Reviewed on PS4 by Matt Nobbs
Ratchet and Clank is like playing a Disney movie, the game oozes charm and humour throughout and every scene is strikingly colourful and beautiful. In a gaming world full of gritty first person shooters or realistic action games it’s amazing to see a successful mascot based platform outside of a Nintendo console.
One play through will probably take around 10 hours to complete, but the beauty of Ratchet and Clank is that playing through again doesn’t seem like you’re retreading the same old steps. Using different guns and weapons in different areas the second time around means you face different challenges – and the upgrade system forced me to spend a lot of time with each of Ratchet’s new weapons as I chased the game’s platinum trophy. There are some bad weapons of course (I really have no love for the Glove of Doom) but most of them are exceptionally fun to use and create gorgeous effects on screen, the Pixelizer (a type of Shotgun which turns enemies and allies into pixelated versions of themselves) being my personal favourite.
The main plot of Ratchet and Clank isn’t going to revitalise story telling in video games, but it doesn’t really need to. Following the Star Wars blueprint it allows for an environment for Ratchet to escape his dull life on Veldin and travel the galaxy with his robot companion. The different environments that this journey includes also help display the graphical fidelity of the game. Each locations is unique and beautifully crafted in its own way from the cityscape of Novalis to the volcanic wastes of Gaspar. Each location also provides a slightly different challenge and method of navigation. Some levels will include a lot of platforming traversal, whereas others will rely on the jetpack or grind boots introduced later in the game – and as Ratchet unlocks new methods of traversal different areas will open up in previously visited planets, meaning that backtracking is always worth wile.
The game is not without it’s flaws however. at a few points in the game you will be forced to play as Clank and complete puzzle based challenges in order to continue through a locked door, or to find a key item. I wasn’t a fan of these puzzles and they seemed to always stretch on for too long although I’m aware it is necessary to break up the gun based gameplay of Ratchet’s perspective, I feel this could have been better done through some platform based puzzles (which were often used only for finding collectibles and extras).
Another way the game mixes up the formula is through overboard racing and space combat. Both of which excel during their brief cameos in the campaign and neither are forced to outstay their welcome. I would have liked there to be an option to continue the use of the space ship through races like there was with the hover board tournaments. But that was only because the space combat in the game was so much fun to begin with, once you’ve picked up the basics the ship is relatively easy to control and shooting down enemy ships feels intuitive and hugely rewarding.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ratchet and Clank’s universe and can’t understand why playstation have not marketed the game a lot more – as it’s easily one of the best releases this year. I look forward to playing further instalments in the series should it continue past this remake.