Game Review: Ratchet & Clank
BEFORE you read this review, please keep one thing in mind, and that is yours truly is a die-hard fan of the Ratchet & Clank series which now stretches back 14 years.
There aren't too many franchises that I can honestly say I have played and finished every single title released.
Plus when you consider the fact that this is the 11th such release for Playstation since 2002, that's a lot of hours in the Ratchet universe.
With the Ratchet & Clank movie coming to cinemas in June, developers Insomniac have gone back to the drawing board with this latest release, which they describe as not a remaster, but a 're-imagining' of the 2002 classic.
Too often on PlayStation 4 we've seen 'remaster' after 'remaster'.
Everything from God of War to Heavy Rain has had the 'update' treatment, so do we really need another remaster of Ratchet & Clank?
So it was with great trepidation I booted up this game knowing that expectations were going to be high, with the fear of playing a game I've done before.
Within an hour of gameplay you find yourself back on planets from the original game which flood back to your memory, but it doesn't at any point feel like a remaster.
This is a game based on a movie, based on a game, and it looks amazing.
You realise how far things have come since 2002 as the depth of colours, clarity and fluid character movement take your breath away.
Flying around a city collecting warbots with a giant magnet leaves you torn between finishing the task or just choosing to fly around such a colourful and spectacular world. This is one of the best looking games on the PS4 to date.
Gameplay is what you would expect from Insomniac as you fire an array of imaginative weapons at enemies who explode into bolts, creating mayhem on screen but the PS4's hardware keeps up with the graphics easily, making this glorious fun.
Lots of weapons return, with a few new imaginative entries such as the 'Pixelizer' which turns enemies into a pile of pixels, along with a 1980's death cry. It makes it a rewarding experience turning a room of enemies into a pile of pixels.
Every weapon has an XP rating and can be upgraded using credit earned through the game. Everything from fire rate, to ammo clip size plus radius of explosions, this gives a fun RPG element to the game as you choose your favourite weapons and upgrade the hell out of them!
Story-wise all the favourites are here as Captain Quark tells the story of Ratchet & Clank from the very beginning to accommodate a new generation of players.
Often you'll be playing as Clank who can get into smaller areas which offer a slower period of gameplay but nonetheless is still fun.
The cut scenes may be from the movie, but hard to tell until it comes out, but still they are never a chore even though they don't add much to the game. It's all about the combat, and the story simply allows you to get your breath back.
Over the 14 or so hours of gameplay, this is a full blown game, yet Sony has priced it at a much lower price than most new releases.
There is no multiplayer, which may explain the strategy, but you will find yourself playing the game again, especially in Challenge Mode where you can start the game at a harder level but retaining all your weapons from the previous play through.
Whether you are a seasoned player or discovering it for the first time, Ratchet & Clank delivers a fun game that will please old fans and reach out to a whole new generation. There's a good reason why these games have remained so popular for 14 years and that's because they represent why we play video games … it's just darn good fun!