Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One

   This title can be both bothersome and amusing. It's like a poorly done Little Big Planet 3 where sack boys are given guns and brains the size of marbles, yet it also captures that same multiplayer beauty that was present in the LBP franchise.

   Almost like a form of counseling, I want to tell you about my love-hate relationship with this game, but also the reasons why I'd buy it all over again. This is a review without the numbers. You make up your mind on that.

Important Disclaimer: This is not a Ratchet game

   I know that might sound like a weird thing to say, but if you're going to judge this on how well it resembles the other Ratchet games, you're not going to like it very much. Judge it as a goofy multiplayer game that has the same characters and weapon ideas as the Ratchet games and I guarantee you won't be holding it so high up on a pedestal and just waiting to see it fall.

Story

   Wait, this game had a story? I couldn't tell you why exactly we were barreling down various levels, sprinting from oversized monsters only to run into more that seemed bent on killing us, but this was a fun game nonetheless. If you're looking for a game with a good story, you shouldn't have been looking at a multiplayer-centered game in the first place. That being said, the most disappointing feature was not being able to skip the pesky cut scenes that were so hard to follow in the first place.

Guns

   Anyone who has played a Ratchet title will feel right at home with the arsenal provided in this game. The same combination of random awesomeness and traditional weapons fuses for a trigger-happy experience. You have the traditional blaster-type gun, whip, bombing device, rocket launcher and more with their own flair for the deadly. However, it was very difficult to purchase every weapon and an upgrade was seldom at best due to the constant bolt competition. Also, if everyone used the same gun at the same time against the same enemy, a special explosive perk would finish the bad guy off. Due to the fact that everyone had their own fighting style and particular set of weapons they used, the killer perks for 95% of the weapons were never discovered.

Character

   The choice between characters is more of a superficial choice than a stats choice. Only once over the course of the game were we given a weapon that was unique to one of the characters. It was our special ability, but I can't say it was used more than any other weapon. The plan from the developers was for each of us to use our unique item to turn the tide of battle. Not only was it never needed, but it was never the first thought on anyone's mind (I know my thought was switching to the rocket launcher).

Leveling System

   It exists! And that is pretty much all I can tell you about them. You don't get experience points, and everyone levels at a different pace (so it couldn't be by map), so I could not honestly tell you how you level. I could also not tell you why, for I saw no real change in combat ability. One thing I did notice was that I was the highest level in my party and had the most outfits to choose from...

Camera Angle

   Even though this game is multiplayer, it is not split screen. This leaves the only other option as sharing the same screen. As anyone who has encountered this experience before would understand, sharing a screen leads to one person always holding up the group and causing problems for those up ahead. It is also really hard to explore the corner reaches of platforms or areas unless each character is within an arm's length apart. The best strategy is just to ignore all the extra pickups and race through the level at the pace that everyone else wishes to go.

Comedic Value

   In a multiplayer-centered title, you know there are going to be some elements that are lacking. That being said, I fully expect there to be other elements that make up for it. One of those raised elements was the comedic value. The lines in this game did nothing short of entertain me fully and give me quite a few chuckles along the way. After we infiltrated some base for some reason, we got on the good side of the computer that ran the place. But after that computer realized our deception, she reminded us of the gold stars she gave us, took them all away, and then made the snide remark to try "sticking that on our fridge." That's all this game is, really, just a goofy experience to have with your friends.

Choice of Teammates

   By choice, I mean playing either online or locally. I played this game with two groups of friends. The first was my experienced gamers group of friends who understood controller mechanics and typically how games work as far as weapon set-up went and how to interact with different objects. With this group, picking up the game was easy and we were able to mess around with it and (generally) have a good time with such a light-core game. The second group I played with were people who would feel more at home with games that debuted in the 80s. With this group of people, who I thought would easily pick up the easy game, the game ended up being a terribly frustrating experience as one person would be holding up the group 99% of the time or I'd have to constantly be explaining controllers to them. In these two senses, even though the game is easy, I still would not recommend it to people who aren't used to playing games. That being said, just be careful of who you run into online in terms of good teammates. If you run into an 8-year-old noob, you will be running into more frustration than entertaining hijinks.

