Okay, I am going to be honest here, I lied about the next game in the Ratchet and Clank Retrospective being the Playstation 3 sequel, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Believe me, I was ready to move onto the next group of Ratchet and Clank games. However, something was nagging at me. I was done with the main PS2 games, but something was telling me there was one more. I knew what game was nagging me, but it isn’t considered to be part of the main series. It is interesting since it does have references from the last game, but is radically different than the last 3 games. In my books, I think that’s a good thing! While I enjoyed the third game in the series on the PS2, I felt it was pretty safe. Like I said in that review, I enjoyed the third game, but felt it was safe. Now, we move onto this game, definitely the black sheep of the games, but certainly a great game in the series. The game I am reviewing today is the 4th game in the series, Ratchet Deadlocked! The first thing you notice about this game is that Clank isn’t even in the title, which is odd since he was in the past games. This time however, you are ONLY Ratchet. What is even more odd is that this game is more combat-oriented, and has very little, if no puzzle-solving at all. Let’s dive into this odd experience, and review Ratchet Deadlocked!
The main story is kind of like Gladiator. One day, Ratchet, Clank, and Al are on the space ship, the Phoenix, from the last game. They get a call about a well-known space hero who was killed in an illegal fighting show called Dread-Zone. As they are getting the news about the person behind the fighting show, they themselves get kidnapped to compete in Dread-Zone. Lucky for them, in a way, Ratchet is the only one made to fight. Clank is in charge of giving Ratchet advice and missions, while Al upgrades Ratchet’s new robot friends. It is up to Ratchet to fight through multiple rounds and tournaments to move up the ranks and fight the number 1 Dread-Zone fighter and escape with all of the other heroes who have been kidnapped to fight in Dread-Zone. The story is definitely darker than usual and, well, I like that. I think the Ratchet and Clank series has needed a dark story, and while it isn’t Castlevania Lords of Shadow-dark, it is definitely not your normal Ratchet and Clank story.
The gameplay is basically the normal stuff except with a lot missing to focus on one part of the gameplay, the running and gunning. The whole game is about traveling to different planets and blasting your way through hordes of enemies and bosses. There are no Clank levels, and barely ANY platforming, so that leaves room for you and your guns and blowing stuff up! You also get your weaponry sized down with only about 11 main weapons. The side weapons, like the grappling hook, return, but other inventions, like the hacking ray are only useable by this game’s secondary combat gimmick, the two robots. They act as the replacement for Clank, and actually help you out in battle. You can buy them upgrades to their weapons and armor so they can hit the enemies hard! They also help out with solving puzzles, which was always a tedious thing for me in the past games. In certain levels, the game will task you with getting into vehicles like a giant land walker, a jeep with a gun, and a ship to finish certain missions. Like I have said through this whole paragraph, this is basically the entire action parts of the past game put into one game.
The graphics definitely look better than the past 3 games. It has a darker look to everything, while still having its cartoon-like art style. The music isn’t anything special with it still sounding like a small Daft Punk cover band who decided to make their own music that sounds nice, but isn’t memorable to me anyways. The voice acting is still very top notch with the usual cast of David Kaye as Clank, James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet, and Chris Hatfield as Big Al returning as their original roles. We also get a new villain who is a slimy businessperson willing to make a dollar out of the death of actual heroes. His name is Gleeman Vox, who is voiced by Michael Bell. Michael Bell is famous for his role as Raziel from the Legacy of Kain series. This series might be touched upon in the future of my blog. He is also known for his roles in the Ratchet and Clank series as Dr. Nefarious’s butler, Lawrence, The Fear from Metal Gear Solid 3, and his back catalog of voice work is almost as big as Jim Cummings.
Now, it is time for the bad parts of the game to be shown. At first, I was happy with this new direction with the darker tone and more action-oriented combat, but later in the game, it just becomes repetitious. I say this since you only get a limited amount of guns that can easily be upgraded due to all of the gameplay being action-oriented. This was the nice thing about the Clank sections of the past game. I mean, I loved blowing stuff up, but after awhile it just got boring. Again, the multiplayer seems tacked on, and not a lot of thought given to it, besides the norm back then. The game is also easier than the last game with better-executed boss fights, which is nice, but also a little boring. You can easily go through the boss fights with just using every weapon on him until his health bar decreases.
All and all, Ratchet Deadlocked is definitely a good game, but it doesn’t have much to offer besides a lot of awesome run-and-gun moments, and a darker story with the same great humor. I would recommend it if you’re a fan of the series, and I would pay for about 10 dollars or so for it and not 20 or more. Now that I have all of the PS2 games done and out of the way, it is time to move onto the next gen console and a good progressive story.
This game gets an 8 out of 10