It’s been a long-time coming, but Ratchet and Clank are back. Sure, it may be kind of a reboot, but there’s still plenty of new content to bring fans of the series back for some random destruction.
The game immediately starts off lighthearted, poking fun at itself as Captain Qwark tells the story of the duo and what landed him in jail. During the opening cutscene, another prisoner makes an offhand statement that he’s checked out the holo-game based off the holo-movie based off the holo-game, a poke at what the current game is.
Later on, a familiar face from the first game remarks that he’s having déjà vu before joking that he’ll see the pair in the next reboot. Insomniac hasn’t missed a beat with the series, with the humor and charm still shining through as you go from planet to planet.
For those that have played the series before, not much has changed. It’s still a platforming game complete with over-the-top weapons to take enemies out with. They range from a standard gun and flamethrower to a disco ball, Mr. Zurkon and the Pixelator, a shotgun that pixelates enemies for a short time or, if killed, makes them a bunch of pixels that can be toppled over.
Thankfully, the game gives you a lot of chances to try out all the different guns. Enemies are plenty, and you’re always looking for more bolts to buy the next new weapon or upgrade materials called Raritanium, randomly dropped by enemies. While ammo is easy enough to find, you’ll sometimes find yourself running out of your favorite weapon ammo as you take on waves of enemies and look for boxes to reload at.
The Raritanium introduced to the game also adds a few light RPG elements to the series. The more you use a gun, the more it levels up and increases the base damage. In addition, the new level will open up tiers that you can put Raritanium into to increase damage, magazine size, bolts/ Raritanium you find and more. So, if you want to get everything maxed out, get ready to farm some enemies and planets.
The game also features collectible cards to find by exploring secret areas or you randomly get them by killing an enemy. By completing card sets, you can increase your wrench damage or unlock unique weapons in the challenge mode, among other things. In addition, the cards are the only way you can unlock the RYNO superweapon to cause havoc.
Beside the normal platforming while traversing planets, space bases and more, gameplay is sometimes split up with hoverboard races, grinding along rails, turret sections and flying fight sections. None of these breaks from the action ever seem to overstay their welcome, making them nice diversions, and not dragging annoyances. Plus, the hoverboard races seem easier than the original game, and quicker as well.
The latest title is also by far the best looking in the series. Planets have a great life of their own, and the game never bogs down as enemies and explosions litter the stage. While some of the cutscenes may be clips from the movie, the graphics from the game itself are still great.
While Ratchet and Clank may start off as a reboot, it soon becomes its own unique entry in the series. There’s plenty new in the game for fans to check out before the movie releases, and newcomers will have a blast seeing what made the Lombax one of the best series on the PS2. While it may not take a long time to get through the game, you should enjoy every step of the way.
Final Score: 8.8