Ratchet: Deadlocked Review

Ratchet: Deadlocked. Hmm, now let’s see, what’s missing here? Besides a double entendre for a subtitle, that is. That’s right folks, there’s no Clank in the title. Clank’s been sort of relegated to a desk job in Deadlocked, leaving all of the fighting and jumping to Ratchet. Is this a bad thing? Well unless you’re a diehard member of the Clank fan club, you’ll probably be having too much fun to give him much thought.

In Deadlocked the galaxy’s heroes are mysteriously disappearing one by one. Our favorite heroes Ratchet and Clank are sent to investigate the latest disappearance and before you know it they end up as the latest missing heroes themselves. Their captor is one Gleeman Vox, the owner of an underground broadcasting networked named, appropriately enough, Vox Broadcasting. Any resemblance between Vox Broadcasting and the Earthbound Fox Broadcasting network are purely intentional. I mean coincidental. Yeah, that’s what I meant. Anyway, Vox has pegged ratchet to be the next contestant on his top-rated show, DreadZone. DreadZone is a take on Running Man in which heroes are pitted against one another and the hazards of the planets to which they’re sent. All of this is of course filmed for the entertainment of countless odd-looking aliens. Since this is not the sort of thing for which a hero would volunteer, the show’s contestants are fitted with a special collar known as a deadlock. Should they refuse to participate or, even worse, hurt the show’s ratings with a poor performance, the collar will be detonated and the contestant will be literally eliminated. It falls on Ratchet’s furry shoulders to enter the arena and battle it out while Clank is relegated to monitoring his performance from their Vox provided home base. Clank’s presence is still felt throughout the game, though, as he is linked by radio to Ratchet and is always providing him with information and advice.

Ratchet dual wields.
Where the original Ratchet game was a platformer with guns, the latest game is closer to a shooter with platforms. There are a lot of enemies running around in the game in the form of the resident aliens of each world on which DreadZone takes place, heavy weaponry emplacements, and the show’s other contestants. The game’s first planet sets the tone for the rest of the game right off the bat. The planet is a robot graveyard and as you run around trying to complete your objectives, robozombies constantly pop out of the ground to attack you. Needless to say your finger will spend more time on the fire button than off of it.

Like in previous Ratchet & Clank games you’ve got an entire arsenal of imaginative and highly destructive weapons at your disposal. Using a particular weapon will earn experience points for it, and eventually it will level up to a more destructive version. There’s a bit of strategy needed here as you need to make sure that you have a good mix of leveled-up weapons so that you can face a variety of threats in the latter stages of the game, so mixing it up on your attacks is a good idea. New to Deadlocked is a weapon mod system that will allow you to customize your weapons to some extent. These mods fall into two categories, Alpha and Omega. Alpha mods let you increase your weapons’ stats in areas such as ammo capacity and rate of fire. Omega mods are where the real customization takes place. As each weapon is upgraded it will gain Omega slots into which you can places the mods – the higher a weapon’s level, the more slots it gets. Omega mods add extra impact to your weapons’ damage by adding things like acid splash, molten lava, and arcing electrical damage to your shots. These mods can be swapped out and interchanged at any time, so you can really change each weapon dramatically to suit the situation. For example, when those aforementioned robozombies start to really become a pain, switch in a molten lava mod and watch them burn to a crisp as quickly as they pop out of the ground.