The Full Monty on Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault

54 0
The Full Monty on Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault

Though fundamentally a third-person shooter, the Ratchet & Clank series has rarely shied from bold genre experimentation: witness the progressive competitive and co-op modes of Ratchet: Deadlocked, the brain-busting temporal puzzles of A Crack in Time, even the four-player feuding of last year’s All 4 One. But with Full Frontal Assault, the storied series will undergo what is perhaps its most sweeping metamorphosis yet, creating what developer Insomniac Games is calling “action tower defense.” Yep, Ratchet’s going all PixelJunk Monsters on us.

This is a logical, some might say inevitable, evolution when you consider the series’ gameplay trajectory, which despite its myriad twists and turns has focused squarely on two core elements: ludicrously powerful weaponry and freakish alien foes. In other words, the raw ingredients for a mean tower defense game. “One of the things we wanted to explore with Full Frontal Assault was large, sprawling battlefields,” Production Director Shaun McCabe told me. “The large battlefields in Up Your Arsenal and A Crack in Time added a lot of player choice. The decision to add tower defense felt organic…exploring large open battlefields and then returning to your base to set up defenses.” McCabe cited tower defense games like Dungeon Defenders and Orcs Must Die as key inspirations for Full Frontal Assault.

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault

Though Insomniac Games isn’t allowing any hands-on play just yet, I learned much about Full Frontal Assault just by watching a few minutes of the game in action. The core gameplay looks to be plucked directly from fan favorite A Crack in Time; everything from the camera view and controls to those intoxicating hoverboots will make series traditionalists feel right at home. The story-driven campaign, which you can play solo or co-op, is strung together with traditional adventure sequences that combine shooting and platforming as Ratchet scours the surface of the planet Ebaro looking for secret weapon caches while fending off attacks from rampaging Grungarian marauders. So far, so good, until the monstrous mercenaries decide to attack your base — that’s when those tantalizing tower defense events kick into gear.

Your home base serves as the tower defense battlefield, and the floor is scattered with pads that enable you to deploy three basic types of units: Turrets, mines, and barriers. You’ll fend off multiple waves of incoming Grungarians by strategically placing these defenses, which you can combo together to devastating effect: a slow-mo mine combined with Combuster turrets can ravage a tough enemy before he breaks through your barrier. Enemies will come in all shapes and sizes, from swarms of tiny Grungoids to tough melee-centric Brawlers to crafty Engineers who seek to sabotage your defenses. Turrets, mines, and barriers will also come in many flavors, though Insomniac Games is remaining frustratingly tight-lipped about specifics for now.

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault

Though you’ll need to monitor your base defenses carefully, you’ll hardly be dependent on them — Ratchet is a potent fighter and can swoop in to turn the tide in a besieged area. The combination of Ratchet’s exotic weapons and the effects of various turrets, mines, and barriers promises to create some unexpected and devastating combinations.

Between tower defense events, Ratchet will need to venture back into the battlefield to seek out more powerful weapons. “Most of the weapons in the game are ‘Ratchet classics,’” McCabe teased. “Our goal here is to give players almost more weapons than they can handle.” Upon finding a weapon pod, you’ll be forced to choose between unlocking one of two possible weapons. Plasmabomb Launcher or Warmonger rocket launcher? Decisions, decisions.

True to tower defense form, Full Frontal Assault awards you medals based on your performance in the tower defense segments, encouraging you to replay them again and again until you’ve completed them perfectly. The medals will unlock promotions, too, including new armor and perks for Ratchet, Clank, or Qwark.

Oh, and they’ll be a competitive mode, too, though Insomniac is saving those details for another occasion. “It builds on what we’ve shown here today,” McCabe teased. “And…I’m pretty good at it.”

Comments are closed.


  • Looks great! I wasn’t that into All 4 One but this one looks like a return to the greatness of Ratchet and Clank.

  • Well the game support 3-D question?

  • 2 questions…

    Trophy support?

    Teaser trailer date?

  • I loved Siege Mode on UYA. FFA looks like its taking the elements from that which I loved, and expanding it to make it an ENTIRE game. After this post and the one yesterday, this will be a definite download. Can you confirm whether or not their will be any DLC or pre-order bonuses? Or maybe a pre-release demo? I want some more Ratchet!

  • It looks awesome, although I’m still uneasy about the Tower Defense.

  • I never played these games, but I just wanted to comment:

    I see what you did there with the tittle.


  • Sid, @6 beat me to it: funny title.

  • All I want is a date and price, maybe gameplay length.

    lol people still asking about trophy support in 2012

  • I don’t know about the tower defense thing. I love Starhawk and it’s tower defense twist tho, we’ll see bout this one.

  • I want them to make a classic Ratchet and Clank like UYA or A Crack in Time where you travel around the universe/galaxy.
    I’ll check this one out but I want them to make a Classic.

  • Looks like this blog post was intended to quell some of the concerns people expressed in reaction to the blog post the other day that introduced the tower defense aspect of Full Frontal.

    Though I’m not a big fan of tower defense games myself, I was never worried that it would detract from the typical R&C experience Full Frontal seems to promise as long as it’s relegated to a mini-game within the game.

  • Since it’s a short game I bet the price won’t be as high.
    Can’t wait to see the new R.Y.N.O. (Hopefully this game will have it)

    Is there anything for Ratchet: deadlocked? I’m dreading to get my hands on that game again.

  • ACiT was one of the greatest games ever! I’d kill for a full sequel to it with classic gameplay! This doesn’t sound like classic Ratchet to me but I’ll wait to play to judge.

    I’m sorry to say but these Ratchet & Clank announcements have been underwhelming to say the least. First the lame USA HD bonus, now this tower defense spin-off whatever that means. I mean cmon stop messing with the Ratchet & Clank formula!!

    Can we get a TRUE and FULL sequel to ACiT? *cough* on next generation?? *cough* :D

  • Will it be 60 fps and play similar to ToD and ACIT_

  • I REALLY miss the Ratchet and Clank Combo from 1 – ToD. If the game is just playing as Ratchet without clank on his back, then it shouldn’t be called ratchet AND clank.

    I was excited for this game when it was first announced as a ‘return to classic ratchet and clank gameplay’, but as more and more info gets release (coop, playing as clank or qwark, tower defense, etc.) i’m looking less and less forward to it.

    At least the Collection comes out soon. It’s impossible to screw that one up, right?

  • I am sorry but R&C is dead to me now. Tower Defence? Seriously???? If you want to make a tower defence game or make a game with a tower defence twist (as Insomniac would have us believe) make a separate game! You do not necessarily have to spoil a franchise by incorporating those elements.

    As a big time R&C fan, I am very disappointed. I am NOT buying this new game. I will have to live with R&C collection. Thanks for at least letting us have that!

  • Will it have a platinum trophy?

  • man is it so strong to make a normal ratchet i like too tower defense but the classic ratchet more. but i buy it im a really big fan and i have all ratchets parts and hope some day the classic ratchet comes back i want the really classic ratchet and 5 missions on 3 planets is too litle

  • In Insomniac I trust. Full Frontal Assault will be excellent.

  • is this a 3d supported game?

  • @#3 Yes it will have trophies. Trophy support is mandatory for all post-2008 games.

  • Oh I thought there’d be a trailer I was excited

  • so much negativity, why? we ask for new and better and when it is shown, people get all offended. give the game a chance, it’s not like the tower defense is the whole game.

  • This looks like a wonderful direction for the R&C series… Can’t wait to get my hands on it, and 3D support would be awesome for this title.

  • @#23 yes right give a chance but i want than a really nice ratchet i play de HD collection hour for hour because the first 3 parts was the best ever ACIT too but i missed the old ones

  • Oh gawd I hope this works.

    I nerd lust for both of these things; more Ratchet and Clank, and more tower defense.

    (And I still want PixelJunk Monsters 2! There’s only so much Defense Grid, Unstoppable Gorg, and Gratuitous ____ Battles a man can play!)

  • Sounds like Sanctum (for PC) in the tower defense parts, instead of FPS just TPS. Which is okay with me. I love Sanctum.

  • I played Ratchet & Clank All In One. Not bad but isn’t a kind of game I would considered continue to replay over and over. However the trophies are good. And very at ease to obtain. Got some good strategies and puzzles to figures.

    From 1-10 Rating I would say 7-8 Rating. But I would play this new update for trophies and game-play review.

  • i dont know how i feel about the action tower defense yet but i do love Ratchet and Clank i have all the ps3 games even Quest for Booty and love them all ( well All 4 One not as much as the others ) so i will be buying Full Frontal Assault, i just hope the tower defense gameplay doesnt take away the classic ratchet gameplay i love. ohh and i agree with the comment above saying that Insomniac should consider A Crack in Time sequel, man A Crack in Time ranks among my 10 best ps3 games!!!!!

  • Seriously? All this hype about a return to classic R&C gameplay and it’s a tower defense game? Horrible, insomniac. This false advertising is serious BS.

  • @Saiyan-PS : You’re asking about Trophy support?! Please change your calendar, it is not 2008.

  • I remember in the older online mode, there was 2 turrets you had to protect at your base, so it makes sense to improve on that. For the new online mode, I really want to see a moba. You guys have all the pieces and more to make one. It could just be one of the modes, doesn’t have to be the entire online experience. Build on this please.

  • MORE TEMPORAL PUZZLES! they were frustrating at first, but once I learned how it works I completed all of them after completing the game just because it was so fun.

    Maybe consider making a standalone temporal puzzle game with Clank next.

  • I love Ratchet & Clank! may the IP live forever!

  • Sounds exciting! I am someone who has never played a Rachet & Clank game before(I know shame on me lol.) but I am certainly picking this one up.

  • Shinspikes that was Ratchet and Clank up your arsenal and like I said in the last article this does look to be V2 Seige mode. I am happy to see I was right about this, so how big are your big levels going to be atleast the size of Bikisi island and larger or we talking the size of black water city from Up your arsenal’s multiplayer mode?
    Are the cotnrols going to be the same as they were for Up your arsenal with the option of picking from 3 control styles? I want to see the return of lock strafe mode.

  • Cant wait big fan since size matter on the psp

  • @6 It’s a Ratchet & Clank tradition. Often R&C titles would contain innuendos. Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, Size Matters, Quest for Booty. Even the platinum for All 4 One is called 4 PLay. :D

  • How About a Single blu-ray disc with Full Frontal Assault and Quest for Booty…. $19.99-24.99?

    AWW YEA PLS make it happen. I like my games physicals.

    BTW insomniac/Sony…. PLS go back to Resistance…. go make it what made the first one the game that made me buy a ps3. Nathan Hale and its storyline was so awesome and so much to be done with him… and the ending in R3 was so weak and they left us no where with it…. PLS Give us R4 with the ending that franchise deserve.

    Even in one of the intels u find in R2 i guess, they talk about regeneration and stuff…. how about Hale’s cells mixed together with the chimerian virus brought him back to life (given that Malikov had Hale’s body in one of those thanks with water and stuff) to give humanity their world back in a campaign back to back with Joseph Cappelli (Co-op Campaign with a second partner that matters in the story! Not like John….) Also to finish the story u can put the creatures or life specimens that forced the chimeras get out of this planet long ago that left a big hole unexplained… u can put cappelli and Hale in a quest to find the origins of this creatures and get them to help humanity one last time along with their efforts?

  • Lol, damage control.
    I don’t think explaining the tower defense concept in more depth will change the minds of people who don’t like tower defense. Basically what you’re saying is, in the middle of the platforming, exploration and “classic” R&C gameplay, we’ll have to run back to our base to defend it from bad guys. Wouldn’t we have already killed bad guys that were close to our base? What happens if they get through the barrier? A game over? If not, will we just take them on as normal? Is there any real reason to use the TD scripting at all or could we just lay the smackdown on the enemies as per usual? I really, really don’t like TD due to how constrained the gameplay is, so yes, the mere mention of it being in this drops the chances of a purchase really close to 0%. I bought ToD and ACiT and played them back to back, though I never finished ACiT, and I really liked them. FFA is going to have to show a lot of gameplay concentrated on NOT tower defense to convince me to part with money for it.

  • Interesting approach….I’ll keep my radar on for a trailer.

  • Because tower defense added so much to Assassin’s Creed: Revelations… Oh wait, no, that was actually one of the reasons the game didn’t do so well.

    I love R&C and own every game, but the addition of tower defense is a deal-breaker. A tower defense game is great by itself when that is the focus and style of the game. But we’re talking about a series known for brilliant platforming and hectic shooting. You can satisfy platforming/shooter/action fans. Or you can satisfy tower defense/rts fans. But mixing the two genres never works. Just look at Assassin’s Creed: Revelations or Brutal Legend.

    Very disappointed with this announcement. At least we’ll have the R&C Collection (hopefully with Deadlocked!).

  • at 39 i really like that Resistance 4 idea but i think Insomniac is done with the franchise perhaps Sony Bend could take over?

  • tbh ratchet and clank games never felt like full $60 games… This will be no different to me. $20 and I might bite.

  • @42: Tell that to all the games that mix Tower Defense with other mechanics and do it right. Sanctum, Dungeon Defenders, that Double Fine game on XBLA (wish it was on PS3 too… *sigh*)… etc.

    I guess they missed the memo that it doesn’t work to mix up the tower defense genre and add more depth. GET OUT OF HERE WITH YOUR PROGRESS IN A STAGNANT GENRE!!

    Without those who experiment with more, the tower defense genre would be pretty lame.

  • I’m actually really excited about this. Dungeon Defenders is a great game … it came out last October and I’m still playing it.

    I’m looking forward to some of the same mechanics in a Ratchet & Clank game.

  • I notice the comment about “New armor and perks for Ratchet, Clank or Qwark.”

    I just have to wonder, what has ever lead me to want to deal with Qwark.

    Otherwise, tower defense might be a big jump for Ratchet and Clank’s usual, but it might be fun. Hopefully it doesn’t limit or remove the better part of the Ratchet and Clank games.

  • When I saw Tower Defense, I was in low spirits for the ACiT kind of game I was hoping for. That was the first game that I ever got for my PS3, and it still remains to be my favorite.

    However, this has lifted my hopes quite considerably. What I had thought to be watching enemies walk around towers as they kill them actually appears to be different, as you can run among the towers as well and blast enemies. After FFA, however, I hope we finally get a true kind of R&C game.

  • I love R&C, but I can’t stand tower defense..

  • I just want it to have platinum trophy

Please enter your date of birth.