Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One Review

Paul Goodman | 5 Nov 2011 09:00
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Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One opens up with galactic heroes Ratchet and Clank finally hoping to retire after years of adventuring and yet again defeating long-time foe Dr. Nefarious. After foiling an assassination attempt by Nefarious against Galactic President Qwark, a Zapp Brannigan-esque superhero in green tights, all four are are abducted by a gigantic robot ship called Ephemeris and then dumped on the planet Magnus. Turns out a new villain called The Master has been collecting the universe's most deadly creatures and is wreaking havoc on Magnus' surface in preparation of (what else?) his own quest for galactic domination. Now it's up to the former enemies to crush The Master's robot armies, save the day and try not to kill each other in the process.

As an action-adventure game, All 4 One is chockfull of humor, great gameplay and fantastic visuals. You'll be jumping through the highly detailed robot factory innards of Ephemeris, the rock and jungle environments of Magnus' surface and beyond while smashing and blasting anything that dares get in your way, be it fire-breathing robots or giant alien squids.
While at its core All 4 One is a platformer, it also does a good job of mixing up the level design so you don't always have the simple task of getting from one point to the next in one piece. A particularly intense section of the Deadgrove chapter has you using jetpacks to carefully navigate a mining complex full of laser beams and giant rock-splitting blades, while later on you'll be frantically trying to guide a rubber raft through a sea-mine laden river. Boss and mini-boss fights punctuate each section, and there are so many new enemy types introduced throughout All 4 One's eleven chapters that any time things feel like they're getting repetitive, you just have to play another minute or two.

A whole arsenal of weapons and gizmos help in your battle against the Master's forces, though some of them definitely have been designed with the co-operative play in mind and may not see much use in single player. The Arc-Whip, for example, doesn't do a whole lot of hurt on its own but is great at stunning enemies for a minute while your colleagues lay into them with more damaging weapons, like the trusty Combuster or rocket-launching Warmonger.

Each of the four characters also brings his own unique device to the party. Series hero Ratchet, for example, has the "doppelbanger", which launches a robot decoy of himself that attracts enemy attention from everyone else on the team, which is useful when the game chucks a swarm of robots at you. Nefarious on the other hand, has a "cloaker", which turns him invisible and lets him sneak around undetected. It's pretty useful for getting past the one-shot kill beams of the sentry droids that show up mid-game, but it's also great for letting your teammates get targeted first, if you're feeling a little devious.

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