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Parents' Guide to

Secret Agent Clank

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Clank's first solo outing clumsy, disappointing.

Game PSP 2008
Secret Agent Clank Poster Image

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The Ratchet & Clank games, which got their start six years ago for the PlayStation 2, are among the most entertaining adventures available for Sony platforms. Their secret recipe: Old fashioned running and jumping shenanigans mixed with goofy and innovative gadgets and droll sci-fi storytelling. Unfortunately, Secret Agent Clank goes light on all three of these ingredients, supplanting much of the series' traditional action with new and awkwardly designed stealth mechanics that prove unintuitive and frustrating. Players can expect to replay some sections of early missions several times as they contend with an annoyingly unintelligent camera, work with gadgets that are difficult to deploy (such as an ink blotter that is supposed to block lasers but often fails to properly target them), and try to figure out the patterns of roving guards so they can stay out of sight. Later missions, which involve such objectives as dancing with a feminine robot and secretly trailing a mobster, are less exasperating, but still fail to capture the same freewheeling, action-packed vibe as previous games in the series.

The missions in which we take control of a character other than Clank aren't much more fun. Ratchet's arena battles are often an exercise in aggravation, thanks in part to the clumsy camera mentioned above as well as an ineffective auto-targeting system. Quark's mini-games suffer from similar issues. The best levels in the game turn out to be those in which we control the gadgetbots; little automatons that have appeared in previous Ratchet & Clank games as Clank's helpers. Players switch between gadgetbots to attack enemies, repair each other, and solve contextual puzzles, which involve objectives such as acquiring an electric charge and using it to power up bridges of energy. Unfortunately, the gadgetbot missions account for only a small portion of play.

Game Details

  • Platform: PSP
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Release date: June 17, 2008
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Tobacco Reference
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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