Format reviewed: PS3
Other formats available: None
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony
Price: £24.99
Website: www.ratchetandclank.com
Rating: 7

The eponymous characters are back again but this time they have to team up with two others including their arch nemesis; cue lots of fun then.

Ratchet and Clank (R&C) games, if you haven't played them before are basically platform games where you leap around smashing boxes, crates and the such in order to acquire 'bolts', the in-game currency. Along the way you can use these to buy new weapons that you will need to use in order to beat the selection of baddies you'll encounter as you go.

All Four One (AFO) is all about the four characters: Ratchet, Clank, Captain Quark and Doctor Nefarious. At the start of the game you have to battle a monster unleashed by Nefarious, but after this all four characters get transported first to an alien facility and then to other locations where they have to do battle with a series of droids.

What makes AFO different from the previous nine R&C games is that AFO is designed to be played as an up to four-player co-operative game. This can be done either online or offline with players dropping in and out, but you can also play it on your own if you prefer.

You can play as any of the four protagonists: Ratchet, Clank, Quark or Nefarious and you have one of the others as a companion in the single-player mode.

Unusually for a game such as this your companion is actually useful as they can, and do, take out some of the droids for you. As we have come to expect with just about every game these days, the enemies always like to target you though, even if they are being pummelled by your colleague.

As we mentioned you need to collect 'bolts' as you go to buy new weapons. These could easily be stars, buttons or lumps of cheese they are just the in-game currency and you get them for smashing boxes and crates and whenever you or your companion kills anything (in the single-player version that is.)

The weapons include the bog-standard: hammer-type thing, pistol and grenade launcher, to the more interesting such as a suction gun thing that can also be used to fire things, such as your colleagues when you need to cross larger canyons.

Shooting is very easy, which isn't always the case with platformers, and the game features a way where you and your friends can bring down larger objects and droids by targeting them at the same time.

As with many of the latest games from Sony, AFO can be played in 3D if you have a TV or monitor that supports it. We tried the game on such a display and yes it did look good with uniform 3D over the whole screen. 3D gives the game nice depth and brings out the HUD items.

The early sections, when you are in the city and trying to defeat the Z'Grute beast, which involves going on some rail type things, looks particularly good. However, if you don't have a 3D TV, AFO looks good and is sharp and colourful as you would expect from a next-gen game. It's not as visually stunning as some other Sony exclusives, but then it's a cutesy, family platform game, so is much as expected.

Having never played any of the R&C games before, we were pleasantly pleased to play All Four One and kept on coming back to it out of choice, rather than simply because we had to write this review!

One other thing that we liked is the tongue in cheek comments and news clips you hear in the game. These are actually quite funny and help to give the game a humorous edge, which any adults playing the game will appreciate.

If you have recently decided to embrace the 3D fad, have a PS3 and want to try out the 3D functionality then All Four One is certainly worth testing it out with. It's fun for all the family.

Review by Tuckski

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