After spending so many years just making the usual third-person action/adventure games, Insomniac Games has opted to "shake things up" with its most recent Ratchet and Clank titles. Last year's All 4 One focused more on a co-op factor, with up to four people taking part in monumental battles and puzzle solving. And this year's release, the budget-priced Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault, throws in a tower defense element, as you have to work your way across five planets, defeating enemies while keeping a generator protected, in order to keep your home base up and running.
It's different, to say the least, and some could argue that this entry in the series does come up a bit short compared to the others in terms of longevity, as there really isn't much to do on the single player side of things. However, the game has its merits, and it's reasonably priced for around $20. Plus, buying the PS3 version will give you access to the PS Vita edition when it releases this January, opening a door for a new audience to join in the fun.
Those of you who are getting into Full Frontal Assault for the first time could probably use a bit of advice when starting it up, so we've got some useful tips on how to really make things easier on you. Heed them well, and we'll see you in the reaches of space!
Bring friends. Honestly, the best advice we can give when it comes to a game like Full Frontal Assault is to have a team at the ready. You CAN play through the game on your own, in a single player affair, but you are going to be doing a ton of back-and-forth movement, as you overtake enemy perimeters and then rush back to keep your base and generators from falling apart.
With a team at the ready, you can easily do more damage, giving commands to your allies so that one player can join you in assaulting an enemy base, while the other two keep tabs on the home front, activating automatic defenses (like cannons and mines). It's hard for just one person – even someone as reliable and nimble as Ratchet – to be in two places at once. So putting together a squadron is the right way to go.
Don't be afraid to be a big spender. Like any good tower defense game, Full Frontal Assault is all about budgetary balancing. You'll earn currency throughout the game defeating enemies and breaking open crates, which you can then turn around for new weapons and defenses. Some of you will feel like hoarding the most money for the best items, but we're here to tell you – there's a certain finesse to getting things done.
With that, we recommend doing a bit of spending. Don't be afraid to buy up those turret guns and mines for destroying enemies, because they're going to do some good work for you when you're not able to fend everyone off. For that matter, feel free to shop the guns that are available and try different ones out. Even the dinky little assault rifle could have a bigger effect than you could possibly imagine, and you'll need all the firepower you can get when it comes to bringing down massive enemies. You'll thank us once you bring down the last marauder and make the planet safe again.
Speed is your friend. In Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault, it's important to stand your ground and eliminate enemies, but it's also vital that you make it back to your home base in a timely manner. With that, you want a good, quick character that is able to maneuver around the base quickly. We highly recommend Ratchet, mainly because he has rocket boots that enable him to move around at a near lightning pace, without the need to recharge. Other characters are worth trying out as well, even Quark. Don't be afraid to get around and keep things in order – sometimes that's the name of the game.
Go after the nodes. Finally, if you think nodes don't hold much importance in the game, you're dead wrong. Unlocking nodes throughout Full Frontal Assault grants you access to new defenses and weapons, vital for keeping your base defended and giving you the necessary tools to overtake enemy locales. It's the same thing as the money situation – venture a little and see what all you can unlock. It'll pay off for you in the long run.
Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault is a fun effort, especially if you have friends that are willing to fight alongside you (or against you) in a full-fledged match. Like we said, single player is good too, but this is all about a team effort, so make sure you put the right one together. The galaxy is in your hands…
Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault is available now on both PS3 and PlayStation Network, and will arrive for the PS Vita in January.