REVIEW – Ratchet and Clank is more of a reboot than a remake, however, and unlike so many remasters, this reboot is something much more than a mere HD touch up. Instead, Insomniac Games decided to mold some of the best features of the franchise into this reboot. With Ratchet and Clank back in action, we have to ask is this worth diving into to the adventures of this duo, or should we just skip this and go to the movies?
Let’s start off by saying that the story in this remake is a bit more kid friendly. Ratchet is more charming, and less selfish in this version, and they get along fairly well with each other. Captain Qwark has a more prominent role (he’s also the one narrating the events), and some other characters are brought in from the original games’ sequels such as Dr. Nefarious. It’s a huge melting pot of ideas, characters, locations, and more specifically weapons. The story is a huge sci-fi epic which personally I have missed for a long time from the next-gen video games. It feels like a movie, even with all the gameplay elements, while there are no long cutscenes, the entire way the game is structured in such a way that it plays like a ten-hour long movie.
Most of the jokes are great; the locations are fun and interesting, plus the enemies are exciting to deal with. What I found the most perplexing is that there were no Quick Time Events in this game, I was surely expecting them as it was 2016, but luckily none was in this game. The only problem I have with the story is that it probably ties too much into the movie, which results in some character motivations, and scenes to be toned down compared to the original games. Still it is a fun story to playthrough and hope we get a sequel down the line.
Destruction and platforms
The game is a third-person action adventure game with a few puzzles here and there (nothing skull crushing), and it mixes these sections well enough to be fun. The combat is polished, and we also have the ability to level up and gain experience (both for ourselves and for our guns). The guns themselves are not the usual weapons we might be used to in TPS games. We have a grenade that is a disco ball which makes every enemy dance like the 70s, and there’s the Pixelizer, which makes all enemies into a 2D sprite. We also have our standard rocket launcher, and lock on missile launcher, plus a gun that shows buzzsaws. The weapons are creative (mostly), and if properly upgraded can cause quite a damage.
Combat is not the only part of the gameplay, as there are puzzle elements both with Ratch and Clank. Ratchet has to use its trusty trespasser to unlock doors and secret passages by realigning lasers. While with Clank we have to do a bit more than just realign lasers, and while even his puzzles are not that big of a deal, some of the puzzles can be difficult. We also get a fun jetpack sequence that allows us to fly around a level, two or three sections of rail grinding, and two or three vehicle combat sections. All of these provide a lot of fun and variety which is great considering it is 2016, and the most we usual get is an on the rails section with a few vehicles from other games. Stealth is not a huge focus here, but there was one part with a
All of these provide a lot of fun and variety which is great considering it is 2016, and the most we usual get is an on the rails section with a few vehicles from other games. Stealth is not a huge focus here, but there was one part with a holo device that was simple, yet neat interaction with enemies. There is also optional hoverboard races that can be won to gain more currency, and new items, and there are several optional mini-quests available for the player.
If a player completes the game, they can replay the entire storyline in challenge mode. In this mode, all of our items are kept, and we can keep upgrading them from the point we left off from the ending. While we have all the weapons we collected, the enemies are tougher and deadlier once we start the challenge mode. So be prepared to get your butt kicked in this new game plus mode.
The gameplay is rock solid in Ratchet and Clank, the difficulty on normal is just right, and there are some hectic moments in the later levels. However, there were parts where the controls were annoying.Controlling the starfighter was a pain, and in the last fight when the jetpack was used switching between weapons midair broke the fluidity of the action. Regardless of these two „significant issues” most of the times the gameplay and controls are responsive and easy to use.
This game has a knack for it
Ratchet and Clank 2016 is currently the best looking PlayStation 4 exclusive game out there. Sure it might not run with 60FPS as the old games, but the visual fidelity makes up for that. It runs at a constant 30FPS, and the action is non-stop. While Knack back in 2014 was advertised as one of the games using the PS4 to its fullest potential (even though it lagged in certain situations), R&C 2016 feels like it accomplished what Knack was being advertised for.
The game looks gorgeous, with texture resolution being sharp as a needle, but most importantly not only does R&C 2016 is visually impressive, it also has a colourful world, enemy, and item design. It is a bright, colorful, sharp remake with so much happening on the screen at once I was in awe compared to other gloomy games such as Bloodborne. Explosions, hundreds of tiny bolts floating to my character which is used as currency while ten enemies are shooting at me. It is impressive, and great to look at the TV.
The music is great, though it is a bit unmemorable in a tiny bit. Most of it is orchestral, and it expands on the game’s ambiance, but sadly not even the boss fights had any memorable music created for them. The sound effects are superb, and every weapon, enemy, explosions sounds different… and yet the voice acting feels a bit off at times. Due to the movie-esque nature of the game sometimes the way cutscenes, dialogue was shot felt like the characters were reading off of a teleprompter. However I only felt this during in-game cutscenes, and the CGI cutscenes were top-notch Pixar tier slices, and every second of it was pure awesomeness.
Sadly because of the way the game ties into the movie, the game is a bit shorter, and some weapons are missing or have been swapped out for weapons that appeared in the sequels. Also, a few planets are gone, and encounters have been reworked. While it is okay, since it is a reboot, I felt that I probably should go and try out the original games just to see how different those were back in the old days.
Even with its flaws, this reboot is probably the most fun I had up to this year.
Help the Galaxy!
Ratchet and Clank is a stellar game, and even as a reboot/tie in the movie it is one of the best experiences you will have in 2016. It is a game for all ages, from little kids to old fans. This game is a must have, let us hope both the game and the movie is successful so that we can get great sequels down the line.
+ Great atmosphere, interesting enemy design, and weapons
+ Breathtaking visuals
+ Cinematic experience
– Cut content to accommodate the movie tie-in
– Can be too easy
– Voice acting is stiff at some parts
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Insomniac Games
Genre: Third-Person Action game
Release date: April 15, 2016