Ratchet & Clank (PlayStation 4) Review


Developed by: Insomniac Games
Published by: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Reviewed on: PlayStation 4

Ratchet & Clank is an action platformer through and through. It’s old enough of a series to hit puberty and go from a squat child into a teenager…and boy has puberty hit the series hard with the latest entry: Ratchet & Clank: The Movie: The Game.

The latest game in the series is a recap of the original game, by way of narration of a character in the series. Faithful to the spirit of the original Ratchet & Clank, you play as Ratchet and his trusty pal Clank through the same worlds and environments you romped through a decade plus ago.

As far as this entry goes, the few changes from the original game are good additions with little to no subtractions. The latest game includes small snippets of the feature length movie that comes out shortly. The transitions from the hi-res game to the movie-quality scenes are starting to become less noticeable, something we hopefully will encounter more as games continue to grow and evolve.

Levels that even the most nostalgic games remember as short or unappealing have been retooled into more fun and engaging forms; every level feels like a singular world in and of itself. Even the short-lived companion levels were reworked into fancier and richer levels, and in the process turning the chore of playing a slow level into a fun romp.

Ratchet & Clank
The gunplay, like all of its previous iterations, is fun and responsive, and the quirky aspect that wooed me into the series more than a decade ago comes out fresh with particle explosions and pixel cubes galore. Firefights always start off with a bang and end with a dozen or so Blarg, robot dogs, and disco dancing trashcans exploding into a torrent of bolts and sparks as I stow away one of the 13 varied weapons in my arsenal. Upgrading weapons is now  a mechanical change in the weapons, such as increasing gunfire rate, the size and damage of explosions, or even increasing the currencies each defeated foe provides.

The nuts and bolts of the game make the game truly enjoyable. The controls are tight, the game doesn’t ever stop looking stunning, and like a lucky streak, it just doesn’t quit. Even  when the game feels nostalgic, it adds just enough new things to make the adventure more fun.

For $40 USD, this is a retro game at a great price. Now I’m patiently waiting for the movie to see how the movie-game tie-in works.