Full Frontal Assault Impressions

#1 Edited by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

Hey guys, before I go any further I should say that I am a huge ratchet and clank fan, I've played every game at least twice (bar All 4 One) and know the fundamentals of the series pretty well.

Ratchet and Clank Full Frontal Assault does not seem like a very good game. I won't write out a full review so here are some dot points:

Single-player

  • The campaign is essentially a tower defence game. You have a base and you protect generators while occasionally going out to destroy the enemy base. Each level is a rehash of the last, you go through the same process of building a few defences like turrets and barriers then scavenging for bolts before your base is attacked. There is little to no variety in these missions and lot of the level design elements are reused.
  • The campaign is clearly meant to be played cooperatively, I struggled to complete the later missions because there are always two lanes into your base and you rarely have enough bolts to ensure your defences can secure one of the lanes. The last mission is brutal if you try to complete it on your own as one of the objectives involves a bomb that you have to defuse and the enemies soak up so much damage that it's hard to even get to the defusing site in time without help from another player. There is online and local co-op but I have no one at home to play with and I haven't had any luck finding people to play with online.
  • Game looks pretty but the number of enemies that it throws at you coupled with the crazy particle effects means the framerate can get very dicey. The art style is similar to All 4 One, I'm not a fan of that particular Ratchet look but that's just taste.
  • Enemy variety is almost non-existent. Insomniac do the Dead Space 1 thing where they introduce the enemies you'll be fighting early on then palette-swap them. The more brown the enemy = the more combustor rounds it soaks up. Kind of disappointing given that Ratchet and Clank was at its best when you touched down on a new planet and saw all the quirky enemies that were specific to that planet.
  • No standout guns to speak of. Mr Zurkon is back and that's nice but everything I've seen is a rehash of guns in previous games. You also acquire guns by going up to a pod and play what amounts to the Bioshock 2 hacking minigame rather than having an arsenal guns from the start. Weapons also take ages to level up (but only to level 3) and low level guns are borderline useless against the late game baddies.
  • The story is an afterthought although they do manage a good reveal for the villain which is a nice deep cut from previous games. Not many laughs to speak of and a serious dearth of Clank. I didn't time how long it took me to beat the game but I'd say about 4 to 5 hours at most given that it took me ages to complete the last level.

Multiplayer

  • Weird. Think MOBA but with the nodes from R&C 3's multiplayer. You have a recon phase where you go out and capture nodes, then a fortification-type phase where you purchase defences and creeps for your attack and then you assault the enemy team's base. There's a decent tutorial that explains all this which is good. Haven't managed to get a good feel of the multiplayer as it's hard to find a 2 vs 2 match, or any matches at all really.
  • The games I have played have all been very short and mostly one-sided. Whoever nabs the most nodes can essentially railroad the other team although that could be a case of me just sucking at the game because my team tends to get massacred.

Of course these are just my experiences with the game so far. Personally I think this is competent and anyone who has played A Crack in Time or any previous Ratchet games will probably be okay with it. For someone who has played the best entries in the series everything about this game seems either misguided or half-arsed. I haven't had much fun with either mode despite the return to the old formula of third-person shooting that was so great about prior games and I doubt whether that's going to change.

The $20 price tag seems utterly ridiculous, there isn't enough content or quality in this package to justify it.

Anyone else playing this game? If so, thoughts?

#2 Posted by Andorski (5330 posts) -

Sounds like the Deadlock of this console cycle. Probably going to skip it. It might have been a smart move for Insomniac to make this game a much smaller focus and release it as a PSN download.

#3 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@Andorski said:

Sounds like the Deadlock of this console cycle. Probably going to skip it. It might have been a smart move for Insomniac to make this game a much smaller focus and release it as a PSN download.

There was more to like about Deadlocked than in this. I appreciated the Smash TV/Running Man angle they took with Deadlocked and there were a few fun weapons thrown into the mix. But I get your point, every aspect of this game feels like a late-generation cash grab.

