I see deadlocked people…
People will do crazy things for freedom. Take fighting your way through hordes of sinister creatures on live TV to prevent your undoubtedly painful death. Or hopping in an airship and taking out mounted turrets whilst missiles and lasers whiz past you. Or grinding on rails suspended hundreds of feet in the air while dodging deadly sniper bolts. Or, well, you get the idea. Freedom can mess with your head.
Ratchet really wants freedom.
In 2002, Insomniac Games, known for the infamous Spyro series, introduced us to Ratchet and Clank, a mean duo with an even meaner arsenal. In 2003, Going Commando was released and made drastic improvements to the game, adding RPG elements to the mix and making the series in general a whole lot more fun. Up Your Arsenal was released in 2004, taking the best elements of the first two games and improving upon them, making for another hit game among PS2 gamers. Now, we have Ratchet: Deadlocked, the latest, but unfortunately not the greatest, in the series.
The game starts off with Ratchet, Clank, and Al cruising through space after the events of Up Your Arsenal. Their small talk is interrupted when they receive a transmission from Sasha about galactic heroes who are missing in action. She discovers that they have been killed for sport on DreadZone, an illegal underground death-sport TV show owned by the ill-tempered Gleeman Vox. All of a sudden, Ratchet's ship is boarded by death bots and before you know it, Ratchet has been kidnapped, suited in snazzy battle armor, and forced to fight for the viewing pleasure of the masses. Ratchet's armor also comes with a deadlock collar, which will detonate if Ratchet tries to escape or decides not to compete. The story isn't the most compelling part of the game, but then again, people don't play Ratchet for story. People play Ratchet to blow stuff up. And Deadlocked delivers.
Clank has been cut from the big picture, and, as a result, so have most traces of the series old platforming elements. Instead, Ratchet brings two teammate combat bots to the battlefield, which Ratchet can give orders to with a touch of the d-pad. The controls have been tweaked a little as well, making the game feel more like a 1st person shooter in 3rd person view. This makes for a lot of running and gunning as Ratchet rips up the galaxy with 10 weapons that can be modified to your heart's content. The only problem with this is that fans might miss having huge arsenals with over 30 unique weapons and gadgets. The game also brings back vehicular combat, with several mobile death machines to give Ratchet a nice advantage on the battlefield.
Also resurrected into the game is multiplayer that can be played both online and offline. There are a few new modes and game types as well, most noticeable being co-op, which gives you the ability to play through the story mode with a buddy. The multiplayer hasn't changed that much, but that isn't necessarily a complaint, as it was just fine last time around.
The game still sounds great, and the voice acting gets the job done and then some, helping to bring out the zany humor that the game has to offer. Visually, however, the game is mediocre, with very few enhancements from the last game.
If you are a fan of the Ratchet series or have a knack for action games, definitely check out Ratchet: Deadlocked. It offers the same Ratchet gameplay that we all know and love, but its lack of new gameplay elements holds it back from being something truly revolutionary. Ratchet makes the shot once again.