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Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: Insomniac Games
Rated: E10 (Everyone 10 and Up)
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Release Date: August 21, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Price: $14.99
Written By: Matthew Prunty



Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is the first episodic content from Insomniac Games in the hopes of filling the game between the ending sequences of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, and the titleís direct sequel, which is scheduled to release Fall of 2009. Though this download is currently going for $14.99 and utilizes 2.3GB of space on your hard drive, it packs the punch of a full feature title release by any other developer. Gone are the CG cutscenes and in-depth roster of weapons, being replaced within storyboard narratives and five of the best weapons to get the job done.

Quest for Booty starts gamers off fighting hordes of pirates, while hoping from ship to ship. Upon you getting close to your destination, Ratchet and Talwyn are captured and shot out of a cannon to a nearby area known as Hoolefar Island. Itís there that you meet up with the mayor of the island who is eager to help you fulfill your mission if you are able to help them out in a bind. It seems that the power to the island has been mysteriously shut off, so you must help the mayor and the people of Hoolefar Island restore power in order to continue you on your quest to find your lost pall Clank. After restoring the power to the high-tech windmills, you gain access to a secret room that holds a machine with the ability to help you locate Clank; wherever he may be.



At this point, the game officially begins. The mayor informs you about the Faulcon Star, which would power the mysterious machine, giving Ratchet the power to locate Clank, no matter where he was located within the universe. So you and Talwyn set off to locate the Faulcon Star, and ultimately unleash one of the most vicious pirates known as DarkWater. Not spoiling too much about the game, upon releasing DarkWater and recovering the Faulcon Star, several different twists and turns occur, bringing about intense battles and tons of humorous situations.

Before being shot out of a cannon, you have you entire roster of weapons from Tools of Destruction, but upon landing at Hoolefar Island, you have lost all your weapons and must regain them through our trusty henchmen The Smuggler, who miraculously comes across your weapons as the games goes on. While most of the weapons are the same as in Tools of Destruction, Ratchetís trusty wrench has a few tricks up its sleeves. The most notable is the Kinetic Tether, which allows Ratchet to connect with distant objects and platforms, being able to manipulate their angle and even draw them closer to him. You also have the ability to carry small creatures and/or objects on your wrench, which comes in handy when exploring Morrow Caverns and busting through gates.



Insomniac Games has been the defining developer for immersive visuals when it comes to the Playstation 3. While Tools of Destruction is a grand adventure that played host to several lush environments, Quest for Booty expands on this foundation with improved lighting and special effects, along with new immersive environments that demand the gamer to keep their attention on the action taking place on the screen. The cutscenes within Quest for Booty are displayed utilizing the in-game graphics engine that looks to be just coming into its prime. The major points of the story are told through a detailed animated map with our favorite pirate subordinate Rusty Pete narrating every detail of Ratchet's quest. Just like Tools of Destruction, this game boasts the high definition resolution of 720p, which fits this title perfectly.

Though Quest for Booty doesn't feature a new musical soundtrack, it does recycle the pirate tunes, which actually add to the storyline of the game since itís based predominately around the pirates and searching the Faulcon star. When it comes to the soundtrack and gameplay, the music fades into the background, allowing the gamer to experience the sound effects associated with wildlife, wind blowing, and the clattering of nuts and bolts upon destroying various pirates and creatures. In regards to the voice-acting, everyone reprises their roles, which keeps the action familiar, while raising the ante on humorous jokes and actions. Expect to laugh a lot as the pirates do a lot of bantering back and forth, especially between Captain Slag and Darkwater. Though the PS3 is capable of HD audio, Quest for Booty utilizes Dolby Digital, which allows a gamer to hear every little sound effect that has been incorporated into the title.



To be honest, there isnít really any replay value to this episodic content. If Insomniac Games doesnít release any extra episodic content between now and Fall 2009ís release of Ratchet & Clank Future 2, some gamers may find themselves going back to play this and Tools of Destruction to keep the game fresh in their minds. There are no arena battles like in Tools of Destruction, so unless you want to just explore the worlds of Quest for Booty, there really isnít much to do beyond just completing the game.

Overall
Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty, though only 3-4 hours in length, packs a great deal of content that rivals several other high profiles titles on the market. With the price tag of $14.99, some may argue that the game length doesn't justify the price mark, but when you look at the fact that most gamers took 12-16 hours to complete Tools of Destruction, the price works perfectly fine. Though fall 2009 isnít too far away before coming into contact with the next installment within the Ratchet & Clank Future series, the demand will definitely be high.

8.5/10


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