This game is a mixed bag of surprises. Some good and some not so good. The game itself revolves around the exploits of Clank, with Ratchet taking a back seat.
Ratchet has been imprisoned on a supposed charge of breaking and entering, so it's now time for Clank to step forward and be counted.
The other surprise is that the game is not the usual alien killing feast, but instead is full of puzzles that rely more on stealth than brawn. As a secret agent you have only a limited amount of combat weaponry at your disposal, and even that does not allow you take on more than one enemy at a time. To succeed you need to use cunning and stealth to move from section to section.
These puzzles can consist of simply timing your run to avoid search lights to the more complex challenges where an array of spy gadgets are required to progress further. These include such absurd items as exploding cuff links and robot disarming gadgets. The trick is to employ these gadgets at the right time and the right place. Your main weapon is however is your stealth and dexterity.
It is this aspect of the game that disappoints. The concept is good; tension-filled races with search lights and jumping from plinth to plinth to disguise yourself as a statue are fun concepts, however they are let down by the frustrating camera angles and the awkward control. The camera auto zooms, and often this places you way too close to the action when what you need is the wider view to see more of your enemies. The collision detection for walls seems to extend out from the walls themselves. Hoping to rush to a wall to avoid a search light can have you hanging out in the light as you can't get close to the wall itself. Let the guard dog savaging begin!
This issue would have been a minor one if there was the ability to save more often. Unfortunately the save system is based around checkpoints, and these can be annoyingly infrequent. Pass one section by the skin of your teeth only to fail at an equally difficult point slightly further on requires you to endlessly repeat the previous one until you master the next one. This makes the game an exercise in frustration when there is so much more of the game to enjoy.
The difficulty level of the game ratchets up (pun not intended) relatively quickly and this is unfortunate given the lack of save points. Some of the early puzzles teach you that some of the game options can be quite hard to master. This early level of frustration can be off-putting for the more casual gamer.
You get to play three characters in all. There's Clank of course, Ratchet (in a more combative role) and there is the insane super hero Captain Qwark. You gather up tokens as you progress that can be used as currency to purchase additional gadgets to add to your back pack, although initially there never seems to be enough tokens.
The graphics are good (wall collisions aside) with your adversaries having the right amount of comic value to keep the game light hearted. Lighting effects are particularly well done with the light and dark effects complementing the stealth sections of the game well.
Overall this is a good addition for fans of the series and a nice diversion from the usual Ratchet and Clank fare. However, its difficulty level and camera controls set it back from being a really good game.