In 2002, Insomniac Games introduced the wonderful little Lombax and his robot sidekick to the world. Since then, the Ratchet & Clank franchise became a staple in PlayStation’s plethora of top games to have, and has refined the platformer genre. Now, 14 years later, the duo is back to remind us why the original Ratchet & Clank is one of the best games of all time, and actually make it even better.
Ratchet & Clank stick to the same story told years ago, which provides a good introduction to players new to the series, as well as that gooey nostalgic feeling to longtime fans of the franchise. The plot follows the adventure of Ratchet, a Lombax looking to become a space ranger. As fate would have it, Clank, a small but clever robot, shoots down from the sky near’s Ratchet’s garage, and the duo soon sets off to save the galaxy. This is actually a great example for the one problem the story has – the pacing. As you’re playing the game, you feel like it’s rushing you across Ratchet and Clank’s timeline. One minute you’re saying hello to a stoic but friendly robot, the next you’re blasting away bad guys while grinding on rails on a completely different planet. Good thing the story is so straightforward, or it would have been hard to follow.
But the PlayStation 4 version is not a simple HD remake of the same game you know from 2002. It’s a full re-imagining. While the story follows the same overall plot, it adds more depths to the characters and manages to make the whole experience feel a lot bigger than the original. Everything else was also built from the ground up. Insomniac included a lot of elements from later titles in the franchise, because they either added an extra layer to the gameplay, or are just plain fun. And fun is what this game does best.
There are a lot of shooters and platformers in the market, but none of them mold the two genres better than Ratchet & Clank. Combining the gun shooting with Ratchet’s agile movements makes gunplay feel like an action movie, as everything explodes around you in glorious detail. I’ve mention the rail grinding earlier, which is just as exhilarating as it was in previous titles on the series. It provides some really great and intense moments as you zip forward and shoot everything around you. On the flipside, the game delivers intuitive platforming and clever puzzles to add variety to the exploration. Everything is backed up by smooth controls that contribute to the extreme ferocity of the game, but not as much as the guns.
Ratchet & Clank does not shy away from being over the top when it comes to the weapons. All of your favorites are there, even weapons that were first introduced in later games in the series. You have guns like the Pixelizer, a shotgun that turns enemies into a clutter of pixels and voxels, the Groovitron that turns every shootout into a disco party, and many, many more. There’s a clever new mechanic that rewards you from both sticking to your favorite guns, and experimenting with new ones. It basically says that the more you use a gun, the faster can you upgrade it. The guns you use more frequently will become stronger earlier on, but you’d still feel compelled to try out different guns, just to see if you can upgrade them to suit your play style. No matter which guns you end up choosing, they make everything go up in flames with an impressive amount of effects and destruction.
This is, by far, one of the most beautiful games on the PlayStation 4, or any other platform. At any given moment there’s so much that’s going on on-screen, it’s hard not to stop mid-action just to admire the spectacle. Taking that into consideration, the real star of the game is actually the different worlds you visit. Each world presents its own theme, story and enemies that create an environment unique to itself. But the characters can still steal the spotlight that’s to the great detail that went into their models and animations, the wonderful voice over work. All of this combined can almost make you believe that you’re watching the Ratchet & Clank film, and not playing the game.
Ratchet & Clank isn’t just a revisit of the 2002 debut of the duo, but is a revival of the series. There those to say that graphics aren’t important in a game. Well, here’s a game that has both the looks and the gameplay to satisfy every player. The staggering amount of content, plus the astonishing attention to graphical quality makes this game a must for all fans of action and platforming, and gamers in general.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.