Lending weight to all those sayings about the number three (it's magic, a charm and, apparently what most things come in), Insomniac Games completes a hat trick with the follow-up to its hugely popular Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded.
Reuniting the galaxy-hopping pair once more for a tale of interplanetary espionage and adventure, Ratchet & Clank 3 sees weapons expert Ratchet and his robotic companion Clank teaming up for another mission on the Lombax's home planet Veldin, this time to save all organic life in the universe.
After the duo's previous universe-saving escapades, Ratchet and Clank have earned themselves intergalactic notoriety, with the diminutive robot now starring in his own TV series, 'Secret Agent Clank', accompanied by his reluctant sidekick Ratchet (a role he's none too happy about). But when the Galactic President contacts the pair to appeal for their help in saving the universe - again - the odd interstellar couple put their 'creative differences' aside and head out to do battle with Dr Nefarious - a robotic supervillain with designs on interplanetary domination.
Playing out in much the same way as the previous adventure, Ratchet & Clank 3 features a blend of gameplay styles that keep the action fresh and enjoyable, with platform exploration still the dominant central theme. There's an opportunity to test out your rhythm action skills too, and new vehicles shake up the mix further, with a Hovership, Hovertank and Turbo Slider all available to unlock.
These modes of transport really come into play when you enter the multiplayer arenas, where up to four friends can duke it out in split-screen mode. Tool up and enter the fray in vibrant, beautifully quirky environments, seek out your target, steady your trigger finger and... BOOM!
Yup, the legendary firearms are back too, with some brilliant mods and twists on the classic collection. Take out your mates and deal out humiliation aplenty, armed with any combination of the devastating and hilarious gadgets on offer - the Suck Cannon, beefed-up RYNO III and the all-new Plasma Whip all jostle for position amongst your burgeoning arsenal.
Bringing an impressive level of depth to platform gaming, Insomniac Games has succeeded in creating one of the most jam-packed and genuinely entertaining gaming experiences this side of your PS2. Ratchet & Clank 3 will have you hooked for hours, days, weeks, and quite possibly months with its incredibly detailed, multilayered single-player mode alone, and the multiplayer mash-ups will keep you and your pals, either at home or across Europe, entertained 'til the Lombax come home.
- Eliminate mates and heap humiliation on your opponents in split-screen modes
- Ride out in new vehicles, including the Hovership, Hovertank and Turbo Slider
- Captain Quark, Big Al, Helga and Skidd McMarxx return as team Q-Force
- An even more outlandish arsenal, with some heavy duty new weapons added to the mix