If you think reading is for chumps check out the video review https://youtu.be/wywrIAdiZyM
Ratchet & Clank is the game based on the movie based on the… nah I’m just fucking kidding I’m not going to make that joke. Come on game journalists that joke was made in the announce trailer for the game. Alright try this one game journalists Ratchet & Clank is a game that features visuals that are truly out of this world ehhhh? Oh shut up my puns are good. Just roll go to the next paragraph.
Everyone knows that the core identity of Ratchet & Clank is the guns and the how you put them into action. And this game does not disappoint in terms of action. The gunplay is fast, intuitive and most of all fun. Knew weapons such as the pixeliser and the proton drum mix beautifully with your old favourites like the Combuster, Fusion Grenade and the Pyrocitor. The barrage of explosions, missiles and just good sound design makes the combat have a sort of mediative quality.
I cringed at the moment collectable cards were introduced because I thought the game was about to introduce microtransactions but then rejoiced when I realised that they cards had no microtransactions which are like the terminal brain cancer of gaming.
This new game is sort of reboot and I say this because Insomniac says the events of this game don’t rule out events of other games in the series. But this game still contradicts with continuity because in Al’s garage there is a poster of ‘My Blaster Runs Hot’ which is a film that Captain Qwark promotes at the start of Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time which according to the Ratchet Wiki takes place 6 years before this game. Ratchet even refers to it like its already out and Big Al is definitely a movie lover in this universe so what listen just grow a spine and tell us it’s a godamn reboot. AH! The Asperger’s in my brain just can’t handle it. Wow that tangent went on for way to long.
Ratchet games have been said to be akin to Pixar films since 2007 with the release of Tools of Destruction in terms of visual design, animation and storytelling. In terms of visual design this game looks beautiful with the gorgeous lighting and particle effects paired up with a fresh new take on the characters of ratchet and clank which seems familiar but different at the same time. In addition to this the colour pallet is amazing and Insomniac have done some truly tremendous things with environmental design. Have you ever noticed when you walk into an electronics store and they have Pixar films on to show off HD TV’s? Well that’s because those guys have figured something that the majority of AAA game developers haven’t figured out. That bright colours look best on HD TV’s and your gray, brown games that ushered in the HD generation will pale in comparison to this game and others like it.
Ratshit and Catshit’s in-game animation is beautiful take this first enemy from the game. Look at how Insomniac beautifully uses motion blur to hide the stretching and deforming of this actor. This is technique is an animation principle ‘Squash and Stretch’ and Insomniac uses this technique to emphasize the movement of the characters and the end result is one of the most lively and energetic games to date.
Some of the cutscenes in the game are directly ripped from the movie and these cutscenes look great. These cutscenes are pre-rendered and line up pretty well with the game. However a lot of the cutscenes which are done in-game and I assume by insomniac have incredibly stiff and lifeless animation. Take this cutscene from earlyish in the game where Ratchet and Clank fly to Novalis. Compare this to an early segment in Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time where a similar thing happens. Just the life in the scenes vary wildly with the A Crack in Time cutscene in my view far superior.
Since the game inherits some of the cutscenes from the movie it shares a story with the movie which I feel is where the real cracks appear. Now I haven’t seen the movie because it comes on July 28th in Australia which is bullshit but that’s another video for another time. But this decision to have the movie cutscenes in the game makes the game’s story weak. Because they don’t want to give the entire movie away in the game the game doesn’t utilize all of the movie’s cutscenes and what happens is a disjointed story. The game’s plot doesn’t really move forward in the game with the exception of planets featured in the story. I’ve criticised in the past the original Ratchet & Clank’s story but at least that game had character arcs but in this game the characters have no arc their character is exactly the same at the end of the game to start of the game.
This game has been praised from saving the series from games like All 4 One and Q-Force but I believe that the series was already reinvigorated by Nexus. I believe that this game is just continuing along with a larger budget than nexus.
Despite my quibbles story, some animation and some weird irrelevant continuity complaints Ratchet & Clank is well constructed game in terms of gameplay and it’s just a big bowl of melted chocolate, not a lot of structure but definitely a fun time. Ratchet & Clank gets 3 and a half stars out of five.