Seldom do I advocate a consumer buying a product, but in the case of Ratchet and Clank, it’d be entirely unfair on Insomniac Games if I didn’t tell you to GO BUY THIS GAME RIGHT NOW.
Seriously, if you’ve got a PlayStation 4, you should absolutely buy Ratchet and Clank. Not only is it the closest to a Pixar game we’ll probably ever get, but it launched at the bizarre price tag of just £30.
This lead many (including me) to falsely assume that the latest iteration of the Lombax and his mechanical buddy would be a cheap cash-in. Considering the current state of the games industry, it’s hard not to be cautious when presented with a bargain like this, but I think it’s fair to say Ratchet and Clank outshone just about everyones expectations.
If you’re a veteran of the series or a newcomer like me, there’s plenty here for everyone to have fun with, and although the game is presented as a very kid-friendly product, there’s more than enough for the average adult to enjoy here as well.
This iteration of Ratchet and Clank is a reboot, so we start out with Ratchet dreaming of stardom among the Ranger Corps, and Clank escaping a factory after being deemed ineffective as a killing machine.
I mentioned this is the closest to a Pixar game we’d ever get, but I doubt Pixar could’ve handled this product any better than Insomniac did. Right out of the gate we’re presented with reasons to adore both Ratchet and Clank, and thankfully Insomniac avoided making the former more cocky than previous entries in the series, giving us even more of a reason to root for the duo.
It’d be unfair of me to spoil any of the plot or character development past this point, but I’ll mention that although Ratchet and Clank are fantastic characters, only Captain Quark ever gets the opportunity to display any character development outside of these two, as the various other characters are stuck in supporting roles.
Where the plot and characters of the game are mostly fun and lighthearted, the combat does its best to follow suit. You can get all kinds of insane gadgets through Ratchet and Clank, ranging from the Groovinator (my favourite) to the Sheepinator. No need to explain what the latter does.
The variety of weapons available to the player throughout the game give a certain freedom going forward, as you can effectively tackle any combat scenario however you wish. Want to turn everyone into a sheep and then set them on fire? You can do that and even more.
The variants of enemies does its best best to keep up with the variety of weapons, but there’s a danger the average player may grow tired of seeing the same type of enemy over the course of 12 hours. There are different alien species to fight, but they all have essentially the same few variants, be it footsoldier, dog, or helicopter.
Saying that you’d be done with Ratchet and Clank after 12 hours is probably underselling the entire product. After you finish the meaty campaign there’s a challenge mode to get stuck into, which lets you play sections of the game ‘speedrun’ style, offering hours upon hours of replayability.
Insomniac also added a nice touch by including trading cards to collect within the game. No, these aren’t the type you can trade with other players, you instead find them throughout the world, and each card provides a nice callback to a location or a character formerly seen within the storied franchise.
All of this, and I haven’t even spoken about how the game actually looks. As you might’ve heard by now, Ratchet and Clank looks absolutely stunning, and I might even be that one person that thinks it’s currently the best looking game on the PlayStation 4, which is saying a lot.
There are around 10 different areas on 10 different planets for you to explore, and Insomniac has done a commendable job in making the colour scheme of each planet decidedly different, meaning there’s always a wealth of colour bursting out of the screen at you.
These different planets also feature largely different types of environments from one another. There’s a lava planet, a water planet, a forest planet and a suburban planet to name a few, and once again credit to Insomniac for giving the player plenty of varied environments to experience through Ratchet and Clank.
This brand new, rebooted Ratchet and Clank is, as the title suggests, an absolute must-play for anybody with a PlayStation 4. If you’re still weighing this up, after all the praise the game has received over the last few weeks, then I really don’t know how to sell you on the game.
Ratchet and Clank is a solid victory for Insomniac Games, who always place the various tools of destruction in the players hands, and just simply telling you to have fun. Here’s hoping it’s the beginning of a new, successful era for the franchise.