Played on: PlayStation 3
Released on: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PS Vita
Genre: Action, Platformer
Posted: 16th May 2021
Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (simply titled: Ratchet & Clank 3 in PAL regions) released in 2004, once again only a single year after the previous game: Going Commando.
After the major success of Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal had some tough shoes to fill. The groundwork had already been set, the game only needed to take what had already been established and improve upon it even further.
Practically every improvement and adjustment made in Going Commando to the core gameplay has carried over into Up Your Arsenal. From faster and more fluid combat, upgradable health and weaponry and more.
In fact, the combat feels even faster paced and more high octane than before. This boost the combat paced is aided through the new array of crazy weaponry that Ratchet has at his disposal.
With the third game in the series thus far, the wacky weaponry is a staple of the series that is iconic to the Ratchet & Clank name.
Not only do we have some returning weapons from Going Commando available for purchase, but also brand-new weapons with some very unique effects. For example, there’s the Infector – a weapon that not only deals damage to your foes but also brainwashes them to fight for you!
There have been some changes to the weapon upgrading system. In Going Commando weapons would only upgrade once and you would need to spend Platinum Bolts in giving each weapon a modification. However, in Up Your Arsenal your weapons will upgrade four times up to ‘V5’. Through these different levels, your weapons will naturally obtain modifications, such as a lock-on mod, shock mod, or a mini-bomb mod.
With each level, your weapon’s power will increase, but not as much as it would in Going Commando.
This balances the challenge of Up Your Arsenal’s combat rather well. Weapons, if used equally, are rarely too weak or overpowered.
I have to say that, out of the three games in the original trilogy of games, Up Your Arsenal is the most challenging. As a result, for its gunplay, it’s the most fun to play.
However, it feels as though in order to make the combat feel more enjoyable, every other facet of gameplay paid the price.
The ship combat that had been developed in Going Commando is simply gone. You can still customise your ship, but this is completely cosmetic. As someone that really enjoyed these sections in Going Commando, I have to admit that I’m rather disappointed that the ship sections weren’t given the opportunity to be evolved further like the standard Ratchet combat had been.
Clank sections are once again in the game, and largely operate on the same concept as before: Clank controls a small number of robots to help him reach his goal.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view these segments of gameplay), the Clank sections have been stripped back too.
In Going Commando, Clank was given a greater roster of robots to control, including robots that could smash blocks or build bridges to overcome obstacles. However, these new bots are gone in Up Your Arsenal. Instead, you have Skrunch the Monkey that acts as a distraction or glorified paperweight. Skrunch does add a new aspect to Clank’s gameplay, however, it’s a negligible change that makes no difference to the level of enjoyment.
Something that is completely brand-new to Up Your Arsenal and the Ratchet & Clank franchise is a Multiplayer Mode.
There are three different modes to play in Multiplayer: Siege, Capture the Flag and Deathmatch.
In Multiplayer Mode, you can play with up to four friends in local play, or as many as eight when the online servers were supported for the game. Unfortunately, the servers for the online support of Multiplayer have been closed on both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game – the Vita version never had online support to begin with.
However, should you find that you have a small group of friends that are willing to play with you, the Multiplayer in Up Your Arsenal can be fairly enjoyable. Although, if you don’t have the means to play a game of Multiplayer, you aren’t missing much at all.
Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal was playing a difficult game in trying to outshine Going Commando, and in my opinion, it’s a game that Insomniac lost.
The developers weren’t able to continue with the level of monumental improvements that had been made from the original game to the second. While the regular, gunplay combat is even better, it feels like everything was cast aside in order to focus on this.
I miss the ship sections; Clank didn’t receive much (if any) improvement to his gameplay, and even the world design felt less immersive than Going Commando.
Yet, with that said, Up Your Arsenal is still a great game. The standard gameplay feels refined and its strongest iteration yet; it’s fun to blast your way through Challenge Mode playthrough, after Challenge Mode playthrough with such an amazing arsenal of crazy weaponry.
For its Ratchet-based gameplay, Up Your Arsenal is perhaps the best in the series so far. It’s just if you want more substance than this that you’d be better off with Going Commando.
Time Logged by Point of Review: 6 Hours
Reviewed by: Sam
Images of the main game for this review were taken from ‘Full Playthroughs’ Youtube video. Find the full video HERE.
The image of the online multiplayer was taken from ‘Tealgamemaster’s YouTube video. View the full video HERE.
Fun Fact: There’s an obscure glitch that can occur when carrying out a specific set of actions. Should you go in Multiplayer Mode before creating a new game, it will cause a few unwanted side effects: When starting a new game, it will toggle off the ability for the quick-select ring to pause your gameplay permanently; furthermore, it will lock away your ability to change your camera configuration.
I didn’t realise this was a glitch at first, and so for the save file for this review, I played through the entire game without quick-select pause, and with the opposite camera controls that I usually play with – thus, this playthrough was the hardest that I had ever had with the game.
Thank you for reading my review of Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal. Let me know what you thought below. If you’ve played Ratchet & Clank 3 before, let me know if you agree or not!
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