E3 2011: Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One hands-on preview

How do you fit a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex into the barrel of a gun? Developer Insomniac Games doesn’t care about the logistics. In Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, they just want you to know they did it. And if you target the same baddie as your buddies, the infant terrible thunder lizards grow and become even more awesome at attacking.

This emphasis on teamwork is the core of All 4 One. Nearly every facet of the gameplay has been focused on enticing and, more often than not, requiring players to work together. We had to cooperate to open valves and steer platforms over pits of poisonous gas, and it all felt like a natural extension of the series – not a tacked-on, ill-conceived afterthought.

When we were lagging behind an ally through a tricky platforming area, all it took to catch up was a press of the grapple button to pull us toward our closest compatriot. This did wonders to alleviate the frustration stemming from our rusty platforming skills, and it kept the flow of the game moving at a brisk pace.

Instead of a user-controlled camera, All 4 One’s static viewpoint gives players a full view of the play area, smartly moving when needed. And, unlike earlier Ratchet games from the PS3-era, it doesn’t inhibit play or feel stiff at all – with the ability to look around taken out of your hands, nothing obstructs what you need to see when you need to see it.

Jun 9, 2011

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