PS3 Previews: Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault Preview

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Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Fall 2012

Publisher:

SCEA

Developer:

Insomniac Games

Number Of Players:

1-4

Genre:

Action/Strategy

Release Date:

November 27, 2012

Ratchet & Clank is an iconic franchise. But like all long-running franchises, it must eventually seek to reinvent itself, hopefully without abandoning too much of what made it great in the first place. I felt like All 4 One, despite the solid concept behind it, was too much of a departure from the classic style and gameplay. Now, while I have similar feelings about the new Full Frontal Assault (this series was never meant to be about tower defense, in my opinion), I have to say that the latest effort from Insomniac retains much of that old R&C flair fans enjoy.

First of all, the basic mechanics have returned (without the ability to crouch, it seems). We return to the traditional camera view and Ratchet can once again jump, attack, and execute a standard combination attack with your trusty wrench. That was a pleasant sight when I first started playing the beta, let me tell you. But you’re immediately introduced to the new tower defense element, a gameplay mechanic that has never interested me. That being said, Insomniac has done this well; they make the action both strategic and accessible, and a lot of the action still feels like R&C.

It helps a great deal that the beta offers some explanation via tutorial, because I’m a novice when it comes to this type of thing. But before long, I was zipping about, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and thinking, “gee, you know…tower defense ain’t so bad.” There are three rounds through which a standard match progresses and it all starts with Recon. In this Phase, you have to capture various Nodes while raking in the familiar bolts for the sake of purchasing and upgrading weapons. As I explored and attacked enemies that showed up to defend the Nodes, I realized that I had access to a nifty pair of Hover Boots; holding R2 sends me sliding around at top speed. Cool.

Anyway, after taking out my first base (which involved a little mini game that was simple enough), I entered the Squad mode, and that’s where you bring in NPC assistance to help you play defense; the Main Camp features a bunch of different generators that you must protect. The more bolts you spend, the more allies you’ll have to help; I spent a lot because I find protection in such games to be intensely annoying, but some tower defense veterans may approach the situation differently. So yeah, I had quite a few mines and turrets and at one point, I even splurged and purchased the crazy expensive Grungarian Tank. It was worth the expense.

Finally, you’ve got the Assault phase, where it’s your turn to attack the enemy. Any NPCs you picked up during the Squad section show up in dropships to help you out, and that’s a tremendous boost (and also entices you to spend bolts more liberally). If you can get into your foe’s Main Camp and take out all their generators, the match is over and you’ve won. That’s also where the tutorial ends, by the way. Obviously, this game will be best played with friends, as the final product will support vigorous competitive play. The beta only let you try two-on-two but I’m assuming the game will support more players when it arrives later this fall.

Also, don’t forget that Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault will have a story mode, which I didn’t really get to see playing this beta. It seems clear that the multiplayer aspects will take center-stage, though, so bear that in mind when Insomniac’s new title lands on the PSN. Oh, and don’t forget that it’ll support cross-play with the PlayStation Vita!

9/11/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (10 posts)

frylock25
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 1:27:43 AM
Reply

i look forward to this game. i love ratchet and clank.

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 1:43:49 AM
Reply

Personally I like the Ratchet and Clank Q Force name better, not sure why SCEA is sadling the poor thing with "Full Frontal Assault". Perhaps Q Force lacked that "I'm gonna kill you so dead with my MP15" gravitas that American gamers so obviously adore.

The gameplay looked like a development of some of the areas in the more recent R&C games where you had static defenses and gun emplacements to use against an onslaught of enemies.

Love the whole cross play thing. I can't help wondering why we're not getting a 540p rendition of the R&C classics for Vita though...

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Shams
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 10:12:25 AM

R&C titling has traditionally been coyly ambiguous (ie "Going Commando", "Quest 4 Booty"), so my guess "Full Frontal Assault" was their first choice, but Sony decided on more sensitive naming in light of the recent publicity of gun crimes in NA (Trayvon Martin, batman movie massacre, Sikh Temple massacre, etc...).

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 11:29:56 AM

That's the thing though Shams, the name in the US is Full Frontal Assault, where as it's Q Force in the EU and elsewhere. If they're being sensitive with the naming, wouldn't they make it Q Force here too?

Q-Force being a reference to a previous game in any case since it was Quark's name for his imagined group of heros with him leading Ratchet at al...

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Shams
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 12:55:36 PM

Whoa, I got it backwards, then. I thought it was q-force here, and ffa, everywhere else. Bumdinger. I see what you mean, Highlander.

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SonyPuppy
Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 6:10:20 PM

I once asked Insomniac why we don't get the great innuendoish titles in the EU AU regions.

They replied with this: "That is actually our publisher’s decision to make, not ours. We believe it has to do with the fact that European rating standards consider our “risqué” comedic titles to be too inappropriate for children. We, however, think they’re hilarious. But at the end of the day it is not our choice, so the titles can get changed in Europe for that reason."

So that is why NA gets the cool original titles and we get the gimped weird ones that just never feel like they fit. And it's stupid to boot, as soon as you stick Locked and Loaded (Going Commando) into a console you get all the innuendo in the game itself.

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___________
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 5:49:41 AM
Reply

oh insomniac what have you done with my favorite franchise!?
i always said when they announced their going MP it would be the death of them, but they did not have to prove it to me!
ever since that fateful day there games have SUCKED!
i was so upset when i heard R&C ACIT would be the last R&C game, then i played it and started crying.
and you know what?
now i wish it WAS the last R&C game!
at least that way it would of gone out with its dignity, instead of being dug up from the grave, violated spat on and dragged through the mud!
insomniac has gone from my most beloved developer, to my most hated!
R.I.P my furry little lombax!

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sirbob6
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 7:26:16 PM

... The games was multiplayer back during the days of Up Your Arsenal

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___________
Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 7:04:00 AM

LOL!
multiplatform, not multiplayer.

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SonyPuppy
Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 6:12:35 PM
Reply

I played the Beta, and quite enjoyed it. It's still not exactly what I was hoping from the next R&C but I am overjoyed to see the right stick once again controls the camera and not the quick select.

I will watch both this and Fuse closely in the coming months, though this doesn't have to work as hard to win me over atm.

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