Enemies

   There was only one section that we had to keep replaying over and over and over and over until we finally defeated all the enemies. The spawn rate and lack of ammo refills made it nearly impossible, and I believe the developer may have made this section a little too difficult. Other than that, any other death that occurred from the enemies was clearly our fault. There was also a wide enough variety to keep us entertained throughout the levels. The enemies that you can eliminate with just your wrench, the heavily armored foes that hide behind cover, the enemies that explode on a timer, the ones with blades attached to their bodies, the ones that spit fire or ice and any other classic combination you can think of was there. Despite the variance, destroying them was as easy as locking on and holding down the shoot button until they died.

Bosses

   Similar to the enemies, there is a variation of how the boss attacks you or when you should hit him; sometimes there is even a puzzle thrown in there to trigger the boss's vulnerability, but that doesn't change how easy it is to kill them. The trick to killing each and every boss is simply to hold down the shoot button while avoiding being hit by whatever he is throwing at you by strafing or jumping. Really, they just resemble a normal enemy with more health.

Cooperation Factor

   Obviously, a lot of the tasks throughout the game will require you and your buds to work together in order to solve the task. If you all fire at the same enemy, your rate of fire will increase and thus you will cause more damage faster. In order to get across some gaps, you need to launch one person over. Sometimes, across those gaps one person will need to get an object, send it over to the others, and then find a way back over. Other tasks only activate once all players are tapped into mechanism with the goal being simply to pull a level with your combined weight. Most times each of you will have to pull a piece of the puzzle into place. When it's all said and done, most of these tasks are mindless and don't really give you a sense that you just worked together to accomplish a goal.

Un-cooperation Factor

   I don't know how many times greed influenced the outcome of a map. Being four distinct players who each wanted to buy the latest advertised gun as well as all its upgrades, the battle for bolts is one that often distracted from the mission at hand. As soon as you'd enter a new stage, each of us would be sprinting off in a different direction (or sometimes the same) in order to snag bolts at the expense of leaving someone behind to die. You get points for killing enemies, so having to stop to revive one of your allies gives your other teammates/competition a few extra kills while you are trying to be the good Samaritan. Sometimes your so-called teammate would purposely mess up the challenge for the rest so you would have to redo it. Contrary to their opinion, it was annoying, not funny. Also, while having to suck up your teammate to shoot them across the gap, it was almost too easy just to turn and shoot them off the edge for some giggles. While this often created a little unrest between us, it was also one of the most fun aspects of the game.

Puzzles

   Nothing that the Insomniac team threw at you could be considered Zelda-worthy puzzles. Oftentimes they were just annoying and offered no real satisfactory grin when they were solved, like "Man! That was a hard but fair puzzle." Mostly, the response you'd hear would be more like "WHY WON'T THE #$%& NODE MATCH UP WITH THE @#^# SLOT." They were annoying, but mostly easy.

Healing

   I mentioned how if you lose all your nanotech in battle then you have the ability to be revived by your teammate. However, we found something interesting that either did or did not happen. I know, ambiguous. You have 10 seconds to heal a teammate before they die. When this timer ran to zero, a debilitating electrical blast swept out from their body and killed everyone. That was both weird and led me to wish they would have just died and not had the chance for revival. Rarely, you would hit zero and nothing would happen, but it was so rare I'd chalk it up to a glitch.

Poor Controller Layout

   For many of the puzzles, players had to click in to start it, but this same button used for clicking in also had about 10 other assignments. Thus, making the game pick which use of the triangle button you wanted it to perform got more than frustrating. This is but a minor detail for those of us who are really picky. I have to say gun selection was also very complicated, leading to a less-than-smooth interface that led to too many deaths because I was tangled up in the gun selecting systems while enemies could shoot me at will. Only if all players decided to switch their guns at the same time would the game pause for them to do so.

Glitches

   Fortunately, this was not a huge part of the game, but a few times you would try to jump over an enemy and get stuck in a loop on their head. Other times an enemy would not die no matter how much lead you pumped into them. Cut scenes were another particularly gruesome experience for the fact that the game would freeze up for a good 5-15 seconds when a cut scene was about to come on. Sometimes this even led to a complete freeze and we had to restart the level.

Summary

   This game provided the many cartoonish thrills that you would expect from a multiplayer-centered title. The frustrating elements were not enough to take away from the several hours of pure entertainment I got out of this game. The title is not flawless, and the mechanics are not solid, but you won't regret buying this if you need a break from the countless hours you pour into Skyrim.

Comments
  • Really cool review, I'll put this on the GIO Community Twitter (@GIOcommunity) This is the first review to be put on there as well! Great review, very interesting!