Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty is typically regarded as one of the worst in the Ratchet & Clank series, and it’s clear why after playing it over the Holiday season. It is only set in one world with little story to be be had, the level design can be frustrating, and the lack of weapons (and anything new) make this short 3-hour entry worth skipping in the series.
Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty is the connection between Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time as Ratchet tries to find a way to figure out where his best friend Clank is after he was taken away by unknown beings. Rather than the funny banter between Ratchet & Clank, this game is mainly told through directives by the most bland female protagonist, Talwyn Apogee, and a monologue by the comedy relief, Rusty Pete. The best thing about this game is Rusty Pete and Captain Slag. Unlike most of the games, the writing is forgettable and you can’t remember it as the scene ends. There are a few chuckles here and there, but it isn’t laugh out loud funny. Despite the name of the game, Ratchet barely talks in this game. It’s as if the voice actor was out of town and they had to write the story around this. Apogee and Rusty Pete have more lines than him. It’s odd, and because of this, it wasn’t an engaging story.
The levels are derivative and awkwardly designed for a platformer. One of the main gameplay gimmicks from Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty is the use of light. For most of the game, you’ll be stuck in caves, which have next to no light. You have to pick up heliogrubs, creatures that emit light, to guide the way. I’ve fallen off a cliff so many times from the lack of lighting, even with the heliogrub, that it can get annoying fast.
Another major part of the game is the kinetic tether. As you awkwardly press R2 and square, Ratchet can create a whip that can tether magnetic objects. Platforms and catapults can be pulled back with the kinetic tether, and the gameplay can get interesting as you move the platforms across a plain in order to jump from one place to another. The implementation of the kinetic tether, however, is not great. When you try to use it, you need to see a symbol appear above the object that you’re moving, and when you press R2 and square, it takes too long to recognize the input. The platforming can get frustrating. For example, at multiple times, I tried to jump down to one ledge, but it wouldn’t recognize that I was trying to go down rather than jump off. Many, many deaths of our poor lombax were caused by this.
Most of Ratchet’s arsenal as well is underpowered. For the electric whip that was available, I’d have to use the entire ammo of the weapon to take out just one enemy. There aren’t a lot of weapons to choose from either with only two or three weapons actually being effective.
In addition, this is a short game with a playtime of 3-4 hours, and there aren’t any collectibles to speak of. There is no challenge mode either, which typically increases the amount of bolts you get by including an increasing multiplier and stronger enemies.
There are a few positives, however. The game presents a few interesting puzzles here and there that the series is known for, and the environments are still great to look at. It’s still impressive to see a fleet of pirate ships moving across the sea, or witness the attention to detail with how the world looks and feels. I love to see the creatures of this world flying around the island. The voice work also is top notch and they deliver the lines perfectly every time.
There isn’t much to plunder from Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty as there are not a lot of weapons to choose from, bad implementation of the game’s mechanics, and a lacking script. However, this world is still marvelous to visit as it keeps the intriguing planet to explore, and it has a few interesting bits of game design throughout with the kinetic tether.