The shrewd political metaphor of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

, | Games

At one point in the co-op action game, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, the players drift down a river on a round raft. The raft has four motors on the edges. When a player uses one of the motors, the raft drifts in the appropriate direction. This being a raft floating on water and physics being physics, it is liable to turn as it moves. So that can get messy. Then there are the other three yahoos on the raft who might have their own ideas about where the raft should go. I once went canoeing with my buddy Kevin when I was a kid. I was awesome at paddling the canoe. But he kept screwing us up by paddling different from me. Canoes, man. It’s a wonder humanity ever made it across the Bering Strait.

Anyway, while you’re spinning and drifting down this river, you’re trying to pick up flaoting loot boxes. And did I mention that there are bombs floating all over the place? Also giant turtles with spiky shells. I suspect it will be one of those levels I’ll be driven to finish solely because I never want to have to play it again.

During a demo of the level, the game’s developer, Chad Dezern, calls the raft “an extremely democratic vehicle”. And, yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty good approximation of the contemporary political process.

(In case it’s not clear, the raft represents Barack Obama, the port motor is Harry Reid, the starboard motor is John Boehner, the turtles are Rush Limbaugh, and the bombs are Glenn Beck’s tears. The river itself is stuff Fox News says. The loot boxes are the state parks that didn’t have to close this past week.)