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Review

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault Review

  • Game release: November 27, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault's one and only competitive multiplayer mode is an enjoyable blend of action and tactics.

by

Following in the footsteps of last year's All 4 One, Ratchet and Clank continue their foray into multiplayer-focused action with Full Frontal Assault. There isn't a whole lot to this game; it's narrow in scope and priced accordingly. Here, the focus is on competitive multiplayer, and the one and only such mode requires you to balance making tactical decisions with blasting lots of things to smithereens. These two elements form a fast-paced whole that rewards your reflexes and your smarts.

Playing Full Frontal Assault's competitive multiplayer either one-on-one or two-on-two, your goal is to destroy the six generators in your opponent's base while ensuring that at least one of your own generators survives. Play revolves through three phases--a node-capturing phase, a defense- and squad-purchasing phase, and an assault phase.

During the first phase, called recon, you zip across the map, enjoyably aided by rocket boosters on the soles of your boots. Nodes around the battlefield are guarded by meager defenses; by defeating those forces, you can claim the nodes as your own. Of course, during this time, your opponent is also racing to claim nodes, and may even try to take nodes that belong to you. Capturing nodes rewards you with weapons for your hero, and more importantly, each node you currently control pays out a steady stream of bolts over time.

Those bolts start coming in handy once the squad phase begins. During this phase, you can spend the bolts you've got coming in on base defenses--turrets, barriers, mines, and so on--and on forces that assault the enemy base. Do you pour all your bolts into trying to build a nigh-impregnable fortress? Do you go on the offensive, trying to overwhelm your opponent in the early stages? Or do you hedge your bets? During the first few rounds, your supply of bolts isn't great, but nodes gradually dish out more bolts as games progress, ensuring that battles escalate over time.

No more Mr. Nice Clank.

If your opponent secured more nodes than you during the previous recon phase, it's not easy to come back from a big bolt deficit, but it's not impossible, either. There's no rule that says you have to spend your entire squad phase in your base. You can't capture nodes during this time, but you can whittle away at the defenses on your opponent's nodes, making them quick and easy to take when the next recon phase begins and setting the stage for a possible comeback. While some battles are one-sided affairs that end in a quick and decisive victory, others have an exciting ebb and flow as players vie for dominance. There are enough tactical options available to you and your opponent to allow for a good deal of unpredictability and some sudden and surprising shifts in momentum.

The squad phase gives way to the assault phase, during which any squads you purchased assault the enemy base, and your base comes under attack from enemy forces. As before, you have a choice to make, and it can make a huge difference. Do you stick around and protect your generators, or put your considerable muscle into the assault on the enemy base? If your opponent's base is poorly guarded, your presence there can be the deciding factor in the battle. But if your defenses are inadequate to meet the enemy onslaught, your absence at home may be the final nail in your own coffin.

Solid shooting action supports the tactical decision-making. You start out with a straightforward combuster, but as you take nodes, you acquire an assortment of alternate weapons, as well as support items like the death-dealing robot sidekick Mr. Zurkon and the attack decoy known as Dopplebanger. Ammo is somewhat scarce on the battlefield, so the more weapons you're packing, the longer you can hold out in a fight. Smart use of your support items can help you take nodes and fend off enemy attacks, and in true Ratchet & Clank tradition, weapons feel powerful and are fun to use. Unfortunately the AI of enemies you must sometimes use your weapons on isn't very sharp. You commonly find foes getting caught on the environment as they approach your base.

Ranked competitive matches rate your performance and then place you into one of several leagues. The system does a fine job of finding opponents at around your skill level, while also giving you the goal of getting better and climbing up the ranks. You can also host or join custom matches and play with friends.

Hover boots: the only way to travel.

In addition to the competitive multiplayer, there's a brief, rudimentary campaign that can be played either solo or in split-screen or online co-op. Most missions have you defending a base while venturing out onto the battlefield to take out enemy strongholds, and it all culminates in a decent boss battle. There are a few laughs to be had--seeing Captain Qwark flex heroically and pointlessly as he flies through the air is always amusing. But if you come to Full Frontal Assault hoping for a substantial single-player experience like those offered by so many Ratchet & Clank games, you'll be disappointed.

This $20 game does one thing well: it has a competitive multiplayer mode that blends tactics and action in a way that allows for some exciting and unpredictable battles. You also get the Vita version with your purchase, though that won't be available until January. It's unfortunate that there aren't more multiplayer modes; as good as the one here is, you eventually wish for a change of pace from the cycle of recon, squad, and assault. But having your forces lay waste to your opponent's base as you keep his forces at bay with the dance-inducing power of a Groovitron is still a satisfying way to win a fight.

The Good
Weapons are fun to use
Good deal of tactical flexibility allows for exciting comebacks
League system does a fine job of matching you with appropriate opponents
The Bad
Short, insubstantial campaign
Only one competitive multiplayer mode
7
Good
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Discussion

14 comments
LombaxHedgehog
LombaxHedgehog

FFA succeeded where All 4 One failed, the multiplayer is much more engaging. While it's far from the best Ratchet & Clank game, it's much more engaging than All 4 One. So that's something at least.

Atermi
Atermi

I could never understand why adult, developed people would ever play Ratchet and Clank or Mario or Mickey Mouse etc. I enjoyed this stuff when I was under 11. 

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Not to keen on this new found focus on Mutli player. What I loved most about this series was the fun gameplay and wacky plot.

Kjin718
Kjin718

this is kinda like tower defense. well since i have PS vita its not bad for $20 for cross buy

Wensea10
Wensea10

This game looks awesome but I am still looking forward to a Ratchet & Clank game with originality.

