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Well-rounded ‘Ratchet’ returns for new challenges |

Well-rounded ‘Ratchet’ returns for new challenges

| Thursday, November 24, 2005 12:00 a.m

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a Lombax• That’s right kids, it’s Ratchet. Everyone’s favorite furry fighter is back for more munitions and mayhem along with sidekick Clank, and their lumbering, goggle-eyed scientist friend Al. They’ve been kidnapped by a maniacal television mogul named Gleeman Vox in order to compete in an intergalactic sport combat reality show called “DreadZone.”

Every show episode, filmed “live” on various hostile planetoids, features abducted heroes like Ratchet, who stave off a multitude of robotic and indigenous nasties from across the solar system, all in the name of commercialized entertainment. Broadcast in every corner of the universe, the gladiator-style games coverage is uproarious as the show’s hosts pepper their commentary with jokes or goad Ratchet along during each heated battle for survival.

As Ratchet you must work your way up the ranks beating the show’s elite “exterminators” in order to keep your friends alive long enough to devise a plan to topple Vox and destroy his evil empire. Besides the regular “show” and “tourney” levels, there are also side challenges that need to be conquered to advance the game. Race hovercrafts against the clock, use landstalkers to eliminate a predetermined number of enemies or zip along grind rails trying to stay alive all to unlock “planet” levels.

Using the same sort of outlandish weaponry we’ve come to enjoy in the series, Ratchet can also modify his arsenal to shoot napalm, acid, freeze bolts or shock trajectories as well as increase the ammo amounts, speed and impact damage of each weapon.

Not to be left out in the battlefield with just his weapons, Ratchet has also been assigned a duo of veteran combat bots that he is able to command to perform tasks and supply fire support. Accompanying him wherever he goes, once you get into the harder planet levels you’ll be glad they’ve got your back.

“Deadlocked” is a well-rounded game full of fast-paced action, comic relief and nice level depth. Displaying good replay value for Ratchet fans, it offers a multiplayer split-screen mode so you can play with friends, or you can jump online and battle in a handful of game types including “Deathmatch,” “King of the Hill” or” Conquest.”

Additional Information:


‘Ratchet: Deadlocked’

Grade: B

Developer: Insomniac Games.

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Platform: PS2.

Genre: Action.

ESRB: Teen.

Retail: $39.99.

Categories: News
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