#4 Edited by beard_of_zeus (1689 posts) -

Thanks for the thoughts. I was hoping for a quick look (maybe next week?), but I appreciate the impressions. Maybe Ratchet finally needs to be put to pasture, I feel like Insomniac has done all they can do. They seem to be grasping at straws now, with the okay co-op of All 4 One, and now what seems to be a tower defense and/or MOBA game.

R&C has always been at its best with the main games of the series - strong platforming and gun action, fun story and characters, etc. - and I feel like they've made enough of those games already. I'd hate to see the series go, because I love those games to death, but I'd prefer that to dragging it out with a bunch of mediocre games from other game genres.

#5 Posted by Spoonman671 (4645 posts) -
@Andorski said:

Sounds like the Deadlock of this console cycle. Probably going to skip it. It might have been a smart move for Insomniac to make this game a much smaller focus and release it as a PSN download.

You realize this is a $20 download on PSN right?
#6 Posted by Andorski (5330 posts) -

@Spoonman671 said:

@Andorski said:

Sounds like the Deadlock of this console cycle. Probably going to skip it. It might have been a smart move for Insomniac to make this game a much smaller focus and release it as a PSN download.

You realize this is a $20 download on PSN right?

Actually had no idea. I was wondering why I didn't hear anything until it was actually released.

#7 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@Andorski said:

Actually had no idea. I was wondering why I didn't hear anything until it was actually released.

Understandable. There has been no coverage of this game whatsoever, not even launch trailers as far as I can tell.

#8 Posted by Spoonman671 (4645 posts) -
@adam1808 said:

@Andorski said:

Actually had no idea. I was wondering why I didn't hear anything until it was actually released.

Understandable. There has been no coverage of this game whatsoever, not even launch trailers as far as I can tell.

You can thank Sony''s masterful marketing team.  Well you could, if they hadn't pretty much fired all of them.
#9 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@beard_of_zeus: Honestly, they need to stop making new entries in this series until the PS4 is out and they can play the whole "Ratchet is back and better than ever" card. I'd prefer them even putting bullet in the series than putting out games like this.

#10 Posted by BlackLagoon (1440 posts) -

@adam1808 said:

@Andorski said:

Actually had no idea. I was wondering why I didn't hear anything until it was actually released.

Understandable. There has been no coverage of this game whatsoever, not even launch trailers as far as I can tell.

There's been plenty of info from Sony, even ran a beta in September. Don't think Giant Bomb gave the game much coverage though. Here's the debut trailer from back in August:

Online
#11 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@BlackLagoon: If a player doesn't know whether a game is retail or download and there aren't any launch trailers going out then Sony's marketing team hasn't done a good job.

#12 Posted by Yodasdarkside (276 posts) -

The game is functional, but lacks spark. I agree that in single-player it's just too hard, but with no-one on my friend list even aware of the game, I worry that I have squandered $20 on a co-op game masquerading as a shortened R&C game. The thing i'm most disappointed in is that they compared it in the run-up to launch, to Quest for Booty, which while short, was at least a proper R&C game. This is not.

#13 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3861 posts) -

@adam1808 said:

@Andorski said:

Sounds like the Deadlock of this console cycle. Probably going to skip it. It might have been a smart move for Insomniac to make this game a much smaller focus and release it as a PSN download.

There was more to like about Deadlocked than in this. I appreciated the Smash TV/Running Man angle they took with Deadlocked and there were a few fun weapons thrown into the mix. But I get your point, every aspect of this game feels like a late-generation cash grab.

I think Deadlocked was an awesome game for co-op. I hate when I see some people slight it. I get that it wasn't the traditional experience but it was a great experience and playing it co-op it was the most fun I've had with a R&C game.

#14 Posted by BlackLagoon (1440 posts) -

@adam1808: The game did actually get a budget retail release. And this is a budget title - there's only so much marketing money they can spend before it becomes more than what they believe they can get in return.

Online
#15 Posted by MightyDuck (1522 posts) -

I've watched a few videos of it earlier today, and it looks pretty enjoyable for only $20. I may have to give it a go if anybody else would be interested in the co-op.

