Retrospect: Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando

rac2

Why had I bought the game? Well it was a package deal, and I really wanted to know if the sequel was as good as the original. It is, it’s even better. Enemies are far more powerful and the new weapons are cool and unique. I never started it because I hadn’t finished the first game, and finishing the first game, does open up some possibilities. Extra weaponry, and a decent brush up on the lore.

ratchet-clank-going-commandoThe story so far: You are Ratchet and you saved a galaxy and your home planet, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the masses, and soon you are recruited by Fizzwidget to intercept a creature. The mission goes awry and the enemy gets away with the little critter. But not all is what it seems, enemies soon turn out to be allies, and you are being led by the nose by Mr Fizzwidget. The twist came right in the end, and though it’s quite obvious Fizzwidget is evil, you wouldn’t think much further than this explanation: megalomaniac that wants to rule the universe by unleashing a bio hazard like the Proto Pet unto the universe. Right before the final boss fight, the twist will emerge. It was Captain Qwark all the time, dressed up as Fizzwidget. It’s a weird twist, but it works, because you don’t think about this possibility, because let’s face it, the universe is filled with evil, and why would you think about a washed up actor going so far to impersonate another just to get even with Ratchet.

Weapons_ListGameplay wise, the game is quite a bit different from the previous one. It seems in their effort to create a better game, they went batshit crazy with possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for this, the gameplay is solid, and they just added to it. The arsenal has been upgraded, and if you’ve played the first game you’ll get the chance to buy the weapons from the first game and use them. They are not of much use, because their strength has been diminished quite some. I know why this is done, they wanted you to try out the new exotic gear, and it’s a given, they did make for some interesting weaponry.  You can upgrade your weaponry by using them, some of them take ages, others upgrade quite quickly, this can be quite annoying as I leveled up the Sniper Rifle in less than 20 shots, making it a broken overpowered piece of equipment, and the lava gun hadn’t even gained a quarter of experience after 400 bullets. That’s not all you can do: you can upgrade the weaponry further with platinum bolts, so they took the liberty of making that as a currency. After you’ve finished the game there’s challenge mode, giving you stronger enemies to down, and you get to keep your old weaponry, and you can buy even greater upgrades for them. The bolts get a multiplier for every enemy killed and it goes up to 20, so you’ll end up with a lot of bolts after a while. Nanotech upgrades itself as you clear planets of villains, or you could pick up upgrades scattered across planets. So you can upgrade weapons, your nanotech, but wait there’s more, if you want to reduce damage, you can buy armour to diminish the enemies danger level. In the beginning of the game it’s not that necessary, but as you progress, you’ll learn that grunts start taking up to a quarter of your nanotech with one hit. So you’ll either have to buy the armour or grit your teeth as you try to progress again and again. Pro: it’ll upgrade your weaponry. Con: It’s quite taxing on the bolts, and it can get quite annoying after a while, being stuck a bridge for the umpteenth time. Think there’s not much more to be added to this cornucopia of gameplay? WRONG. There’s levels where fly your ship around and start shooting stuff. Sounds fun. It is fun, but as you progress, you’ll learn that your ship isn’t quite as sturdy as you want it to be, so you can collect Raritanium by digging for it in the desert, both sandy and icy, on different planets mind you, or you can blast enemies out of the sky and collect it. This will help you upgrade your ship. There’s a lot to be bought and you won’t even get through a third on your first play through.

The boss fights weren’t really that difficult, especially the ending bossfight was a pushover, I ran out of ammo and just chucked the bombs at it that spawned while strafing out of its rolling path. The real difficulty lies in the path toward the boss fights, those are often a clusterfuck of frantic bullet sprays, jumping and strafing, as you unload everything you’ve got onto it.

image_the_ratchet_clank_trilogy-19192-2465_0002There was a game breaking bug however. On the ice planet Grelbin in the Bogon Galaxy, my character just disappeared and only his gear floated in mid air…, how is this game breaking? I was invulnerable to any attack, so I just stood there taking the hits, walking around collecting crystals. At first I thought, just a minor glitch, it’ll disappear and I’ll pop back in, but then the second time I had to collect the crystals, it happened again, taking away any kind of challenge. My shield weapon was invulnerable too, and it just leveled up as I took hits… I tried to recreate the glitch afterward, but was unable to do so, but by then the damage had already been done. I had leveled up the Plasma Shield, and from that point on, I rarely took hits, the shield lasted ages, and it damaged anyone that came near. It’s that powerful.

That being said, there were less graphical glitches than in the first game. The eye lids weren’t clipping into Ratchet’s face.

ratchethd2What I noticed was that the voice actor had been switched. Ratchet was voiced by: Mikey Kelly in the first game and in the later games, voiced by: James Arnold Taylor. There’s nothing wrong with either of them, what did annoy me was the change in voice, it’s slight but it’s there. He sounds… off, it might have been because I had just finished the first game and I hadn’t had the chance to take off my nostalgia goggles, but it took me the better part of the game for the voice actor to make his mark, what made the change so noticeable, was because Clank still had the same voice and when I heard the other voice of Ratchet, the first thought that ran through my head was: ‘Clank, don’t you see that’s a different Ratchet you’re sitting next to?’ All in all, it’s no big deal and the voice acting is still top notch. It takes some getting used to but it’s not a change for the worst.

Glad I finished the game, and on to the 3rd game, I wonder what changes or upgrades have been made in it.

insomniac Article by: Bart Verbeke

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>