While not as seeped into the public’s consciousness like a Mario, or Link, or even Master Chief, Ratchet & Clank is to Sony what the others are to their respective companies. Sony has had many games that could have spawned a company “mascot,” but the lovable Lombax Ratchet and his little robotic friend Clank have been the focus of some of the funnest games on Sony consoles going back to the PS2, and could make the argument that they are the face of PlayStation. Now, as Sony leads this current console generation, Ratchet & Clank is making the jump to new gen, in a game that is based off a movie, that is itself based on the first game in the series. You got all that?
Ratchet & Clank takes gamers back to the first introduction of a Lombax named Ratchet, and how his dream of ditching his dead-end mechanic job on a sleepy little world to become a galactic ranger comes to life when a nefarious plot by Supreme Executive Chairman Drek comes to fruition. Drek plans to raid planets for resources by destroying them to create his own new world, and only Captain Qwark and the galactic rangers can stop him.
Ratchet ends up picking up an undersized Zoni bot, whom he names Clank, a bot that was scheduled for destruction because of his diminutive size, and together, the titular heroes save the world.
The biggest draw in almost every Ratchet & Clank game has been the weapons. Developer Insomniac Games have created an arsenal of some of the wildest, most destructive weapons ever — inclusion one that turns enemies into sheep. Ratchet collects the various weapons throughout his journey, and can collect bolts — the currency in R&C — to use to upgrade the weapons, giving players a level of customization.
The game’s story has Ratchet and Clank traveling all over the galaxy, exploring huge maps and even fighting a couple of bosses. There are also racing circuits that Ratchet can enter, giving players something more to do when not taking on Drek’s minions. Levels have different shades of variety, as there are flying missions, stationary gun shooting missions, and so much more.
The graphics in Ratchet & Clank are gorgeous, as Insomniac did a stellar job in making everything pop off the screen, from the various planetary environments, to the myriad enemies — including the insane aforementioned boss battles. This series has always looked good on whichever system it was on, including the PSP and PS Vita, and the power of the PS4 was really put to good use here.
The voice acting is near-perfect from all the leads, with Jim Ward’s hilarious Captain Qwark stealing the show from James Arnold Taylor’s Ratchet and David Kaye’s Clank. There’s a reason this game was adapted to a recent film, as the story and acting lend themselves to a cinematic experience.
After the main story, which includes the hunting down of various weapons, cards, golden bolts, and the like, a challenge mode opens up, giving long time players something more difficult to overcome. While there’s not any form of multiplayer elements in Ratchet & Clank, here is enough post-game content to keep players entertained as they try to max out all of the games weapons.
Ratchet & Clank is a fun, gorgeous game that reminds long-time fans of what made the game special, while also introducing the series to new fans that have never played before — or have seen the recently released movie. The gameplay, colorful characters, and incredible voice acting all work to create a fun experience, one that launched a franchise — now a multi-media franchise — and there is always hope of more adventures of Ratchet and his little friend, Clank. The galaxy always seems to need saving, and Insomniac always seems to find new weapons to create, and as long as Captain Qwark is in the mix, Ratchet & Clank will remain a beloved game series, one that you can now play again, for the first time.
Ratchet & Clank is available now. This review is based off a copy of the game purchased at retail.
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