My son and I finally finished the last couple of levels of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction recently and when we were done we were ready for some more. Luckily, Sony released Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty a few weeks ago exclusively for download on the PlayStation Network. The game is priced at $14.99 and is a little over 2GB in size to download. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty’s story picks up right where Tools of Destruction left off and I would like to give you more about the plot, but I don’t want to spoil either game. I will just mention that this adventure continues the adventure that Tools of Destruction ended with a cliffhanger.
The adventure in Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty has you exploring new areas and meeting new alien races as you search for clues to answer the plot’s questions. You will get to use new abilities in this game, such as, using your wrench as a magnet to pull bridges, springs, and other items towards you to access other areas in the game, and you will also be able to pick up glowing lava rock with your wrench and throw it to bust through gates. Little Jell-O-like creatures are also available for you to grab with your wrench to light your way in the dark areas and scare certain enemies away that don’t like the light.
Quest for Booty’s new levels look just as good as those in Tools of Destruction and the areas with the dark lighting and the glow of the green Jell-O creatures look really good and add to the Pixar-style visuals. Both of the Ratchet & Clank Future games are amazing to look at and really show off the power of the PlayStation 3. The character animation is top-notch and very fluid. A few years ago you would’ve never believed that you would be able to control animated graphics that look this good.
The controls are also great and keep you connected to the game’s graphics. Switching weapons evolves you pressing a button and then rotating the control stick to select the correct one. This interface works well and thankfully the game pauses the action while you are selecting a new weapon, so you don’t have to feel pressured to get it selected as quickly as possible. Other actions, like jumping, running, shooting, and swinging all work well and I have no complaints about them. The new magnetic wrench (kenetic tether) option also works well and didn’t feel out-of-place with the rest of the controls.
Sound effects and music in the game are once again top-notch and suck you into the piratey action and story of the game. The voice-acting is also well done and the story moves along nicely with cut scenes and other animations with full voice-over work. I really don’t have anything to complain about with the music and sound effects in the game. Even the ambient noise fits in very nicely and sucks you into the Quest for Booty’s world.
The only thing that I am a little up-in-the-air about with this game is the price and length. I know it was only $14.99, but it was also only 3 or 4 hours long. Sony even tells you that it is only a 3 or 4 hour adventure in the details about the game on PlayStation.com. The game continues the story from Tools of Destruction, but doesn’t really clear up anything and the game ends with a message telling you that you will be able to continue your adventure in “Fall 2008″. Does this mean another downloadable Ratchet & Clank Future game is coming for the holidays? Will it also be 3 or 4 hours long and $14.99?
I guess the total time it took me to beat Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction was maybe 15 or 20 hours and it cost $60. If they bring out four Ratchet & Clank Future downloadable games at $14.99 each then that will add up to $60 and probably add up to 12 to 16 hours of gameplay. This is cool in some ways, since I probably have a better chance of beating each game in 3 or 4 hour increments instead of playing one game for 16 hours. But, after I have spent $60 I will have nothing to show for it. I will not have a case, game disc, or manual.
Plus, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty only has 8 weapons and gadgets to choose from instead of the 24 that are available in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Tools of Destruction also has space shooter mini-games between levels and additional costumes you can collect. It also has more elaborate cut scenes and just more polish, since it is a full retail game. So, is it okay to pay $14.99 for a game that doesn’t give you as many extras but is a lot of fun for 3 or 4 hours? My biggest fear is that after they release multiple episodes of this game via download they will release a compilation set on disc at your local Best Buy for $60 or less with all the games on one disc with bonus features. What do you think the chance of Sony sending everyone that downloads all the episodes the full retail version if and when it is released?
I am torn on what score to give Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty. On the one hand I really enjoyed the game for the 3 or 4 hours that it lasted. I don’t know if I will go back and play it again, but it was fun while it lasted and anyone that liked Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools for Destruction will enjoy Quest for Booty. Is it worth the $14.99 for the limited length of the game and features and will there be more available for $14.99 in the future? This is something you and your wallet will have to decide. Will they bring out a compilation disc after a bunch of these games are released with bonus material that you will have to buy again? I guess we will have to wait and see, but for now Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is 3 or 4 hours of fun worth checking out, but I still have the taste in my mouth that somehow Sony conned me into buying a demo of a game.
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