Since this is Clank's solo adventure, he is a super sexy secret agent complete with tuxedo and bow tie. Clank is on a routine mission when Ratchet is framed for stealing a priceless jewel and thrown into prison for his crime. It is up to Clank to find who framed Ratchet and ultimately free him from his false incarceration and go through nearly every spy cliché imaginable. If that wasn't enough, while Clank looks for clues with the help of The Agency, Ratchet and Qwark have their own problems to deal with in between Clank's never-ending search.
Clank sneaks around each level with an ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and gadgets that range from deadly bowties to suitcase flamethrowers (sweet!). As with every other game in the series, weapons and gadgets earn experience over time and each one upgrades to become more useful and effective. What was meant to be a stealth platforming game is hurt by poor A.I. and devolves into searching for the nearest ammo crate. Enemies only notice Clank if you are stepping on their toes or shaking their martinis, so the easiest way to get through most of Secret Agent Clank is to simply take out the baddies as you see them.
To break up the monotony of bland platforming, Clank has either a rhythm action sequence or a vehicle segment at the end of each level. It is nice to see variety in the gameplay, but since both aren't done particularly well, it still doesn't compare to an explosive Bond style chase scene.
After Ratchet has been thrown in jail, the warden thinks it would be a fun idea to host some moderate prison combat. Ratchet's parts are lifted straight out of the arena fights from previous games. Ratchet is all by himself with his trusty wrench to defend off the swarming inmates. Ratchet receives new weapons sent to him in conspicuous birthday cakes from Clank as he finds new tools in the field. Just like Clank, Ratchet's tools upgrade over time and although there are only a few of these arenas that need to be completed to move forward, there are still extra missions to earn more experience and extend the enjoyment.
While Clank is sleuthing about the galaxy searching for his arch-nemesis, Captain Qwark is producing his biography by re-telling some of his heroic tales. Again, I applaud the variety in gameplay, but Qwark's adventures are funny, but not fun. He battles space-dragons, plant people, and even puts on an operatic production of his fight with a sea kraken. The only option Qwark has at his disposal is point and shoot. Much more action-oriented that Clank, Qwark serves as a buffer in between story chapters. Qwark's stories have always been a comic relief in a series that had enough humor between the two main characters. In Secret Agent Clank, it feels like Qwark shamefully crosses over to the absurd. While it is still funny, I smiled more than I laughed.