Those lovable larrikins, Ratchet and Clank are back at it again. This is the first outing on PS4 for the duo and whilst it may not be an original story that we get, Ratchet and Clank go about their business in what is a loveable, cartoon styled adventure that manages to serve up one well paced, fun adventure.
Ratchet and Clank made their debut way back in 2002, for some of you, that could well be before you were born! The 2016 release of Ratchet and Clank is largely based on the 2002 original but it isn’t quite a remaster, it’s more of a re-imagining of the original. A bit like the way George Lucas re-imagined the original Star Wars trilogy but better. This isn’t a simple port with a fresh coat of paint applied. What we get in the 2016 version of Ratchet and Clank is a game that was essentially built from scratch. It take the best of the original (and a wee bit from of the follow-ups), adds in some new concepts and brings it all together with glorious Full HD visuals that bring the cartoon world to life.
For those of you out there that aren’t familiar with the original, Ratchet and Clank is all about creating a vibrant cartoon styled world and populating it with some outgoing characters that aren’t afraid to throw about the odd joke here and there. Ratchet dreams of joining Captain Qwark to become a Galactic Superhero, Clank has escaped his home planet and finds himself rescued by a dejected Ratchet and thus this modern day dynamic duo is formed.
Ratchet and Clank features animated cut scenes that look like they have come right out of an animated feature film. When it comes to the in-game action, I will furiously defend the game against anyone who says the aren’t impressed by the visuals. Character modelling, lighting and the environments in general are just about in a class of their own for a game of this style. The cartoon style, vibrant, colourful presentation isn’t a new concept, but Ratchet and Clank has delivered a cartoon visual feast that is second to none in my opinion. It’s even the little details that Insomniac have put time into that impresses, subtle things like object reflections or the way Ratchet gets bored and starts playing with his watch if you don’t do anything with him for a little while. It may not seem like much but it really is these little things that make this seem like a living world rather than a digital creation that goes dead the moment you stop interacting with it.
Beyond the visual presentation lies a story that stands the test of time. Many games try and fail when it comes to a putting together a story that captivates but Ratchet and Clank is one of them. This well thought out story has enough to keep you invested in it all through out the 12-15 hours worth of gameplay. Yes this is a storyline that you’ll be familiar with if you played the original but you’ll also learn a bit more about the characters along the way. The gameplay itself does like everything else, have its own, Insomniac spin on it. As you progress through the game, expect to find yourself grinding on rails Sunset Overdrive style or making use of an insane jetpack to take you to those hard to reach places that inevitably end up offering up some rewards to those brave enough to attempt to get to them.
When it comes to battles and weapons, Insomniac has forged its reputation on quirkiness. If you find yourself using an array of run of mill weapons check which game you are playing because chances are it isn’t Ratchet and Clank. Fans of the original will be pleased to know that the legendary Mr Zurkon weapons makes a return. For those unfamiliar with it, Mr Zurkon is one of the strangest “Weapons” you’ll ever come across, summon him and he will deal to your enemies by unleashing a devastating array of cliche 80’s action lines. Just be careful when you use Mr Zurkon though, some of his lines may bring about laughs that may cause an injury. The rest of the quirky weapons, I’ll leave for you to discover and marvel at but aside from the weapons you’ll find Insomniac’s own brand of weapons upgrades on offer. Much like most modern day XP systems, the weapons themselves will increase in power and upgrade as you use them. The benefit to this system is that you only end up upgrading the weapons that you are using, it’s simple enough but provides a great way that rewards each player no matter how they choose to play the game.
So, there you have it. Ratchet and Clank is a game that proves that every once in a while it pays to go back in order to go forward. Rather than just rest on their laurels and remaster the original, Insomniac have put love and care into Ratchet and Clank, determined to enhance the original in every way by fusing the heart and soul of the 2002 game with 14 years of gaming improvements. This glorious re-imagining lets a whole new generation experience a classic game whilst still offering plenty for those who played the original. Let’s hope this is the start of a beautiful re-awakening for a classic PlayStation franchise.
- Gorgeous Visual Presentation
- Improves on the Original in Every Way
- Fun, Quirky Weapons
- Story is better for the extras added to it