Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty

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Quest for Booty cover

Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty
Playstation 3
Developed by Insomniac Games
Released in 2008

Quest for Booty was a game I really looked forward to, especially after how solid Tools of Destruction was. Sure, it was a smaller game (only a bit over 3 gig compared to Tools, which was 18) and it was a budget title, meaning it had a reduced price because of its length. But that is ok! We are gonna meet up with space pirates, find Clank, and shoot everything in the goodness of platforming!

Worthless story-time

The game starts off right after the end of the last game, with a small recap of what happened in Tools of Destruction. To not give away any spoilers: Clank is missing and the only one who knows how to contact those who took Clank, is Captain Darkwater. On their way to find him, Ratchet and Talwyn get attacked by the pirates from the last game and send to the shores of an island. Stranded, but not defeated, Ratchet sets out to find a way to contact his friend.

The story is simply there. It is told through narration of someone reading a book, but there is really nothing that happens, except for one cutscene at the end. Ratchet and his female companion are a nice duo and come off as likeable, but do not get to shine much and the support characters are uninteresting. The villains are enjoyable, but they needed more screen time as well. If the plot had more to it or the characters could have some more screen time, it would have made it at least somewhat reasonable to even have a story, but as it stands they could easily have dropped it, as there is literally no progression, just halts.

Story Score 2/10

Why even bother setting sail?

Ratchet does not have his companion Clank for this journey, meaning you don’t have the long-jump, float or high-jump. However, despite minimal platforming, it is no excuse for 90% of platforming to be uninteresting. It is limited, having you mostly jump from one platform to another and swing with your hook-shot. However, to add some kind of “depth” to the platforming, you can move platforms, and charge springs and catapults by holding R2, press and hold Square, and move with the right analog stick. This is terrible. It slows down the platforming and is only used cleverly one time. This could have been an interesting concept, but by having you slowly charge catapults and springs with it as well, makes it just awful and slow. Even wall-jumping in this game is more of a drag, due to your jumps being shorter in these segments for some reason.

Quest for Booty Wrench.jpg

Combat is not much better, which is insane for a Ratchet & Clank game. You start off with a couple of weapons from the last game at level 3. This struck me as odd, and to make matters worse: you lose them and won’t acquire some of the weapons you had until an hour into the game. When you get them back, you will easily notice how quickly you can upgrade them and how poor the AI and the enemy-variety is. Weapons get easily upgraded to level 5 and you can, more often than not, spam your attacks against the “foes”. There is also only one weapon available for purchase, at the end of the game, that serves no purpose as it is useless against the last boss and enemies are easy to defeat with the other guns you already have. Bolts are only there to make you purchase your way further in the game, but I always had more than enough at all times, so this felt simply worthless. You don’t even buy armor anymore and upgrading health felt useless due to the enemies and even the two bosses not being a threat, and death usually coming by insta-kill falls. To make combat worse: the sluggish and slow-moving turrets are back and forced upon you.

There are about 4 areas you will visit and none are interesting. All are straightforward and, more often than not, a bore. One Island tries to give some form of puzzles, but even they fall flat and can be solved within 2 seconds. One puzzle that was about mixing drinks could be cool as you had to think on what the symbolism meant, but even they got too easy. To add to the chore, there are some narrow paths over bottomless pits that must be crossed slowly. These are not enjoyable and only serve to slow the game even more. Not all of the game is as terrible though: the first grindrail segment is really cool, making you switch rails and grab bombs to throw at gates. The idea of picking up bombs or light-creatures is also kinda neat, but never expanded upon much. The anti-gravity platforming is also a nice idea, but it forces you to play by its rules and these rules change all the time. Some gaps you can jump over vertically, others will instantly make you fall, which makes the game’s physics random.

Then there are just oddities. Why are there dialogue-options when the game proceeds whether you say yes or no? They don’t even provide good atmosphere or add much story to care about. You can also find mods in the game, but they are simply there and since the game is so easy and short, there was no satisfaction to finding them. The journey won’t take much more than 2 and a half hours, maybe 3 and a half if you search for everything. Honestly: you don’t need to waste your time here.

Gameplay Score 2/10

Not much to look at

While it has pretty good visuals with decent textures, it is an unimaginative world, with few areas to explore and they are all forgettable. The enemy-variety is also certainly lacking, and the same goes for the friendly inhabitants. It is quite jarring, especially compared to how imaginative the previous entry was, but even on its own this is a dull game. The animation in dialogue-scenes can be off too, making it all seem rushed. The same can be said for the CG. They work, but are few and did not help the game’s presentation much.

Quest for Booty puzzle

The music is hit and miss, with the menu theme being a traditional theme you would hear in a pirate-themed game or movie, with trumpets and strong instruments. The rest is forgettable or gets hidden in the background noise. The voice-acting is ok, but never really intriguing and the same can be said for the sounds of weapons firing.

Presentation Score 3/10

No treasure-hunting

The only thing you can find throughout the game are worthless mods for your weapons and one skin to be unlocked by a cheat-code. That’s it. There is no reason to go back.

Extra Score 1/10

Verdict

This was just terrible. There was nothing to this game for me, except for the main theme. The platforming is mostly dull, the areas are few and uninteresting, almost half of the game is without weapons and you get no further in the main plot. This game had no reason to exist and I wonder why it was even made. This is so far: the worst Ratchet & Clank game. They couldn’t even get the title right!

20/100

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