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Ratchet: Deadlocked on the Way this Fall


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Looks like Insomniac is at it again. Check out this preview at IGN.


With Deadlocked, developer Insomniac has gone a few steps further and is now merging the single-player and online halves of the game. While searching for some missing heroes, Ratchet and Clank are captured by media mogul Gleeman Vox. Ratchet gets a Deadlock collar put on him that will explode if he tries to escape. With no choice but to go along, Ratchet enters into Vox's combat show, DreadZone. Until he can figure a way to escape, Ratchet must compete in a series of increasingly dangerous events to keep up the show's ratings. Meanwhile, Clank has become a mission engineer and provides help over the radio.


And with that, it looks like the Ratchet series has fully evolved from a platformer into a full-scale shooter. I can't say I'm completely sold on the premise yet. I love the platforming elements of the series, and I don't like the fact that Clank won't be an active participant in this game. Still, I'd hate to see the series become stale, and it's nice to see that they're at least trying something different this time out. Oh, and the co-op mode is a nice touch. We'll see, I guess.

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  • 6 months later...

Ugh, it's as I feared. From the IGN review:


The latest outing in the series, Ratchet: Deadlocked, continues that over-achieving tradition by moving towards a somewhat alien direction. As any Ratchet fan can tell you, the first three games evolved beyond its familiar platform roots (and the Jak and Daxter technology) and into a full-fledged actioner in just a matter of years. This time, however, the designers haven't disguised the title's action chops at all -- this is a shooter and melee experience through and through, and almost every last hint of platforming has been left for dead along with Chairman Drek somewhere near the orbit of Veldin.


And from GameSpot's review:


Now in their fourth iteration, Ratchet and Clank have upped the ante once again by removing almost all semblance of platformer gameplay to concentrate on combat. And though the game successfully reduces the jumping and swinging segments of the gameplay--due largely to Clank's retirement from action--the single-player is still, for all its changes, not that different from the previous three games.


As I said in the above post six monthsago, it looks like this is purely meant to be a shooter game and not an shooter/platformer hybrid as in past Ratchet and Clanks. Having watched several movies of this game in action, I can't say that I'm all that motivated to play it. The unique combination of platforming and gunplay is what made the first two games so great in the first place. Taking this series and turning it into a vanilla shooter doesn't appeal to me in the least.


Still, I suppose I'll check it out at some point. The game is getting high marks at most review sites. I'll probably rent this through GameFly first though.


Why, Insomniac? Why?

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  • 2 months later...

So, I finally started playing Ratchet Deadlocked this evening. I've got a little under two hours logged in at this point and so far, my concerns for the type of game it is have been completely validated. This is straight up and third-person shooter and not a shooter/platformer hybrid like the previous Ratchet games. Even the default control method this time out is the lock strafe mode, which puts you in a standard dual analog control system.


That said I have to admit that it's still remarkably enjoyable. Insomniac has gotten one aspect of this right: They've made the action fast and extremely frantic. So much is going on at once you sometimes feel like you can barely keep up. At this point, I'm just hoping that the action doesn't start to get repetitive after a while. I don't think that will be a problem though. I seem to be plowing through the game at a brisk pace and the levels so far don't seem to be remarkably hard. I've only died a few times at this point (although I’ve come close more than once).


Given the fact that you can select from multiple difficulty levels up front, I'm guessing that the whole point of the game is to complete all the challenges and levels on each difficulty level. Whether I'm taken with the game enough to actually attempt such a thing at this point remains to be seen, but it is nice to see them throw in some replay value for those who might want a greater challenge.


Oh, and one thing I do like quite a bit at this point are your two robot companions. They actually do help you take out some of the enemies, and the way you used them to open doors and hack into the computers is a nice touch. Best of all, if they happen to die, you can just hit down on the cross pad to revive them. No fuss, no muss.


In short, if you really liked the shooting elements of the previous games, you'll probably like Ratchet Deadlocked as well.

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  • 6 months later...

Finished my second play through of this last night.


I enjoyed it but nowhere near as much as Up Your Arsenal. To be clear, I enjoy the shooter elements of R&C, and I don't mind the idea of making a game focused on it all. I enjoyed Deadlocked for what it was - a snack between R&C games, but to anyone new to the series, I say go for UYA first & foremost.


Things I liked - the AI of the companion robots works very well like J.Fo says, I like the new weapon modification system, and the story was fun despite a general lack of Clank. I didn't like the vehicle levels, and my first & foremost complaint is the shortness of the levels. I miss the big long sequences of the previous games - everything's cut up into 4 minute sequences.

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I didn't like the vehicle levels, and my first & foremost complaint is the shortness of the levels. I miss the big long sequences of the previous games - everything's cut up into 4 minute sequences.


I noticed that too, Brian. I was a little disappointed at how "short" the game seemed. I think I put about 20 hours into the first two R&C games, ten hours in Up Your Arsenal and maybe around 8 hours or so on a run through Deadlocked on Normal difficulty. It's almost like snacking on chips all day long instead of having a hearty meal.

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