Review by jaydaman87

Reviewed: 11/11/04

R&C: UYA ... R&C's biggest and baddest adventure yet!

The Ratchet & Clank series is a major platforming series for the PS2 and has been played by millions of gamers worldwide. The first game was almost a pure platforming game with a couple of creative weapons added to the mix. The second game added RPG elements to the recipe allowing for weapons level ups and health level ups. It also featured a new strafe mode (button allowing you to strafe) which brought it closer to FPS style gameplay. The third game in the series, Ratchet & Clank : Up Your Arsenal, adds even more to the first two games and creates a somewhat different action packed adventure...

Story: 6/10

Without going into the details of the story, it suffices to say that Ratchet & Clank is not made for its story as games like Final Fantasy are. The story in this Ratchet & Clank can compare to the scope of those found in the first and second titles. It creates the atmosphere for the game, but other than that, is nothing to brag about... This does not weigh the game down though, since this is not at all the focus of the game.

Gameplay: 9/10

The gameplay is the meat of R&C:UYA. There are over 20 weapons to collect and several gadgets to aid you in the quest. The weapons can now level up a total of 4 times on your first playthrough (up to lvl5) and grow increasingly stronger, as well as sometimes gaining certain abilities. Ratchet's health also levels up as it did in R&C 2. The RPG elements were taken further than that of R&C 2. They keep the player addicted and add a certain depth to the game. The game though is a little short, falling around 15 hours for a first playthrough. Though completing the game to 100% can easily double that time.

Added to the game were first person and lock-strafe camera modes. I add these in the gameplay section because i believe they contribute greatly to the game and each mode shapes the gameplay to a certain extent. The standard third person mode found in the other R&Cs is a basic third-person view that lets you run around freely while still being able to temporarily enter a strafe mode and dodge enemy attacks with greater ease. The new first person mode gives you a first person perspective with all the controls expected of a FPS game. This allows for more precision aiming and makes the game more of an FPS. The third and final mode is the lock-strafe mode. This lets you run around normally with your gun holstered, but when you shoulder the weapon, you enter a strafe mode. The controls for this mode are identical to those of the first person mode and it helps mix up the agility of the third person mode with the precision of the first person mode. I think these new camera modes were great improvements to the game and helps the user play more to his or her own liking.

Controls: 9/10

The three different camera modes propose different styles of controls and represent almost any gamer's style of play. The third person, lock-strafe, and first person controls are very well balanced and allow for optimal play. Aiming can be performed using a regular X axis and regular Y axis as well as an inverted X axis and inverted Y axis. The only let-down in the controls is that the user can't fully customize the controls by using whatever buttons he wishes, he must use the predefined button maps. Though the fact the pre-defined button maps are quite efficient, not too many points are taken off here.

Graphics & Sounds: 10/10

The graphics in this game bring out the best in the PS2. The particle explosions are top notch. Insomniac has also included compatibility with 16:9 televisions as well as progressive scan, enhansing the look for those with an HDTV and/or a component video hookup.
R&C 3 sounds are absolutely fantastic. The guns sound awesome indeed and each sound represents its gun very well. The ambient music also sets the mood very well...nothing to dispute here.

Multiplayer: 8/10

The multiplayer is a new portion added to the third installement in the series. It features siege mode, capture the flag, and classic deathmatch. Each mode is a unique style of play and adds diversity to the multiplayer game. There are usually several servers up so it's never very hard to pick up the game and start fragging. The multiplayer play is lagless do to the fact that the game is broadband only and provides a smooth experience. Two complaints here would be the fact that only 8 of the weapons are found here and also the fact that speaking with the headset is not done at the touch of a button (like Counter-Strike for example), the microphone constantly transmits and people can very well abuse this (you cannot mute them either). Overall though, multiplayer is very fun, especially for a PS2 online game.

Fun Factor: 10/10

The game is just so original and action packed that it deserves full points here. There is so much varied content in the game and the action never stops. The creative weapons certainly contribute to the mix as they present a fun way to progress through the game. Lvling up is also very addictive, as the player wants to become as strong as possible and master all weapons. Fun Fun Fun game!

Overall: 9/10

Though the story is not that great, it is not the primary focus of the game and doesnt really bring the game down. The gameplay is superb and the camera modes added to the game really contribute to hepling the player identify with his own playing style. Graphics and sounds are top notch and bring out the best in the PS2. Multiplayer is definately above average and the game benefits from a perfect fun factor. Only let downs are a a slightly short singleplayer campaing and some control problems.

Good Job Insomniac! Awesome Game!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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