Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

Overview

Gosh, all I can say is that SCEA has been rolling their three hit platformers and milking them for all their worth. With already two editions in the Sly series, three in the Jak series, and now here is the third rendition of the ever popular Ratchet and Clank series with Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal for the PlayStation 2. Does this game keep up the Ratchet and Clank name, or is this the downfall of the PlayStation 2 platformers? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

You know I got to hand to the guys over at Insomniac. For the past two years, they have really attracted gamers back to the platforming genre, which really started to take a huge decline in the industry with demise of the N64 and PlayStation. The Ratchet and Clank series has always been more of an action-oriented platformer, which really makes for a lot more shooting and action then the typical puzzles and jumping found in the typical ones. R&C has always had a deep stimulating story, with Ratchet being the serious guy and Clank being the comedy relief.

In Up Your Arsenal, you are given a game that sticks with the winning formula that was found in Going Commando. In this edition of R&C, our buddies are back at it again, this time fighting up against the evil Dr. Nefarious, whose plan is to turn all organic life forms into robots. Our friendly duo of Ratchet and Clank wouldn’t let this happen and they go off to stop evil and let everyone live happily ever after.

For the most part, the manner in which the single player mode runs is almost identical to that of the last game. You can see that the developers stuck with what worked and just made improvements upon these ideas. One of the keys to success this time around is instead of going through levels guns blazing as before, you must be a lot smarter about your actions by taking cover and then going after enemies. Most of the level objectives are quite similar to the previous games, as they require you to make it from one point on the map to the other. The single player mode isn’t really all that different from last year’s mode, although there is a heavier emphasis put onto upgrading your weapons.

In Up Your Arsenal, your weapons can now be upgraded to up to five different levels. This can make your weapons more powerful and can also add new features to your weapons, which makes for some really neat weaponry.

For the most part the single player mode is pretty straightforward and does pose quite a bit of challenge in the later parts of the game. I still really enjoyed the single player mode, and although it did just seem like a package of missions from the last game, they still were extremely engaging. But as you can see Insomniac wanted to try something different with the popular Ratchet and Clank series, and they did with their brand new multiplayer support.

Who would have thought the Ratchet and Clank series would have been made into a multiplayer game as well, not me. In fact I never even really understood the reasoning behind this addition, until I played the game, where I was actually quite impressed with what the game has to offer. The multiplayer can either be played in four-player split screen or up to eight-players online. The multiplayer offers three different modes, which include Deathmatch (kill everyone), Capture the Flag (self-explanatory), and Siege (UT2004 Rip-Off). For the most part all three of these modes actually work better then I could have ever imagined. The lag hasn’t been bad at all, with the game seeming to handle quite well online. The action is pretty intense and offers up quite a bit of challenge, leaving gamers with surprisingly a solid multiplayer experience.

Overall with the wonderful addition of the multiplayer and the solid addition of an engaging single player mode we are once again left with a game that does an amazing job of keeping up the great tradition that is the Ratchet and Clank series.

Graphics

The Ratchet and Clank series has always been a beautiful game as well, giving gamers some of the more vast environments for platformers, with plenty of color and detail. So does Insomniac make any massive changes with the visuals of the game or are looking at a pretty similar looking title?

Once again we are looking at a game that has been upgraded in a lot of different areas, none of which have overwhelming impacts on the game, but do a great job of improving an already great looking game. You can see that the developers did some work on Ratchet and Clank themselves, to make them even more detailed than before, and help them to stand out among the crowd. Along with that come some very nice environments which are rich with color and detail making for a really entertaining and beautiful game to play through. There isn’t much animation problems either, I only found a few minor little hiccups throughout the game but for the most part everything with this game is just solid.

Overall the visuals are exactly what you would expect from the series, giving games plenty to take in. This is by far one of the most impressive looking games to hit the PS2 and really shows off what the console is made of.

Fun Factor

Although we would have liked to see some more additions to the single player, the developers made up for it with an extremely fun multiplayer experience. The games really are played at a very smooth pace and give gamers a whole lot more replay value then before. Not only that but the single player mode isn’t bad either, giving gamers plenty of optional missions at a pretty lengthy and interesting story as well. This game has all the makings of a fun game and does a great job of making a very memorable and enjoyable experience.

Overall

Insomniac Games has done it again, giving fans of the series another game that they can with out a doubt go out a pick up. This game offers now both a solid single and multiplayer modes that really turns into a very enjoyable game. If you’re a fan of the series I would go run out and buy this game today!

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.