| The first Ratchet and Clank game was released about a year ago and it rewrote the book on how platform games where made and played. Back tracking through levels was a thing of the past, there was no need to collect huge amounts of items, the controls where very intuitive and amazingly the voice acting was humorous and convincing. One of the most attractive aspects of Ratchet and Clank was the huge number of weird and wonderful weapons that where available. This time around Ratchet and Clank: Locked and Loaded features all the great features of the old game plus some new features to keep the series rolling along. |
The story this time round starts shortly after the end of the last game and Ratchet and Clank are heroes after saving their home galaxy. A call comes in for a new galaxy in peril that needs the help of Ratchet and Clank because an experimental creature has been stolen from the Mega Corp. So the president of the Mega Corp hires the services of Ratchet and Clank to retrieve the kidnapped creature. This is where the game starts and you will soon become aware that the experiments are less cuddly and cute than you may have been led to believe.
The game play is essentially the same, you will still have to fly in your space ship between planets and watch plenty of humorous cut scenes which do a nice job of pushing the story along. Ratchet and Clank: Locked and Loaded still does a great job of avoiding all the usual pitfalls of other platform games with great level design. This time around you will notice that you will have to use some specific weapons to destroy certain monsters, which is quite unlike the first game where you could travel through most of the galaxy using just one weapon if you felt like it. On that not the weapons are made by a different manufacturer this time so you will find some weapons from the previous game but there are also a lot of new weapons to check out.
While we are on the subject of weapons, I will tell you that there is a new weapons experience meter. If you use a weapon for a certain amount of time, your weapons experience for that particular weapon will pass a certain threshold and the weapon in question say a seeking rocket will become a gold version. When the seeking rocket launcher becomes gold it will launch three rockets rather than one. This is a great encouragement for you to use all weapons your weapons regularly so you can create an arsenal of gold super weapons. In a similar way Ratchet gains experience points for killing enemies, so once you reach a level up, Ratchets life meter will gain an additional segment. Ratchets ratchet is not powered up in the same way as most of the weapons, as you make your way through the game you will find stronger ratchets that you will be able to collect.
As you make your way through the game you will find damage reducing armour. This is a nice touch as Ratchet and Clank Locked and Loaded features tougher enemies and as a result it is more difficult to complete. This is not all though, you will find platinum bolts along your adventures that can be traded at specific shops for even more weapons upgrades that let you add shock, acid, or lock on targeting for various weapons.
This time around Locked and Loaded is much longer than the original so the fun won't be over in a flash. The developers have made each of the levels look quite different so this should help keep your attention and break up all of the action. The enemies in Locked and Loaded are extremely varied in both their looks and strengths. As you progress through the game enemies will be small, weak and easy to defeat at the start while progressively getting more difficult as the game evolves. As you encounter monsters later in the game you will have to keep changing your tactics and weapons to beat them as the monsters can have quite varied attacks and some of the attacks will take large chunks from your life meter.
Most of the time Ratchet will be on foot but there are times, like the original that you will be able to take control of vehicles of some sort, such as hover bikes. These are basically mini games but you will have to do well in these races to progress through the game. One nice addition are the space ship sections, in some shops scattered around the game you will be able to buy upgrades for you ship such as upgraded shields and better weapons.
In terms of the graphics Locked and Loaded looks virtually identical to its predecessor which isn't a bad thing as the original game looked brilliant. So this is not a bad thing and some of the effects have been tweaked. Most notable are the