CTIA 2005 Ratchet & Clank Updated Hands-On

We enjoyed a near-final build of Ratchet & Clank at CTIA 2005.


SAN FRANCISCO--Ratchet & Clank is--in its final stages of development--simply looking tremendous. We were duly impressed with a build we saw three months ago, and it seems the Sony team has maintained its positive momentum since. The Sony Mobile team has collaborated with its console big brother at every stage of this game's development, and the result is a product worthy of its pedigree.

The game opens with a tutorial level that acclimates you to your platforming environment, sets up story elements, and showcases the first of the game's weapons. While the mobile game's arsenal doesn't compare to Deadlocked's vast array of weapons, we were impressed with the eight fantastical guns that have crossed the porting divide. The wrench, the lancer, the gravity bomb, the mini-rocket, the defragmenter, the circuit jammer, the boarzooka, and the R.Y.N.O. are all available to be purchased and upgraded in the weapons shop. These weapons are hardly standard military issue. For example, the boarzooka turns your enemies into boars, while the R.Y.N.O. (Rip You a New One) launches dozens of high-powered homing rockets at any enemies before you.

In addition to shooting up foes, Ratchet and Clank can double-jump, glide, triangle-jump, swing from grappling points, and grind rails. Most of these activities require the use of Clank's mechanical limbs and gizmos. You'll have to do quite a bit of platforming before you finally reach Maximilian, the Slavic scofflaw. Finishing the game will take average players in excess of five hours. To collect all 31 titanium bolts in each of the game's levels, it may take even longer. This is a sizable game--not the typical mobile fare that can be completed in under an hour.

Ratchet had a clean look to it and controlled really tightly. The game incorporates the mythos and humor of its console brethren, but it may remind you more of a good 16-bit platformer than anything modern. That's not a bad thing in the least.

We're greatly looking forward to playing Ratchet & Clank when it hits decks on November 2, in conjunction with Ratchet & Clank: Deadlocked for consoles. Keep your eyes peeled for some crossover content between the games. Apparently, two console skins will be unlockable only by players with the mobile game. We wish every game we previewed looked this promising.

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