The tenth installment of the Ratchet & Clank series arrives next month for PlayStation 3 and it will be more family friendly this time around. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One will include 4-player cooperative play, and it actually plays quite nicely. With so many co-op games having issues with too much chaos going on on-screen, I am happy to say that I didn’t have any of those problems while playing All 4 One. After spending some time playing the game with 3 other players, I can safely say that this game will be a solid outing for you and whomever you choose to partner up with.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One always has at least 2 characters in play. If you play alone, there will be a computer controlled partner to help you with the portions of the game where you need assistance. When playing, you can choose from Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, and Dr. Nefarious. There are no big differences from each character other than appearance, so there shouldn’t be too much argument on who gets to play as who when playing 4-player co-op.
The game is a mix of platforming and beat-em up. You’re clobbering enemies, making your way through some big jumps and even some small puzzle elements. Some of the co-op portions have you vacuuming your partners to shoot them over really wide strides that you cannot pull off without the help of a friend. There is also some vehicle co-op where you’re on a ship and distributing weight on it to steer which way it goes; dodging and weaving attacks with friends on a ship was a highlight I must say. Simple puzzle elements I saw were grabbing objects to bring them on over to a door to open up a new path. I was told it was a quick example of what’s to be expected further on in the game.
The game plays pretty well. Solid controls and platforming, and using weapons was also a blast. As you’re playing, you are racking up points, and when you die, you’re losing these points. There’s no real incentive to want to stay alive, because you’re always coming back. However, if you get competitive with friends, then you would want to keep your points and say, “I’m the best.” That’s the only big gripe I’m going to have with this game though. It is too easy, because you never get to value staying alive if you keep returning after dying. Other than that, it was still loads of fun to play. The graphics and sounds were both great, too.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One arrives October 18, 2011, and I say look forward to a good afternoon of co-op fun if you plan to pick this one up.