Ratchet and Clank Full Frontal Assault is the next installment in Insomniac's Ratchet and Clank universe. Insomniac did a beta of the game, that ended yesterday, and they were kind enough to send me a beta code to test the game myself. Betas are usually very buggy (well that's their job), but this one was very polished and I didn't experience any major bug apart from some clipping into objects in the short time I got to play the game.
As I said I got spend a very short time playing the game, as I started playing only a day and a half before the beta ended, but during that time I really enjoyed the game. Like the previous R&C titles, Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault heads back to the classic camera, weapons and third-person Ratchet gameplay, but this time around there is a new tower defense element that will have you building and defending a base against invasions using your ultimate Ratchet & Clank arsenal. It is said feature five levels set on three different planets, but I only played in three different arenas.
Now a lot of you might ask how does the gameplay feel as R&C games have always been about adventure and exploration? Well the tower defense element works great in the Ratchet and Clank universe. In the beta there was only competitive mode and a training mode. In competitive mode you can choose 1vs1, 2vs2 and party 2vs2. Once you jump into a match, each one of the players have their base with six generators. Your task is to destroy the ones of the opponent while protecting yours. Scattered throughout the arena there are 7 "bases" or pods that you have to capture and by capturing them you get to choose one weapon, which level up the more you use it, but at the same time your opponent is doing the same thing so you should hurry and capture as many of them as you can. This is called recon stage which lasts for about 2 minutes. After recon mode ends, squad stage starts where you, if you want and have the bolts, you can recruit troopers to attack the enemy base.
But he will do the same, that's why you have to upgrade your base with defenses and weapons. You can buy shields with different attributes and you can place turrets, like flame thrower, missiles etc. all over you base. To buy these defenses you have to use bolts. For every pod you capture, you get bolts overtime, but you can also get bolts by destroying crates or killing the enemy.
After squad mode ends, attack mode starts. This is where the match gets interesting. Depending on how many pods you've captured, how bolts you've got and what type of defenses/troopers you bought, the attack stage can have different endings. You may win, you may loose, you may survive to fight for another round. Usually the matches can last from some minutes to maybe a hour depending on how good is the opponent or how bad are you. The biggest unit you can buy is the tank, which is really difficult to destroy and can cause a lot of damage. During my playtime I lost only once, cause of the tank, and all the other times I totally dominated.
Graphically the game looks gorgeous. The style that Ratchet and Clank games are know for, returns and it is better than ever with vibrant colors and awesome animations. The only complaint I have is with the snowman's animations. He doesn't have legs and he yet looks like he has them, but most of the time you can't see this because you are using the hoverboots to move, which really speed up the gameplay.
A big problem I had with the beta was the matchmaking which was totally broken. I had to wait like 10 to 20 minutes before I could find someone and start the game and only 1 vs 1. To play 2 vs 2 I waited for half an hour and when the match started there was a lot of lag going on so I left the match.
Overall the beta looked and played fantastic. Sure the matchmaking sucked but when it worked I had a blast. Full Frontal Assault is a game that everyone should keep an eye on!