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Ruff Trigger: The Vanocore Conspiracy review

Turns out you can teach a new dog Ratchet's old tricks


  • Nice selection of weapons
  • Surprisingly varied gameplay
  • Interesting level design


  • Cheap-looking visuals
  • Clunky controls
  • lousy hit detection
  • Overarchingly bland

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I love the Ratchet %26amp; Clank games, but I wish that instead of a robot sidekick, Ratchet had magical werewolf powers?" If so, then Ruff Trigger: The Vanocore Conspiracy might be the perfect game for you. Drawing its inspiration from Ratchet 's art and play styles, Ruff Trigger is a cute (if bland) sci-fi shooter/platformer in which players control Ruff, a dog-faced interstellar bounty hunter.

At first armed with little more than a clunky set of martial-arts moves, Ruff is tasked with defeating poorly defined enemies in a quest to rescue cute, genetically engineered pets called Piglots. A huge shipment of Piglots has been lost (or possibly stolen, it's never quite clear) and scattered around, and so it's Ruff's job to lead or carry them to glowing "Teleports" scattered around each level so they can be returned.

The game's Ratchet DNA becomes obvious the first time you buy a gun from one of the familiar-looking in-level kiosks. As for the weaponry itself, there's a decent variety of shotguns, rocket launchers and sniper rifles in the game, but it's all unlocked very slowly. But on the bright side, there's so much money hidden in all the breakable crates and other bits of destructible scenery littering every level that you're almost never short on funds when you finally do getthe opportunity to buy new stuff. Oh, and Ruff can turn into a werewolf, too, with Wolverine claws and lasers and everything.

More Info

DescriptionA generic-looking Ratchet & Clank clone that gets better the longer you stick with it.
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
Release date27 June 2006 (US), 27 June 2006 (UK)