The Ratchet & Clank series have been around since 2002. Since then, we have seen the Lombax and his faithful robot companion embark on many adventures where they have fought numerous foes and saved a few galaxies. Now the duo is back, with a reboot of their first game. So, let’s dive in and see how Insomniacs retelling of the first Ratchet & Clank goes.
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Also Available On: N/A
Release Date: Out Now
The game starts with Ratchet trying to sneak out of the garage he works at when he is caught by its owner Grim – the man who took him in when he was an infant. After helping Grim with a bit of work, Ratchet is free to run off and go to the Galactic Rangers tryouts that are being held on Veldin, however, his application is turned down by their leader of the, Captain Qwark. Saddened by this decision, Ratchet heads back to the garage where he sees something fall out of the sky and crash off in the distance. After investigating to the crash site, he recovers a small robot whom he calls Clank. After being warned that Chairman Drek is planning to launch an attack on the Galactic Rangers, and build a new planet for his race the blarg by harvesting resources from other planets. It is now up to Ratchet & Clank to warn the Rangers of the impending attack and aid them in stopping Drek.
The gameplay for Ratchet & Clank is split up between the duo. As Ratchet, you will roam around many planets in the Solana galaxy and fight a vast amount of enemies, whilst using a wide selection of creative weapons. These weapons range from your basic pistol to more interesting items like a disco ball that forces enemies to dance (a classic of the series). As well as Ratchet, you’ll have the chance to play as his robot companion. Taking the role of Clank, you’ll be tasked with solving platforming puzzles with the aid of gadget bots. Clank is also able to help Ratchet while he is roaming around with his heli-pack and the thruster pack modes.
Combat is just as eventful as it always been but with fewer interruptions to break the flow of combat. These are down to the ability to map a weapon to one of the four direction buttons. I found myself not needing to pause the game as often as I can quick select the weapons I frequently use with the D-pad. Enemies in the reboot are the most interesting ones to fight in previous titles – originally enemies would track the player to the point when they start shooting. With the reboot, enemies will continuously track the player to the point where they start to predict your next move. This took me off guard at first, but it didn’t take too long to get used to it. The new way enemies track Ratchet in the reboot made sure there was never a dull moment during each encounter with the Blarg.
The story in the Ratchet & Clank reboot is one of the strongest in the series. There was never a point where the game was being too serious, or throwing out too many jokes. There was a right blend between the two. Insomniac have made great changes to the story while still sticking to the general story arc of the first game. I like how Insomniac changed the dynamic between Ratchet & Clank in the reboot. Instead of the two on edge with each other for most of the game, we see the duo get along very well from the start. All the characters work very well together, and there is great voice acting cast behind them. However, you will get the most out of the story if you have played the previous installments of the series. You will be able to follow the story if you haven’t played any of the previous titles, you will just miss all the references from the series.
Aesthetically, this is one of the most beautiful looking games on the current generation of consoles. The game is very colourful, which is a great change of pace to the bland colour palates of a lot of games being made. Most of the planets from the original games make a reappearance in the reboot. Some of these areas have changed compared to the original game, but most of the layouts are still the same compared to the original. It was very nostalgic to see these old planet’s again, and it was great to see them recreated in 1080p.
As this is a reboot of the Ratchet & Clank series, there are loads of references to the previous games. There is a nice Megacorp reference in the first hoverboard race and a small Gladiator reference during the Galactic Ranger training course to name a few. There was a lot of returning weapons from the former PlayStation 3 games, as well as two weapons from Ratchet & Clank 2 and a returning weapon from the very first game. While it is great to see so many classic guns again, I would have preferred to seen more original weapons in the reboot instead of a lot of old weapons from the previous games.
In the end, Ratchet & Clank is an amazing game to playthrough. Combat is some of the best I have seen in the series, with great AI to fight, and a wide selection of weapons to choose from. The story was very well written with a great voice acting cast behind each character. Easily, this is one of the most beautiful games to be released on the current generation of consoles. All the environments have been designed very well, with some of them being changed, and others being a up-rezzed version of their PlayStation 2 counterparts. Overall there is very little wrong with this game, and the only problems I have with it are only small.