#16 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@MightyDuck:I'm impartialgecko on PSN if you need any help, it gets extremely difficult later on so I'm down to help out.

#17 Posted by Raven10 (1804 posts) -

I played the demo and was hugely disappointed. I honestly had no idea what type of game this was until I started it. Then I realized it was some sort of MOBA/Tower Defense hybrid and turned it off. This series needs to die an honorable death and not drag things out any longer. As of now, the new team hasn't done anything even remotely as good as the previous team and I honestly think they would be better off making their own series, since their take on R&C is pretty awful.

#18 Posted by alanm26v5 (450 posts) -

I'm not usually a framerate snob on consoles but my excitement for this greatly diminished after playing the demo and seeing it locked at 30 max like All 4 One, and I'm a big Ratchet and Clank fan. I'll probably get it anyway eventually, but not for a while.

#19 Posted by DarthOrange (3864 posts) -
@adam1808: I played it through with my brother and had a ton of fun. That said the game was really hard. The last normal mission (the one before the boss) took us two and a half hours to complete. Granted we spent a lot of time goofing off but still we kept dying at the end when they send like four tanks at you at once. The good thing was that the bolts come back to the world after you die and the game checkpoints after you trigger the final battle so you can go collect more bolts and get a little better each time. By the time we got to the last boss we had fully leveled up all the weapons. He went down pretty easily, mostly because if you have one person distracting and the other diffusing the bomb he goes down like cake. It was definitely fun while it lasted (it lasted us more than 8 hours) and worth the $20 bucks to me. If you are going solo I imagine this just being a pain in the ass to play through.
#20 Edited by Superfriend (1557 posts) -

Big Ratchet and Clank fan here, just played the demo. This game is a fucking shame. If they want to make a downloadable game, why not another episodic smaller game like Quest for Booty? Why not the sidescrolling minigame from Ratchet 3? Hell, the lockpicking/hacking minigame from 3 might be better than this... thing. Oh god, I don´t want this series to die. But the ugly truth is: Nobody is going to buy this, especially after they have played the demo.

Horrible framerate issues, stupid minigames to get weapons, fucking MOBA gameplay?! mixed with "exploration" elements that feel tacked on? At least it doesn´t play as outright bad as All 4 One did.. but it also plays a hell of a lot worse than A Crack in Time.

This happens when people with no imagination try to "innovate" or listen to whining assholes telling them to.

#21 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@alanm26v5: It rarely ever maintains that 30 frames per second either. It's ridiculous because A Crack in Time still looks better while running at a perceptual 60 fps.

#22 Posted by impartialgecko (1530 posts) -

@DarthOrange: I've played enough Ratchet to be able to handle what the game throws at you up until the point where you don't start off with a base, that whole level was punishing as hell. I don't know why they didn't scale the difficulty down for one player given that series fans are going into it expecting another Quest for Booty.

#23 Edited by GunstarRed (5207 posts) -

I went through the first mission, it feels pretty lazy and it was a real slog getting through that first mission. I assume Co-op is the only real way to go. If anyone wants to play some I'm open to it, but as a single player experience I was pretty bummed out.

And seriously... what is with all the terrible "jokes"all "epic fail u mad cool story bro" bullshit... lazy.

#24 Posted by MightyDuck (1522 posts) -

@adam1808: Sounds good. I'll shoot you a friend invite. I'll probably pick it up for Christmas if you don't mind waiting until then.

#25 Edited by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I've played the first two levels, pretty fun considering i wasn't expecting much. Last years All for One was the worst game in the franchise, but this one is decent. I need to try out the multiplayer but it seems solid. Why are Insomniac not making a proper Ratchet and Clank game? There last was was three years ago now, I want some 3D Platforming action!

Oh but man, the main villain in this game is a real throwback, I've played every single game in the franchise so I kind of guessed it would be that character before he took the mask off. But I was only like "Well it could be this guy"

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