Ratchet & Clank Q Force (known as Full Frontal Assault in the U.S.), the latest adventure for the dynamic duo, is a great addition to the franchise. Captain Quark, the self-proclaimed hero who is actually a coward, has assembled the Lombax Ratchet and Clank the robot to form the Q Force organisation, tasked with protecting the planets of the galaxy.
Gameplay is a fresh take on the usual Ratchet & Clank formula but still retains classic platforming elements and the gadgets the series is accustomed to. Tower defense takes prominence in this game and has players defending a base while simultaneously trying to knock out enemy nodes. After knocking out enemy nodes, players then activate each intergalactic planetary defense system. Waves of enemies will regularly attack your base with increasing difficulty. To deal with these threats the game offers a ton of options ranging from placing turrets, mines or walls. Using them effectively is key to success. Various versions from Grooveitron mines to Flamethrower Turrets are available giving you a ton of customization options in defending your base. You won’t have firepower either, instead you’ll have to collect them around the battlefield whilst defending your base at the same time.
Single Player takes around six hours to completes and lasts over five levels set on three different planets. Each planet becomes more difficult due to the increase of enemies and nodes to capture. However, younger gamers may find the later levels quite tough due to the seismic jump in difficulty. For £15 though, you defiantly get your money’s worth as the game also boasts a ton of replay value in beating times set by developers and collecting the infamous gold bolts hidden throughout the levels. There are also tons of unlockables, including concept art, color filters, and various options such as big head mode, unlimited ammo, and big weapons. These can be unlocked by achieving skill points which can be unlocked by completing certain objectives such as finishing levels with all generators surviving and hovering a certain distance.
Storyline takes a backseat in this game. It follows the exploits of Captain Qwark and his past. However, the cut scenes still boast the classic humor of past Ratchet titles and retains all the original voice actors. Fans are also treated to a returning character from Captain Qwark’s past who will be the Main Antagonist of the game.
Soundtrack is your usual affair with vibrant songs and various space themes running throughout the game. Although nothing is really memorable compared to previous soundtracks. Voice Acting is superb again with all the actors returning; the trademark banter between the three main characters is strong as ever.
Q Force runs smoothly with hardly any screen tearing, which is impressive with the amount of objects, weapons and enemies it can sustain on screen at one time. Environments are full of color and vivid textures, with each planet radically different to the previous. Players use the shoulder buttons for controlling weapons and the face buttons for performing actions such as jumping and attacks.
Enemies are varied and really shake up the gameplay. I noticed that by tackling bigger enemies first the smaller enemies can make your defense crumble, so you have to play it tactically, placing down the right combination of defenses and attacking certain enemies at the right time.
Controls are very responsive being familiar to previous titles and easy to learn for younger ones. The camera is also easy to use and can be operated remotely, which worked perfectly with no noticeable flaws.
Ratchet and Clank Q Force boasts coop offline and online modes for two players. The game really excels in coop as more tactical options come into play as you work together in protecting your base. Coop, just like multiplayer, runs smoothly and connection times are very quick.
Each player also has their own hero profile which gives you stats on campaign and Q Force Rank, as well your favorite weapons and defenses. The game also features a cross save ability which allows players to transfer saves from the vita version of the game with the PS3 version. Each player also has their own hero profile, which gives you stats on campaign and Q Force Rank, as well your favorite weapons and defenses. The game also features a cross save ability, which allows players to transfer saves from the PS Vita version (yet to be released) with the PS3 version.
Multiplayer matches consist of three phases: Scouting, Squad and Assault. Scouting requires you to capture nodes to increase your bolts, allowing you to purchase more defenses making this the most vital stage. In the Squad Phase you get to purchase units and place them anywhere you like within you base. Finally, in Assault both teams must attack each other’s base while defending their own. Three maps are available for you to dominate and features ranked and custom 2v2 or 1v1 arena matches. Players can choose from a selection of eight characters to play as from previous incarnations of the series.
Overall Ratchet & Clank Q Force is a worthy addition to the franchise, offering an engrossing gameplay experience and plenty of replay value. This is a must buy for any fans of the series, however, the game does have minor issues, such as a dull soundtrack and repetitive gameplay.