Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty PlayStation 3
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Insomniac Games
Release Date: Out Now
One of the more enjoyable PlayStation 3 titles to date has been Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty is set after the events in Tools of Destruction and Clank is believed to have been kidnapped by the beings known as the Zoni. Needless to say then that Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty begins with Ratchet and Talwyn in search of clues to assist them in their search for Clank. A pirate captain named Darkwater claims to have knowledge of the Zoni realm but when Ratchet and Talwyn arrive to talk with him they find that he's no longer around. They are greeted by Rusty Pete and his robot scurvy dogs. After a bit of a battle Ratchet and Talwyn are captured, forced into a cannon and shot over to Hoolefar Island.
Quest for Booty doesn't require that you've played Tools of Destruction but it certainly helps if you have. In truth the game assumes you have played Tools of Destruction as it makes no real attempt to fill you in on the events in Tools of Destruction. To some degree this is understandable because it's a fair bet that if you didn't play Tools of Destruction and you find yourself enjoying what Quest for Booty has to offer then it's highly likely that you'll want to go and pick up a copy of Tools of Destruction too. That said however, the game is poorer for its lack of details and storyline.
Tools of Destruction was a quality platform game and Quest for Booty manages to impress just as much in this respect. It also has some pretty good combat and a few puzzle elements too. In some ways it's more of a streamline Ratchet & Clank experience than Tools of Destruction but that's by no means a bad thing as it feels more focused on the core experience. There are problems however. The game can easily be finished within five hours, less if you're better than I am at these games (which is more than likely) and the game doesn't exactly tie-up all of the loose ends like you would expect it to. The replay value is pretty much non-existent. Weapons can only be levelled-up to level five and they begin at level three so you're not really getting the benefit of seeing them level-up fully as you would in previous Ratchet & Clank titles.
From a presentation point of view Quest of Booty is just as impressive as Tools of Destruction. Graphically the game is amazing and quite easily one of the best looking platform games I've seen to date. The game retains the same visual style that you'll find in other games in the series but everything seems to look that little bit better here. The frame rate is mostly smooth too, which is good seeing as how hectic the action can become at times.
Quest for Booty does offer subtitles but they are disabled by default. The game's cutscenes are subtitled (although there are no character names or portraits placed alongside the dialogue and it's not always crystal clear who is saying what), so you'll be able to follow the main thread of the storyline. Dialogue outside of the cutscenes, with the exception of important conversations (which are shown in text) isn't subtitled however. This means you'll miss out on plenty of comments, some of which are humorous, and this is disappointing. Mission information can be accessed at any time from the pause menu. Tutorial messages are shown in text and some of these can also be recalled from the pause menu. The game on the whole isn't great for deaf gamers but at least the game can be played without any real problems.
I don't think any Ratchet & Clank fan will regard Quest for Booty as one of the better additions to the series but as a download title it's well worth a look for any fans of the series and fans of platform games in general. The storyline isn't as good as it could have been and those who haven't played Tools of Destruction will find some things a little vague. The game is also rather short although this is offset a little by the £9.99 asking price. Still, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction can be bought for less than £20 and I would recommend anyone to purchase that game first as it will give Quest for Booty more meaning.