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Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest For Booty Review

August 22, 2008

The Ratchet & Clank series has always been one of the best platformers around since Insomniac Games created it in 2002. Quest for Booty is the series’ first foray into the downloadable world so how does it hold up?

Story

Quest for Booty takes place a little while after Tools of Destruction. It follows Ratchet and his new ally Talwyn on a journey to locate the Zoni. The Zoni are mysterious creatures that can control time and space who after helping Clank during Tools, kidnap him a the end. With the help of a pirate named Rusty Pete, Ratchet sets out on a journey to find Captain Darkwater, the only person with clues to find the Zoni.

The story is told over a cartoonish map with Rustey Pete narrating throughout these segments. The story does have a number of cutscenes outside of these cartoonish map but nowhere near the amount that Tools of Destruction had. The game gives a hint (More like hits you over the head) with the fact that an old nemesis will return for the 2009 sequel.
Gameplay

Quest for Booty plays like a dumbdowned version of the previous games. The shooting focus that the games generally had is replaced by a platforming focus, which is due to the length of the game being shorter than the previous titles. I have no real qualms with the switched focus, in fact there are some nifty new additions that really shows how the series is evolving. For instance Ratchet’s wrench now has a kinetic tether ability that adds new puzzle elements to the standard platforming fare. The only weird thing is that this game doesn’t take place too far ahead of Tools of Destruction and it seems that this tether is now standard for Ratchet so there’s no big “Hey can you make my wrench better” scene or anything, it’s just there for you to use. The other new addition is the ability to grab certain objects. Ratchet can pick up fire balls to use as weapons as well as these small little creatures that light up the dark called Heliogrubs.

Now that the new features are out of the way its time for the things that were taken out. Skill points, extras and new skins are all out. Even challenge mode doesn’t appear which has been a staple in the series since the start. What kind of fixes this new dilemma is the addition of difficulties. Now fans of the series might be asking, how can you have all that weapon depth and stuff from the series if its so short? Well you can’t, and that’s a big problem.

There are a handful of weapons in the game that all came from Tools of Destruction. You start with most of them at a higher level than you’d normally start off with but you’ll loose them soon enough. When you do get them back they are still at the higher level and it will be farely quick to max them out. The weapon modification tree from Tools is now gone so there’s no modifications to be made other than finding random upgrades lying around the world. This is a big blow for the gameplay department but it doesn’t take away the fun that the core has.
Graphics/Audio

Like always Ratchet looks and sounds great. Quest for Booty uses the Tools of Destruction Engine and this is probably the best looking downloadable game to date because of it. The music and voice acting is, as always top notch but the loose of Clank makes things feel a bit weird. The dialogue is still Witty and funny and full of the humor series vets have come to love.

Conclusion

Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is a short game clocking in around 4 hours, about 1/3 of the time Tools of Destruction took to beat on the first playthrough. At a price of $15 its a little steep but the game is great fun and like the developers intended, will be a great stepping stone for new comers of the series. Even with the lack of weapon variety (the groovatron isn’t in here!) and the lack of weapon evolution the game is still extremely solid and worth a look at.

Great

Great

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