Ratchet & Clank has been a key franchise on the Sony platform for years. Since it’s inception on the Playstation 2, it has been a staple in the platforming genre, due to it’s easily recognizable characters, cheeky humor, and fun gameplay. With the Ratchet & Clank movie on the horizon, developer Insomniac has released a reboot for the franchise on the PS4, bridging the gap between updated gameplay and the origins of the characters we love so much.
This reboot is more than just a fresh coat of paint. While you will be taken to some very familiar places, and the story remains largely the same, it is very much a fresh take on the original story. Story elements in the game see some tweaks, and the narration from Qwark provides additional humor during gameplay. The game isn’t afraid to make fun of itself, as evidenced by an amusing fourth wall break during the second level. Add in some control changes and weapons that were introduced in later iterations, and you have a very well executed update that was crafted very faithfully from the source material.
The first thing that I noticed about the game was the graphics. One of my friends told me something that bears repeating when I picked up the game. He said “this game is definitive proof that you don’t need photorealism to make a beautiful game on the PS4,” and he was 100% correct. This is one of the most detail rich games I have ever played, with vibrant backgrounds, rich character detail, and incredible enemy design. I found myself immersed in the world from the very start of the game, and only got more impressed as time went on.
Similarly, the controls are just as tight as you would expect out of the franchise. The tutorials are very well integrated, and don’t detract from the experience at all, which is something that I find is very difficult for developers to accomplish. Rather than stall the gameplay to introduce new elements, button prompts flash on the screen, with additional detail being provided by Qwark’s narration. It truly seemed to me that the developers focus was on keeping the game as engaging as possible from start to finish, and they did a truly stellar job.
The story is overall the same as you remember it from the original. Ratchet is a Lombax mechanic that dreams of adventure, and Clank is a defective killbot who escapes from his manufacturer with information on the plans of the evil Chairman Drek. Ratchet saves Clank from the wreckage of his spaceship, and the two team up to stop the enemy plans. While the story may be the same, that’s not to say it’s bad. The first game was a huge success, and for good reason. There was a ton of replay value to the original game, which leaves the reboot feeling just as satisfying as the original. Factor in the dialogue changes and additional content, and you’re left with a very fresh and engaging title.
As one would expect out of a platforming title, there are a ton of secrets to uncover. Gold bolts are scattered across the planets, which allow you to unlock secrets in the game. These secrets range from masks that your characters can wear, to unlimited ammo, among other things. While some of these are relatively straightforward, others will really make you plan out how to reach them. Additionally, you will collect holo-cards, bolts, raritanium, and other items in the game. By allowing yourself time to explore and uncover secrets, you can open up new areas, unlock new gadgets and weapons, and amass resources to upgrade your existing weaponry.
This is one of the best titles I have played on the PS4 to date. I loved that Insomniac didn’t feel the need to reinvent the game to still pull out an utterly spectacular reboot. It was obvious that a painstaking attention to detail and love of the source material went into every bit of development in this game. From beautiful cinematics, subtle changes from the source material, and introduction of features originally introduced later in the franchise, this is a game that had me hooked from start to finish. If you were a fan of the original Ratchet & Clank, this is a must own game for your library, and if you weren’t a fan of the original, I would recommend checking this out and giving it another fair shake.