Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ratchet and Clank

Ratchet and Clank is the game based on the movie that’s based on the 2003 PlayStation 2 video game. While it may bring back nightmares of the Street Fighter The Movie game, Ratchet and Clank on PlayStation 4 is honestly one of the most pleasant and enjoyable games I’ve played in a long time. 

Out now for PlayStation 4, developer Insomniac Games have proven once again that they can create beautiful looking worlds. This comes at a cost of the frame rate being halved to 30 but honestly it doesn’t matter because Ratchet and Clank is visually mesmerising. If you played through the original on PlayStation 2 or even the HD remaster that followed later, there’s no need to worry if you’ll get any enjoyment out of this game – you definitely will. There are enough enhancements as well as inclusions from other games in the series and new content to make this game very much feel like something new. This isn’t a simple copy and paste of the original.

If this game proves anything it’s that there is plenty of life in the 3D platformer genre. I dabbled in Ratchet and Clank in the past so while I’m familiar with the structure and feel of the games, I’m not a diehard fan possibly wearing rose-tinted glasses. I state the previous sentence simply because of this: The new Ratchet and Clank is one of the most fun experiences I may have ever had with a video game in my 20+ years of playing.

There’s no melodrama or dull moments. From the second you start the game, it’s just a joy to play. The controls feel excellent, the visuals are memorable, but it’s how everything compliments each other that keeps it always fantastic. You spend a vast majority of the game moving from planet to planet taking out the bad guys and saving the inhabitants. Each new planet feels distinctive and is a genuine treat to explore. Some of the locations from the original game are laid out slightly different or will have a slightly different theme that makes it both stand out and feel new to returning players.

Some enhancements from later games in the series are present in this remake. First off, all the weapons you use can be levelled up as well as your characters itself. It creates a much deeper and replayable nature to just playing through the game. You can also find special items in the world that is used to level up those weapons using something similar to the Sphere Grid seen in older Final Fantasy titles. If you know the developer Insomniac Games then you’ll know just how good they are at creating fun and unique weapons. Ratchet and Clank is a high point for them as some of the funniest and most entertaining weapons are present. The weapons on show here are like a “greatest hits” collection and even include a new weapon or two. Each weapon feels different and is great to use in combat.

When I played the original Ratchet and Clank back in the day I thought it was fun. Jumping back into the series 14 years later prove that not only is the genre alive and well but developers Insomniac Games are still at their very best. I can only hope that this is the start of the revitalisation of the 3D Action Platformer.

Playing this game is the embodiment of fun. 5/5.


 Jason Redmond

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