Trev9421
Trev9421

Good for twenty bucks. Wish they would make another actual game though. I prefer the single-player titles. All 4 One was dull.

alenth
alenth

I think that people forget that this is a 20$ game lol, for that price i think is not a bad deal of content, especially with the cross-buy feature. 

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

All 4 One became so boring i have yet to finish it.  Good thing I only borrowed it.  It sucks.

Choros
Choros

Did anyone know what song playing on the background?

hadlee73
hadlee73

/ignore Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault 

Doddie
Doddie

I purchased this game believing it was also a single play as well as multiplayer.  What a waste of $20.00

mkaliaz
mkaliaz

Lame, glad i came across this review because I was thinking this was a smaller game similar to Quest for Booty and not a multiplayer focused game. Sounds a lot like Deadlocked which was my least favorite Ratchet game.

Hurvl
Hurvl

From the Matrix: Neo: You ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're awake or still dreaming? Choi: All the time. It's called mescaline, it's the only way to fly. For this game it's more like "it's called hover boots, it's the only way to fly" :P.

undeadgoon
undeadgoon

ah well... another game thats not a proper sequel, very dissapointed.

wont be buying.. 

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

anyone else think this is a tad unfair of a review =/ only for one reason which is you can buy this game in the UK for £15 compared to the usual £40-45 surely the game isnt that bad that two copies for £15 is a rip off.

MafiaMusic
MafiaMusic

another awful r&C game, you know sony--to make a game an annual release you might want to start with a game that people actually like.

 

This is the 13th garbage game with this rat and robot this generation, enough is enough.

These cereal box mascot rejects need to retire.

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Heres another classic that has been butchered by Sony for short term profits. Shame on you Sony, I grew up on this series.

Nexozable
Nexozable

Don't tell me Sony pulled the same shit like they did with Twisted Metal and turned a PSN downloadable title into a full retail release.

bakasora
bakasora

It's on the vita too? Might get it for the vita

desert_thief
desert_thief

Ratchet and clank is one of my favorite playstation exclusive. I have almost all R&C games, and they didn't disappoint me.Might get this if I have time.

lordgodalming
lordgodalming

Didn't Ted Price or someone over at Insomniac promise a return to classic R&C with this game?

nate1222
nate1222

I still feel that Going Commando (PS2) was the best in the R&C series. It was a damn good balance of shooting, platforming and some exploration. That balance was lacking in later games as "shooting everything" became the focus.

Atermi
Atermi

@alenth Most good games on Steam cost below 20$, so now what?

kyacat
kyacat

 @LilRoss2k3 

You're lucky

I actually preorder Ratchet and Clank all 4 one and its okay game but wish I wait to for price drop instead of preorder it so early

KBABZ
KBABZ

 @Doddie But... it does have Single Player. Didn't you read the review?

IceJester45
IceJester45

 @mkaliaz I agree. Deadlocked wasn't particularly good. It wasn't a bad game by any stretch, but it was definitely a step sideways for the series.

 

Of course, a game had to be pretty dang good to hang with Up Your Arsenal.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

 @mkaliaz Agreed, Deadlocked is one of the biggest let-downs I've played.

DIGN
DIGN

 @mkaliaz Why do people dislike Deadlocked so much, it was one of my favorites. I'd say either Up Your Arsenal or Going Commando was my fav

 

Trev9421
Trev9421

 @MafiaMusic I'm glad you're part of the one percent. Many people love Ratchet and Clank. 

Doddie
Doddie

 @MafiaMusic

 I don't know your age, but R&C are for kids not for individuals that are into full adult games.  I find this game find for children but am most disappointed, it is not set up for individual players.  Multiplayers are just not in the cards for a youngster as these players are usually ver intense and can be rud

BrickMcIronhard
BrickMcIronhard

 @Nexozable The game is only $20 and features cross-buy, it pretty much IS a PSN downloadable, just also one that you can buy a physical copy of for the same price.

BrickMcIronhard
BrickMcIronhard

 @bakasora it's cross-buy, so if you pay the $20 total for the ps3 version you get the Vita version for free. Not a bad deal.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

 @nate1222 I think the third was the best where you had your own, full sized starship (with your own quarters and games console in it!) and you had to stop Neferious for the first time. Was that Going Commando cos the titles are all diffrent here in england land. Oh, and a lot of the weapons in the PS3 games are rubbbish/stupid compared to the PS2 ones. (Crack in time is good though).

Atermi
Atermi

@Leboyo56 I believe that Void, Pathologic or Amnesia are not shallow, too. Perhaps this depends on people's mentality, because where I live everyone prefers 'adult' games, while in USA many love 'childish' games.

zzamaro
zzamaro

@Atermi @alenth Compare new games to old games? Obviously games will be below 20$. Once the new COD hits Steam, then compare the 60$ with another release so we can talk.

Doddie
Doddie

 @KBABZ

 Of course I read the reviews even went down and read the back of the CD.  What it indicates is multiplayers on line get a better game than I would get on the CD  At least that is how I read it and have experienced other games that claim to  be both single and multiplayer. 

Atermi
Atermi

@Leboyo56 Although I do not accept the game's setting and visual style, I shall check it out since many stick to your point of view.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

@Atermi @Leboyo56 R&C originally wasn't even a very childish series to begin with. I mean, it's controversial from the fact every title has some sort of sexual reference, and the first three games were rated T. They redesigned it after A Crack in Time, with more vibrant graphics. But I could care less about that, since this game is pretty fun. I would give it a 7.5 or an 8. 

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault More Info

First Release on Nov 27, 2012
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault blends the series' classic comedy, camera, and controls with an innovative new way to play.
6.9
Average User RatingOut of 74 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
Developed by:
Insomniac Games, Tin Giant
Published by:
SCEE, SCEI, SCEA, SCE Australia
Genres:
Action, Platformer, 3D
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Everyone 10+
All Platforms
Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence