The Full Monty On Ratchet & Clank: QForce

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The Full Monty On Ratchet & Clank: QForce

QForce - Balkai_04

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 QForce, 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 QForce 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 QForce.

Though Insomniac Games isn’t allowing any hands-on play just yet, I learned much about QForce 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 tantalising tower defense events kick into gear.

Balkai_07QForce - Balkai_02

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 incoming 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.

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.

QForce - Korgon_02QForce - Balkai_03

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, QForce award 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.”

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17 Comments

  • I’m starting to get a clear idea of what the tower defence elements are gonna be like, but until I see it in action in a video I’m not sold. It’s one thing to be told and another to witness.

  • Sounds interesting, and for £15.85 on ShopTo I’m definitely going to pre-order and then just keep my ear to the ground for more information on it! =D

  • Not so sure either. Why not just create new characters rather than change R & C? Good luck BRADLEY WIGGINGS!!

  • This is what the fans want, please listen.
    We want to play as ratchet WITH Clank at his back using the helipack.
    we don’t want them to be separate, there is no fun in what your doing.
    insomniac north corolina do not make the same separation mistake like you did with all 4 one.
    im okay for tower defence if it’s like dungon defence. but make it minor/option to turn it off also if you include ratchet and clank qforce with online make it like up your arsenal. blue base vs red base with 6v6
    free for all etc. please reply…though you might ignore my comment &
    INCLUDE TROPHIES!!!!!! :)

  • Not at all excited about this, it was boring in Assassins creed too. I’m not a fan of strategy- and tower defense games. Neither am I a fan of combining different genres in one game, unless it works really well. In this case it doesn’t sound very great to me. I love the quick action/platform gameplay in Rachet&Clank, this sounds like it’ll just slow down the experience. On the other hand, if it’s well intrigrated and is more about action than strategy, I suppose I wouldn’t mind.

  • Yo Fred or Jawad – When you fix Ratchet & Clank section on PS Store?
    A crank in time demos are missing from it ;)

    And return my Sly Trilogy to my acc! I’ve paid for it and now I need to pay again :(
    Asked support about it, but they said – we will forward it but don’t expect any reply.

  • As a huge fan of the R&C games (although I skipped All4One… should I have?) and someone who loves tower defence games (particularly Pixeljunk Monsters & Fieldrunners), this seems like a great fit to me.

    But I’d love to see Ratchet: Deadlocked (or Ratchet: Gladiator as it was called over here the HD treatment that its predecessors got)… any chance of that as a standalone title? I loved that game… heck I loved ’em all. Some of the funniest moments in gaming have come from this series.

  • You remember what the tower defence part in Assasin’s Creed did for their latest game?
    Richt, nothing, because people who like tower defence games can buy a ton of them online. But people who like to play R and C don’t have a lot of chouse because after a crack in time the series went seriously downhill. Please reconsider the “changes” and make a real R and C game, please. You once where there right next to Naughty Dog. Now your very mediocre.

  • Guys do you remember Dungeon Defenders?
    you know the game Which allowed character moving in den defence, like upgrading your base against enrmy while still attacking them i think it’s like that.
    it’s basically up your arsenal multiplayer blue or red base. imagine there was no mini turrents or robots, i think the more kills you get the more you can upgrade your base
    tower defence while still in current gameplay unlike Assassin’s Creed Revelation where you stayed in one spot and used L2 etc, you are still in gameplay and it’s an option fot upgrading/Defending a base.

    please tell us it’s like that? just like Dungeon Defenders

  • Is Ratchet going to become the next Sonic, getting all excited when a new game is announced, being disapointed when the “twist” is shown (4 Player Co-op, Tower Defense), then being let down when the game is rubbish and you pray for a return to form only for the whole cycle to start again when the next entry is announced.

    At least the creators of the new Sly game understood what made Sly great, if you want to make a tower defense game then do it but please don’t slap the ratchet name on it as a reason to sell copies.

  • Looks interesting. The post says it takes inspiration from DunDef and Orcs Must Die, have you people seen those games? You have towers but the player-character is also involved in a lot of the action.
    I honestly don’t see why there’s so many complaints.

    Clank might be controlling the towers, just a thought…

  • REALLY NOT LIKING THE WHOLE TOWER DEFENCE THING , JUST GIVE US THE FANS WHAT WE WANT CLASSIC R+C GAMEPLAY BUT IN A WHOLE NEW FULL SIZED ADVENTURE NONE OF THIS MINI GAME NONSENSE

  • I like the Idea, and yes I am a true R&C fan owned all the games except for Secret Agent Clank and All4One, I’m guessing the multiplayer will be like Siege but with more of a MOBA style (League of Legends, DOTA .etc)I support that, just ont horribly implement it like Starhawk and let us adventure around diferent planets too, it will get tired to look at the same surrounding the whole time.
    #8 Naughty Dog abandoned Jak and Daxter in exchange for generic boring shooters like Uncharted, atleast Insomniac are continuing with the R&C series.
    Everyone play Dungeon Defenders (There is a free trial) R&C Q-Force will be like this not Assassins Creed.
    I have but one thing to complain about, the new Ratchet model looks over-cartoony.

  • Uncharted boring really love uncharted it’s way better than jak & daxter, I think this should work in r & c people should try something different in there fav series just like re6 all people seem to do is complain about it.

  • Connor_mufc_1985

    @ armyluke Uncharted multiplayer is a shooter
    Uncharted campaign IS NOT
    You sir do not know what you are talking about

  • Mm, can’t see how this differs from the siege elements of Ratchet and Clank 3. Still, I loved Ratchet and Clank 3, so…

  • Would like a proper ratchet and clank game.. Not this type..

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