- Page 1 Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
- Page 2 Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
The action takes place over only a handful of levels, but within that space we get some excellent bits of platforming and one or two brilliantly staged battle sequences, and the pace rarely lets up for a second. And helping everything along is the series signature sense of humour, with lovable characters, witty, self-aware dialogue and some superb music on a general piracy theme. Quest for Booty is short at around four hours of play, but it actually feels shorter just because you’re having such a good time while you play. It’s a glowing example of how nobody outside Nintendo does this stuff as well as Insomniac anymore. The control system is well thought out and responsive, you’re hardly ever caught out by a bad camera angle and while the game is never too easy, spikes of hideous difficulty are few and far between. Even the bit that troubled me most – a pretty vicious, multi-stage pirate raid – could be defeated with just a little skill and strategy.
The graphics, meanwhile, are just brilliant. There are times when you’ll notice that the backgrounds are less detailed, epic or expansive than they were in Tools of Destruction, but there are also times when you notice how exceptionally good the art and textures are or how warm and cinematic the lighting is. As with Tools of Destruction, it’s hard not to make comparisons with Pixar. Dozens of studios are now knocking out CGI kid flicks at a fair rate of knots, but only two or three can produce work of Pixar quality and only one produces films as dazzling and technically accomplished as Cars or Wall-E. With Quest for Booty, Insomniac again demonstrates that while other developers can do cutesy platform games, only it and Nintendo seem able to produce ones with this sort of polish and beauty. It’s safe to say that this is the best looking downloadable game yet.
Still, much as I love Quest for Booty – and I do – we eventually have to address the size issue. For some gamers, £9.99 is just too much for a game that lasts three or four hours, and the length and lack of additional gadgets and weaponry (not to mention mini-games and guest appearances from Captain Quark) makes Quest for Booty a bit of a damp squib. Personally, I loved every single pirate-packed minute of it, and I’d put it in the same category as Half-Life 2: Episode One – a single, short but concentrated blast that rolls all your favourite bits of a great game into one tight package. Sure, there’s precious little replay value, but I’d still unreservedly recommend it. If you’re feeling tight (and these days who isn’t) there’s an argument that you’d be better served replaying Tools of Destruction. Stuff that, I think – just pony up the dough and grab a great fist full of Booty.
A short burst of Insomniac’s platforming magic, low on new weaponry and over too soon, but hugely enjoyable while it lasts. Well worth the £10 outlay.