* Awarded Extreme Gamer's Best Downloadable Game of '08
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is the downloadable follow-up to Ratchet & Clanks smashing PS3 debut in Tools of Destruction. Quest for Booty puts the focus back on Ratchet as he searches the high sea for his best friend Clank. Make no mistake, Quest for Booty is a full scale production with all the Insomniac touches that make the series enjoyable over all these years. Get ready for some drunken robot pirates, busted up bolts and a brand new wrench in Quest for Booty.
Insomniac Games treats all Ratchet & Clank fans to a new Ratchet episode via the Playstation Network (PSN). Instead of making a full scale Ratchet game that might be released in a year or two from now, we have a full scale adventure for Ratchet fans to play that can be downloaded within minutes. For a quarter of the price, you get a quarter adventure with all the high production levels that you would expect from a full blu-ray release. It's not a bad deal, if you love the bolt-blasting action Ratchet & Clank provides.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is all about given the gamer a satisfying run with Ratchet while dipping into the new storyline from Tools of Destruction. The formula in Quest for Booty hasn’t changed. This is still a Ratchet game, and it still plays like all the previous entries. Tweaks have been made over the years and even though Quest for Booty isn’t pressed on new shinny disc it still holds some new innovations for Ratchet fans to play around with. If you have never played a Ratchet & Clank game and want to test the waters Quest for Booty’s price is right and acts like a mini-version of what you would find in a typical full length Ratchet game.
You might have expected Insomniac to take a few short cuts in developing downloadable specific content, but they didn’t. Quest for Booty is a straight up Ratchet game filled with fast paced action and a ridiculous as ever plotline. The washed up adventure picks up after the events in Tools of Destruction with Ratchet searching out Clank who has been kidnapped by the Zoni. Along with Ratchet you will be joined by Ratchet’s girlfriend Talwyn (non-playable) to track down Clank. Pointed in the direction of Zoni expect, Captain Darkwater, Ratchet and Talwyn find themselves knee deep in trouble. Not only is Captain Darkwater dead they find help from the pirate Rusty Pete who suspiciously carries around the head of his dead former captain. The plot thickens and Ratchet ups the drama by 4% which includes a damp caves, giant monsters, and a whole lot of robot pirates.
The majority of the story through a 2D map narrated by Rusty Pete in his delightful, absolutely plastered, scruffy sailor tone. The cut-scenes are kept to minimum, but still exist. Like Tools of Destruction the entire games uses in game engine which looks great providing a colorful range of locations and special effects. The gameplay is focused on pushing the player through each level without too many annoying puzzles, or mindless running around tasks. Only one small portion in the beginning of the game where you have to power up a series of generators feels like an added annoyance to add a little longevity to the game. This isn’t a big surprise. Even with all of Ratchet's clever witted campiness it seems Insomniac enjoys throwing in a few standardized hurdles to jump.
The controls are solid and continue to build on the games solid foundation which is inviting to any person who picks up the controller. The only tricky part of the controls is using the new magnetization of the Omni-wrench. Using this requires you to press two buttons at once and then switch down to the analog stick. I know it is not much, but it’s the hardest finger jumping I have ever had to do in a Ratchet game. The Omni-wrench introduces a new feature into the Ratchet world letting the furry move around objects in the game that is magnetized by a bright blue beam. This works in some puzzle solving sequences like lowering platforms, opening doors, or navigating over death drops. The wrench is a nice addition which gets one of these... "why didn’t they think of that earlier".
The other new feature in the game is the ability to grab items with your wrench. This is used to pick up flaming hot rocks to open grated doors early in the game. It is also used to grab little slimmer-like creatures called Heliogrubs. Heliogrubs illuminate the darkness and are used to navigate through some of the games damp cave system. Using the wrench to pick up items is a natural extension of the weapon and is a nice new touch like the magnetization. I like the fact that Insomniac tried to enhance Ratchet’s trusty wrench instead of building a few more wacky weapons. More than a blunt weapon, Ratchet's silver wrench is a more imbedded part of the experience.
The only real downside to downloading Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is that it is short in length. The entire quest can be defeated in one short setting, averaging around 3-4 hours. This breaks the game down to a price to a few bucks per hour. The good thing is that you can replay Quest for Booty as much as you like, however the replay value is rather low once you’ve finished the game once. One other minor downside in Quest for Booty is that Insomniac didn’t add trophy support which would have been a nice little touch and an incentive to buy considering trophies are few and far between.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty continues the standard Insomniac set in Tools of Destruction. The production values are on par with the full-version game in the mini-portion of an online download. Ratchet fans will want to download the add-on adventure to gain another piece in the storyline which follows up Tools. The only drawback to throwing down your cash for Quest for Booty is its short game length. Aside from the questionable price point vs. game length, Quest for Booty is a solid quality platformer that will please any gamer looking for a fun adventure as their favorite Lombax.
Final Score: 8.5