What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is an action game suitable for tweens and up with a strong cooperative bent. Play centers on violence, but it is of a humorous, cartoonish variety that shouldn’t prove scary to most kids. Up to four players can play together locally, creating a fun and safe social gaming experience. Parents should note that online play exists as well, and that open voice communication via headset means players could engage in inappropriate discussions with strangers. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens.
What's it about?
RATCHET & CLANK: ALL 4 ONE, the latest entry in Insomniac Games’ long-running action/platformer series, focuses on delivering a social gaming experience for up to four players, locally or online. After a lengthy opening cinema that shows heroes Ratchet and Clank accompanying Captain Qwark to an award ceremony that turns out to be a trap set by the evil Dr. Nefarious, these four disparate personalities find themselves forced to work together to battle a brand new menace. Players choose to play as one of these characters (if you play alone you’ll be accompanied by an ally controlled by the computer), then set out on a familiar-feeling adventure that involves amassing an arsenal of unusual weapons while traveling from one highly-stylized sci-fi setting to another.
Is it any good?
It will be hard for most Ratchet & Clank fans not to be disappointed with the duo’s latest outing. While the focus on cooperative play can make for some great social gaming experiences, it has resulted in level design that feels simpler and less satisfying. There are fewer interesting ways for players to explore their environments and less in the way of interesting obstacles to overcome. The series’ reliably excellent narrative has suffered as well. Though still pocked with witty and memorable one-liners, the oddball circumstances that lead to the game’s four primary characters working together seem forced, resulting in a tale that never feels quite right.
It’s still fun, especially if you can play with friends -- Insomniac has come up with some clever ways of getting players to cooperate with one another -- but it’s a lesser experience than its predecessors. It would have been better imagined as a smaller undertaking; perhaps a bonus mode in a more traditional Ratchet & Clank adventure, or a downloadable game for a lower price.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about social gaming. Do you prefer to play games alone or with friends? Do you enjoy the pressure to perform well when playing with friends, or do you find it intimidating?
Families can also discuss online safety. What precautions do you take when encountering strangers online? What would you do if you thought you ran into a cyberbully?