Ratchet and Clank QForce – Review

A review of Ratchet and Clank QForce I wrote for the website www.square-go.com

Did you know that Ratchet and Clank have been around for ten years? Do you remember Ratchet and Clank? For a while it seemed like they were one of the main mascots of the Sony consoles, one of the first franchises to move to download releases and all the time their games were good. Never really Earth shatteringly amazing but good. So what do we get for their ten year celebration? Ratchet and Clank: Q-Force. A tower defence game. Hmmm.

Ratchet and Clank games are built around the same things; shooting bad guys, the odd simple puzzle and fairly straightforward platforming. Ratchet and Clank: Q-Force follows in these footsteps but then throws in a twist; in this game you have a base which you have to protect from enemy invasion. So you run around the normal platforming levels shooting and jumping then every now and then need to defend your base. It’s no where near as complex as a pure Tower Defence game but gives you enough options to keep you thinking.

Naturally, this being a Ratchet game, you can buy lots of weapons to put around your base. You can repair it’s generators between attacks (which is a good idea as when they all get blown up you lose) and then once everything is ready then off you go exploring. It fits well within the tower defence genre but mixes things up with the platformer side of the game so, when it works best, it gives you the best of both worlds.

It’s all very nice.

Nice. Not a great word but that about sums up this game. There’s nothing really bad about it; it has the usual slick production values of a Ratchet game, the controls are as good as ever. The shooting feels as great as ever, the weapons varied and interesting. It’s all very…nice.

That’s the problem as Q-Force never really does anything to be better than that. It feels like a stop gap, something released in between the proper games. The lack of any real story hammers this home, leaving the game feeling like a collection of levels without too much tying it together.

That’s not to say that it isn’t worth playing; Ratchet games are always at the very least enjoyable games. The whole thing works well, including the online multiplayer which feels a bit more fun that the single player mode. This is mainly because playing against the computer feels just like that; playing against a computer. Playing against a real person is always better and that helps elevate Q-Force from nice to fun.

So after all that its a bit tricky to say who this is really aimed at; it’s not a pure proper Ratchet game so it’s not really for the fans of the franchise but then it’s not Tower Defence-ey enough for the fans of that genre.

In a nutshell; Q-Force is a decent, nice little game that’ll keep you occupied for a while but nothing that will be blowing your mind. But then it’s cheap and you get a PlayStation Vita version thrown in for free. Can’t be bad, right?

Three stars out of five

Originally published January 8th 2013

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