Ratchet and Clank brings back the third player camera much missed in all 4 one, but problems prevent the magic returning

User Rating: 6 | Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault PS3
I have been a fan of Ratchet and Clank since I first owned a PS2, I loved the games, including gladiator, and I loved the PS3 'future' trilogy. I even enjoyed all 4 one for what it's worth, but this game has major flaws

But first, the good stuff.

Love the little references to previous games - not so much that a newcomer couldn't understand it, but just little nods to make long time fans, like myself grin a little

The weapons, whilst perhaps a little underpowered (will brush on that later) come in an impressive variety, considering the length of the game, including fan-favourites such as Mr Zurkon, and the Groovitron (and 1, although many reviewers miss it new weapon - the cryo-shot)

I'm also glad they've returned to the classic upgrade system, rather than the monotonous purchasing you did in all 4 one

Glad for the 3rd person camera, makes shooting easier, and more enjoyable, makes you believe you did it rather than the lock-on system used in all-4-one

Hoverboots make a welcome return, loved them in A crack in time, still useful here.

The co-op is a lot of fun, and although major assaults are actually a lot harder in co-op (I had to defeat 4 grungarian tanks with my co-op partner, compared to 1 when I was playing solo) it is much more satisfying

But now onto the problems:

Not keen on the new health upgrade system - where you gain 5 nanotech for every rank you increase, all well and good, but I much prefer the usual leveling up system they used in previous games

Still using the awful redesigns, didn't like them much in all 4 one, not keen on them here, everything looked somewhat sharper in the future trilogy, and I'm told it ran at a better frame-rate then too.

Not keen on certain aspects of the control scheme - L2 is now a weapons wheel which doesn't pause the game in single player - what is the point of that? To strafe you have to be in aim mode, which gives you a rather less control of your character. And the buttons to throw you wrench - classicly R2 and Square (on PS3), are now L1 and Square, also the O button has been reduced to buying defences and using swingshot, it has no constant purpose

Defenses, barriers and mines are far too expensive, especially considering barriers can be shattered within seconds any time a tank comes along, or quickly deactivated by anything with a long range weapon, and turrets are actually quite weak (health not damage, will get onto that shortly)

I dislike the fact that in any level, it doesn't matter what bolts you have from before, you start at 0, and have to collect all bolts there. This is annoying for several reasons. 1 - there are some areas where bolts are collected which have no purchases available (ie no base to defend) so the bolts are wasted.

I also dislike how you have to collect weapons and gadgets in every level. It seems like a way of wasting time, you could be completing more important objectives, however it does give you an element of choice.

The story is also disappointingly thin - while quest for booty had multiple cutscenes and inner-game dialogue throughout every level, Q-force has only 6 cutscenes, 3 of which were not on any level, and inner dialogue, aside the repetitive one-liners was only available on the Phoenix II (and during a couple of level openings)

Destroyer gunships and tanks are insanely powerful, when it takes all your ammo from your two most powerful weapons to destroy a destroyer (and I'm not even gonna mention tanks) you know that enemies are over-powered, or your weapons are under-powered

I'm also glad that this was only a short game, despite tweaks introduced in the 4th level (which is a snow-covered version of a previous level) it would have become boring really quickly had this game been longer.

The multiplayer has been acclaimed, but my experience is that connections drop everyone out before a good game gets going, which is a shame because it's actually quite impressive, it's also disappointing that it's online only, and 2 players can't play against eachother in the same house.

But my biggest problem is it's replayability - it is IMPOSSIBLE to play the story mode twice properly on your own, because you operate on 1 single save, because the Phoenix II isn't classified as a level, there's no way of repeating cutscenes or gameplay from there, even all 4 one was better in that respect.

In conclusion this game is fantastic value £11.99 including PS Vita version in January is an epic deal, but the game is far from being at the standard you'd expect from a full-length game.