So this is what the fuss is all about.
I'll admit it, I've never played a Ratchet and Clank
game before. I loved the Spyro
games and was maddeningly addicted to the PSX Crash Bandicoot
games, but I just never got around to playing any of the Ratchet games. What a stupid man I was. Ratchet: Deadlocked
is one hot number: excellent visuals, spot-on sound, responsive controls, even a pretty intriguing story.
The game begins with Ratchet and his friends cruising through space. One thing leads to another (does it really matter?), and Ratchet ends up captive on a twisted game show called Dreadzone, forced to fight enemies or, well, die. Fortunately, Ratchet's tormentors have hooked him up with battle armor, two helpful bots, plenty of guns, a couple of vehicles and a myriad of playgrounds to exercise his craft in.
And boy, does he look good doing it. Ratchet: Deadlocked
makes the PS2 work hard with detailed character models, lots of effects, bright colors, and not a hint of slowdown. Cutscenes are well-made and facial emotions are conveyed nicely. Sound is handled nicely, with lots of thundering explosions and spot-on voice acting.
When it comes to a game like this, controls can make or break the experience. Crappy controls and you may as well turn off your PS2, because the frustration can far outweigh the fun. Thankfully, Ratchet: Deadlocked
has no such problems, the controls are fairly straightforward and responsive. As I said, I had never before played a Ratchet game, and I was able to jump into the action and blow stuff up with the best of 'em within five minutes.
The gameplay keeps things fresh by constantly switching from on-foot missions to those using vehicles, and unique bonus missions which become available after beating a world. I never found myself getting tired of playing as every time a bit of fatigue set in, I was tasked with doing something completely different, and I ended up playing the game till the wee hours of the morning just to see what the next mission would be like. As if that wasn't enough, Ratchet: Deadlocked
includes online and offline multiplayer options.
I could write many more words about a game like this, but Ratchet: Deadlocked
comes down to a feeling, a feeling that good games deliver and bad games don't. When you double-jump into the air with perfect control over your character, land on an enemy and thwack him with your wrench, then spin around and blow up five of his comrades in an explosion of color and sound, with nary a hint of slowdown, that's what gaming is about, and Ratchet: Deadlocked
delivers in spades. The only complaints I have with the game are inconsequential: the announcer can become a little grating sometimes, and it would have been nice to have more vehicles. Regardless, though, this is a game to have. Go get it.