the four protagonists realize they must band together.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One allows up to four players to put their heads together either online or on the couch. My time with the game was packed with co-op moments like none I’ve ever performed. Players use tethers to cling to one another for dear life, resulting in awesome chasm-leaping moments and near-death fall recoveries. Sucking friends into a vacuum and launching them to otherwise unreachable heights is also a great time, as is totally abusing this power and launching allies off cliffs. One of the game’s most unusual cooperative features is a four-man raft which requires players to steer the floatation down perilous rapids.  Communication is key in ensuring that each of the four propellers is powered at the correct time. One lapse in teamwork can cause catastrophic failure.

Insomniac’s signature weapons return here, my favorite being the Dark Star Fission rifle. When activated by all four players, this weapon creates a tether which greatly damages foes enveloped within it. The Arc Blaster adds a unique gameplay twist by allowing on player to put an enemy in stasis while another either attacks or revives a fallen comrade. Each character will have a unique ability as well. Ratchet sports a Decoy Gun to distract and attack foes, while Clank has a Time Bomb which slows down time and buys time for downed allies.

Later in the game Ratchet and friends commandeer a gigantic robot called a Guardian. Manning four turrets, the quartet lumbers through a valley in an on-rails shooting segment. This section is more than a shooting gallery, as an opposing Guardian shows up to give the heroes a run for their bolts. All four players must focus fire on the Guardian’s weak points as he winds up to attack, with generous slow motion aiding the process. Each step, punch, and leap these metallic titans take conveys a real sense of size and weight. I’m looking forward to seeing what other cinematic moments the game has to offer.

At this point in development Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is looking terrific. This title has all the polish and story-driven content fans have come to know and love, with the added bonus of letting you bring friends along for the ride (don’t worry, the game can still be played solo). This new installment doesn’t arrive until this Fall, so there is still plenty more to learn from Insomniac about this ambitious title.

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Comments
  • Unlike most people I think the co-op in here is for the better.
  • I usually prefer playing ratchet and clank games solo, but the more I look into this one the more I'm looking forward to playing it. That and my sister is also a big fan of the series so it gives us a game to play when I'm home over Christmas break.

  • Looks fine, but I would prefer a traditional R&C game.

  • Huge fan of the R&C series. Loving this one so far.

    &btw, the tweet option has over 140 characters. Just sayin.

  • This looks fun. My only concern after watching the video is if the game can hold up single player. It looks like it will only be fun with a group.
  • "The Ratchet & Clank series has an almost magnetic charm to it."

    Like the magnetism of bolts? :)

    This preview is a lot different than IGN's. Looks like A4O will be a little polarizing.

    Oh well, it still looks good to me.

  • I am super exicted for this game. I love the Ratchet and Clank series so much! Now my only question is: is this for the move or can it be played with the standard controllers?
  • I like how this is looking, but I hope they still plan to do single player Ratchet and Clanks in the future.

  • I can't wait for this game. With this new generation of consoles, I fear this type of game genre is all but dead. The two Ratchet and Clank adventures on the PS3 are some of the best games of this generation, and I am so thrilled that Insomniac is still making them, even though people largely ignore them. If you are looking for a break from shooting things all day long in boring linear first person shooters, go out and buy the two Ratchet and Clank Future games for the PS3. You will NOT be disappointed by how fun they are.
  • I love this game(PERIOD)

  • One player with a weapon from the R&C universe is enough to wreak havoc... four is gonna be pretty intense

  • i like the game without multiplayer but definatly going to give the co-op a try and see how they made it.

  • Cool, I'm always excited for more co-op.

  • IGN's article on this earlier today was entitled "Not impressed (yet)"  Very strange.  Personally I hate co-op and I have never heard anyone ever say "Ratchet and Clank needs co-op."  as the creators have been saying.

  • can't wait

  • I kind of wish the co-op was more splitscreen/behind the back third person stuff. But I'm still uber excited. It looks great! I am confused as to whether or not this is a full on $60 retail game OR a PSN downloadable adventure (I saw a trailer that flashed the PSN symbol and my heart stopped. I would much rather have a full on adventure than 4 hours for 15 dollars).

  • Weird, IGN had the almost opposite reaction to this game, they didn't seem to think it would be very good from what they had played.

    Guess we'll see once it's released.

  • Man, you really have to give it up to Insomniac's art team. This game looks FANTASTIC.

  • Is this one another downloadable? Sorry for the ignorant question.

  • This looks cool. I love this series and so does my wife so we should have lots of fun with this....

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