Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando Hands-On Impressions

We get our hands on an early version of Ratchet & Clank 2 at the PlayStation Experience 2003.

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The sequel to Ratchet & Clank was on display at this year's PlayStation Experience event, adjacent to ECTS 2003. We were able to play through three early areas of the game, which included a futuristic metropolis, an intergalactic gladiator arena, and a rainy swamp planet overgrown with thick vegetation. Though Ratchet seems to have a bigger, stronger arsenal of weapons in the sequel, they're not at all difficult to use. X is used to jump, while triangle is used to swap out Ratchet's active ranged weapon--he can choose from an arsenal that includes the powerful blitz gun, the gravity bomb, and the chopper, which is a razor-sharp boomerang weapon that bounces off walls and homes in on enemies--and circle is used to shoot. If Ratchet get rushed by his enemies, he can always press square to use his trusty wrench up close.

The game's combat seems easy enough to use; ranged weapons automatically find their targets, and while you can manually aim both in a third-person and in a first-person view, you can also lock onto your targets while firing. Melee attacks are also quite useful, especially the jumping melee attack, which causes Ratchet to dive onto enemies, wrench first. As in the first game, defeated enemies drop glowing golden nuts and bolts that Ratchet can use as currency at vendor kiosks to purchase items and more ammo for his weapons.

We tangled with several colorful alien creatures both in the arena level and the swamp planet, as well as several robotic enemies in the metropolis level. After dispatching these, we entered a control facility that showed some of the game's puzzles. One of them required using a magnetic crane to lift blocks to move in front of a raised doorway that was too high to jump, though the crane could also be used to lift and drop our robotic enemies, causing them to be destroyed.

Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando is scheduled for release later this year.

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