So, this week my blog reviews
return for a double whammy! This review covers Mercenaries 2 and Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Enjoy.
I never played the first Mercenaries title last generation, but had friends who enjoyed it. I played a demo on Xbox but was never enthralled with the idea of a war-time GTA. The sequel sounded more promising with a giant open world, the ability to lay waste to whole cities, etc. Unfortunately, the execution was so poor I gave up a few scant hours in.
The controls sucked, the graphics looked worse than some Wii titles Iíve played, the gameplay had almost zero variety, and the story and dialog were laughable at best and shameful at worst. I played through some of the missions in co-op with a friend and managed to get the majority of the Achievements without having to do much of anything, so I sent it back to GameFly within a week.
Sure, it looks nice, but if you've played a R&C title, you've seen and done it all before, sadly.
It annoyed me to no end that ToD didnít have a multiplayer component (especially considering Insomniac clearly had a handle on PS3 online play with the release of Resistance). Instead of the system shipping almost out the gates with a great 3rd person action shooter (albeit of the more cartoony variety) they stripped the title down to its most basic form since the original title (a grand game, by all means, but showing its age in the wake of superior sequels), which is okay if you want to be the GTAIV of the action platforming genre (zing). However much I disliked GTAIVís decision to remove a lot of the variety that made me love it, it made those concessions in order to completely overhaul the strength and breadth of the storyline, something R&C didnít do or even try. It delivered a fun narrative, sure, but it wasnít revolutionary by any means. It wasnít even the best R&C story, if you ask me.
It also annoyed me that corners were cut in terms of playability to showcase Sixaxis controls. The ball rolling door unlock mini-game was like hell until I realized I could turn the motion control off and play the game like a sane person. I was also pissed the guns, when evolving, didnít change shape/form until the very last level. A small thing to nitpick, but after playing the first game that included the weapon experience system (forgive me, they all sort of blend together in my head) and having the sheer joy rush through me when my rocket launcher just grew a new silo, or my shotgun grew beefier, it was sad to only have the thrill reflected in some numerical statistics which meant very little to me.
All in all, I think the title was made more to let R&C fans that Insomniac knows the hardware, knows we want more R&C, and was building a base engine in order to deliver newer better titles in the seriesí (and systemís) futures. Ratchet & Clank Future is a fitting name change, to say the least. Maybe next time...
Quick ass review score: 7/10
Thanks for reading!
Next up will be Prince of Persia and Killzone 2.
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