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A good tower defense diversion, but not the game Ratchet fans have been waiting for
on November 28, 2012
I am one of Insomniac's biggest fans (I even carved Ratchet and Clank jack o'lanterns for them a few years back), and RC is my favorite franchise of all time. Yet, I cannot rubber stamp any game with a lombax in it... and unfortunately, "Full Frontal Assault" (FFA) is a bit of a disappointment for this lifelong fan (although still enjoyable).
This game is fun, don't get me wrong. If you're an RC fan, it's well worth picking it up and checking it out. It's only $20, and the fact that you can play it on two consoles (PS3 AND Vita) makes it an incredible value. Qwark is here for his usual comic relief (and as a playable character!), and you just might love the different style of play, with its emphasis on turrets, mines, and resource management. If you're a tower defense fan, you should definitely check it out, as FFA provides a unique (and rather frantic) twist on the genre. But I do have some qualms with the title, which are as follows...
Admittedly, I can't be too harsh on FFA, since it was marketed as a tower defense game, and it only costs $20. Yet, this does not quite feel like an RC game... it's fun at times, but there is something off about it, and the running back and forth between my base to defend it creates a sense of anxiety that is completely at odds with the sense of wonderment and carefree exploration that RC games generally instill within me. Other things have been subtly altered as well, such as minor control button changes, and a slightly "fuzzy" graphical approach that does not look as sharp as the "Future" series (perhaps compromise was utilized to make it run on the Vita?). The story is minimal, and does not live up to the high standards established by previous RC entries.
Therefore, many RC fans, like me, will feel somewhat disappointed with FFA. As for gamers who are new to the series, I'm afraid that they might get the impression that FFA is what the RC series is typically like, and this is not accurate.
It's been three full years since RC fans have received the next installment in Ratchet and Clank's adventures ("A Crack in Time" was 2009). At best, we might get one next year, which would mean a minimum of four full years between titles. I'm not counting "All 4 One", because it was not a traditional RC game. Perhaps I was spoiled by the days of the PS2, when we were treated to a new, full fledged RC adventure every fall.
I truly hope that Insomniac gets back into supporting the RC adventures, and can give us new installments on a regular basis. I hope the lombax and robot don't go the way of other mascots, and simply release one spin off after the next. Insomniac has one of the greatest platforming formulas in the history of gaming, yet they seem to be reluctant to utilize it as of late, as they dabble in other projects. I can only hope they're working on something truly spectacular for next year... perhaps even a new RC adventure for the PS4... "IN-SOM-NI-AC we trust!"