Too many cru­cial flaws

Bray People - - LIFE STYLE -

RATCHET AND Clank: Full Frontal As­sault prob­a­bly looked great on pa­per. More plat­form­ing, ex­plo­ration and stupidly fun weapons cou­pled with the heroin-like ad­dic­tion of tower de­fense game­play couldn't pos­si­bly go wrong. Un­for­tu­nately it did go a lit­tle wrong, but for a one-off Plays­ta­tion Net­work down­load as op­posed to a fully-fledged Ratchet and Clank ti­tle - you get what you pay for.

The usual slap­stick hu­mour and car­toon­ish sto­ry­line that go hand-in-hand with the se­ries are sadly all but aban­doned, but the game­play is what im­me­di­ately dis­tin­guishes this of­fer­ing from the rest of the Ratchet and Clank games. Full Frontal As­sault features arena-like lev­els that have you start in a base with six gen­er­a­tors and two bot­tle­necks that ex­pose your base to the rest of the world. Your job is to re­ac­ti­vate your planet's de­fences by flip­ping a few switches while prevent­ing waves of goons from de­stroy­ing your gen­er­a­tors.

It sounds sim­ple but the switch flip­ping por­tion is con­stantly at odds with the de­fence bit. In or­der to re­ac­ti­vate the level's de­fence sys­tem you are re­quired to ven­ture out of your base and ac­ti­vate nodes in the sur­round­ing area, while at the same time ac­quir­ing new weapons and col­lect­ing bolts. Those bolts can then be spent on de­fenses like mines, tur­rets, and bar­ri­ers.

The prob­lem is, no mat­ter how many you pur­chase, those de­fenses ab­so­lutely can­not with­stand an at­tack with­out you there to babysit them, which leaves you con­stantly sprint­ing back and forth be­tween your base and your cur­rent ob­jec­tive. Since you never quite know when the next wave of base in­vaders will at­tack, you're con­stantly stressed and oddly con­flicted.

For­tu­nately, mul­ti­player helps al­le­vi­ate many of the game's is­sues. Tak­ing on the cam­paign with a pal se­ri­ously helps much of the back-and-forth stress­ing that you will en­counter when play­ing solo. The real sav­ing grace, though, is the com­pet­i­tive mul­ti­player, which takes all of the game's core el­e­ments and puts an imag­i­na­tive spin on them.

Un­for­tu­nately for ev­ery pos­i­tive thing you can find in Full Frontal As­sault, it still feels like a game that has a few too many cru­cial flaws that make it hard to rec­c­om­mend. Try wait­ing for the next full Ratchet & Clank re­lease be­fore fork­ing over your hard-earned cash.

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