Ratchet: Gladiator brings the multi-player shooter mayhem of Ratchet 3: Up Your Arsenal into the single-player arena, and best of all, you can let a mate seamlessly jump into the action for cooperative multi-player at any time! If no mates are available, then you'll have to rely on two robots Gleeman Vox has assigned you, to compete in Vox's twisted gladiatorial TV show, 'Dreadzone'.
Vox has captured Ratchet and Clank, forcing them to compete in his inter-galactic underground combat reality show where heroes are compelled to fight for their lives against merciless hordes of robots. They quickly become the stars of the show and correspondingly will face a series of ever more dangerous threats as their ratings rise. They must figure out how to escape his clutches and shut him down before the show kills them. Thankfully, Ratchet will be equipped with a powerful suit of mechanized armour, and more weapons than you can shake a stick at. Let the destruction commence!
The game centers on several planets, each with multiple missions. Ratchet will rely on his squad of bots to help complete objectives. While they will follow Ratchet's lead in combat, they are needed to make bridges, shut down electrical devices and generally attack enemies and defend Ratchet. Thankfully, you wont have to defend your helpers, and should they be terminated you can bring them back into the fray with a quick button push. There are heaps of collectibles to keep you perfecting your technique including 5 sets of armour, 10 weapons and multiple upgrades for the guns. These can be acquired by collecting 'bolts' from fallen enemies or completing missions. Your weapons can be upgraded in three ways: they automatically 'level up' after they've killed enough enemies earning both an increase in their attributes and 'Alpha mods', which can change the fire rate or damage. The third way is through buying 'Omega mods', which add elemental effects the guns ammunition.
Vehicular combat also plays a large part of Ratchet Gladiator. The Land Stalker is a spider like mech equipped with a mortar and machine gun. The Puma is a cross between a tank and an all terrain vehicle, given it can move fairly quickly and has a machine gun and cannon. The Hoverbikes come loaded with machine guns and are built for speed, and last buy not least is the Hovership.
Each planet, which has it's own unique look and feel, has multiple missions and objectives which can be completed in a non-linear manner. Each will be conquered in one final epic battle against an Exterminator, a hero who has been subverted and now works for the Dreadzone as opposed to against it.
If you are ready for another dose of over the top action and humour, prepare yourself for Ratchet: Gladiator, coming the 25th of November.
The Good: Seamless cooperative and single-player action. Heaps of collectibles and upgrades. Varied missions and planets.
The Bad: If the predecessors are anything to go by, it'll take ages to collect and complete everything.
The Ugly: The graphics look quite dated.