Ratchet and Clank – Review

Ratchet and Clank

Ratchet and Clank – Review

Insomniac Games. PlayStation users, as well as other gamers, know the type of quality and excellence this developer is known for. With their latest installment on the PS4, entitled Ratchet and Clank, everyone was expecting nothing but the finest from this company. Not only is this game a reboot for the franchise but it also has a tie in with the movie that is currently out in theaters. Normally a game that is based on a movie leads to very disappointing circumstances. Insomniac’s latest is not just based on a movie. This a game, based on a movie, that is based on the original game. How well did Insomniac pull this off? Is it another masterpiece, or does the game follow the others quickly into the bargain bin? Let’s blast through the universe and find out. Maybe amongst our travels we will even find a R.Y.N.O.

For those that have played previous installments of this game franchise know very well who the main two characters are. Once again you play as Ratchet and his sidekick, a small robot, that Ratchet actually names, as clank. The main objective is to stop Alonzo Drek from taking planets apart, taking certain pieces from those planets, then creating his own “perfect planet”. You will travel across different similar worlds, meet many familiar faces, and fight many similar foes. You will also visit places that you haven’t seen before. Insomniac took portions of the original game, added new parts and even some new dialog. Some of which poke fun at themselves.

Normally I start these reviews off by stating some of the issues I have run across during my playthrough(s). In this case I did a totally of three playthroughs. To be honest. There really isn’t anything major that I had run across that was neither game breaking, chapter restart faults or even worse, game save corruption. Ratchet and Clank is a really great polished game. You can defiantly tell that Insomniac didn’t just take the original game, throw it in the washer, fluff dry it and called it a remaster. This game was built from the ground up and polished very well.

With that said, I did run into a few small issues. Most of these pertained to the rail grinding portions of the game. At one part of the game you have to jump across this fairly large gap between the rails. On the playthroughs that I did, I never made it the first time, or sometimes the second. Ratchet’s boot would make the sparking image as if landing on the rail but he would land just on top of the connector and then fall down to the water below resulting in an instant death. Other times on other rails when not timing my jump correctly and hitting an explosive ring, Ratchet would fall through the rail instead of his feet landing back on the rail. It’s the little things like this that I would come across. None of these are really frustrating or “controller breaking” problems. Just more like a nuisance.

The one thing that really annoyed me the most from the game (this is nick picking here) is that when you get to a new planet, you can’t control the camera right away. The camera will stay panned out until you start to move and then it will slowly zoom back in.  There have been many times that I wanted to look behind me for secret areas or even some hidden crates for bolts. I had to wait until the camera made its way down to Ratchet before I could control it.

The one thing that didn’t make it into this game that the previous ones had, was the ability to earn Skill Points. These could have been earned by doing special non story related actions. Such as shoot down all the birds in a certain area. Complete a Grindrail without dying, blowing up all the boxes under water and so forth. They represented a certain challenge and added self-satisfaction to the game.  It didn’t take anything away from the actual experience of the game. Just was something I noticed that was missing.

The graphics, fluid animation and even the sound are some of the best you will find in any game. Everything was very well done and with the highest detail possible. I kept finding myself looking at the time and thinking that I will just play a little bit more as I have about leveled up this gun. Before I knew what happened it was an hour later and I was still playing the game. The gun leveling, while sometimes feel drawn out, was very addicting. Not only do you get to level your guns, but you also get to modify them with the modifier grid that you can use. Some of these can help drop more bolts, add ammo or even give you more Holocards. You can choose any path that you wanted. If you encircle the ? tiles you also get to unlock a special modifier to that specific gun which makes it even more deadlier.

The Holocards are new to the series. You can collect these from killing enemies or finding them in certain areas of the game. There are two points to these cards. The first one is just there for collectibles. It took me two playthroughs to get the complete collection of all 33 standard sets. Each set has 3 Holocards to it. Then there is of course the special Holocards that you can collect. There are a total of 9 of these available. Once you collect them all you can head back to a specific dealer and trade them in for the R.Y.N.O. (Rip Ya New One). This is the most powerful gun in the game. It makes the bigger fights a breeze to walk through. Even the final boss fight was done in a matter of seconds. Like all the other guns, you can get this gun up to level 10 and modify it any way that you want. It truly is a destructible force.

Playing through this game just brought back the many memories of playing all of these games back on the PlayStation 2 and then again on the remastered version on the PlayStation 3. I still keep hoping that one day the PlayStation Portable and Vita games will make their way to the PlayStation 4.  They can either be individual PlayStation Network games, or my personal choice, a special collection disc based version that includes all of them in one neat package. Insomniac, you listening!

If you enjoyed the previous game then you will no doubt have a blast with this release. This is a game that every PlayStation 4 owner must play through. Even if you don’t have this console, go out and buy one or feed your friend to a Snagglebeast. You will highly enjoy your experience. This come highly recommended with a score of 9.5.

 

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