Reliving my childhood
Ratchet and Clank for the PS4 is a reimagining of the PS2 classic with the same name. The game is developed by Insomniac games. The franchise was one of the best platforming action games on the PS2 and the PS3. Today we live in an era where classic games have been re-mastered to suit the current console platform. Would it have made sense to re-master the PS3 classic or is a reimagining of an origins story the right way to go?
Like we mentioned earlier, Ratchet and Clank is a reimagining of the original classic PS2 game with the same name. For those interested, there is a movie tie in as well. So technically its a movie based on a game that’s the reimagining of an original game.
Put simply, Ratchet and Clank is the origins story of how the lone Lombax met his mechanical best friend. The journey is mostly the same what we experienced in the year 2000 but with better graphics, better gameplay and of course more story elements thrown into the mix. Without spoiling anything, Ratchet meets Clank, and the two set out on an adventure to become super heroes and eventually succeed. The story is very simple and targeted at a young audience but there are a few throwbacks for veterans like me. For example, one of the characters, after having his interaction with the protagonist says, “See you in the next reboot.”
Staying true to tradition, the game has well written humor, funny one liners and dialogues that will crack you up for a few seconds. There is one point where Captain Qwark say’s, “His destination… Destiny” and when you hear the complete dialogue you will smile.
The story doesn’t have the usual twist and turns and is pretty straight forward but it’s the witty writing that will keep you going.
If you have played any of the Ratchet and Clank games that launched on the PS3, you will feel right at home with the controls. Ever since its launch the franchise has evolved a lot. Something as simple as strafing makes the gameplay so much smoother. The first Ratchet and Clank game didn’t have this feature.
Staying true to tradition, the game is a third person action adventure game with the occasional puzzles and exploration section thrown into the mix. The traversing starts of simple but once you have Clank on your back, you can glide, use him as a jetpack and more. This enables a lot of new traversing mechanisms.
You also get to don the role of your tin can partner and these sequences are limited to some very interesting puzzles, traversing and some chase sequences. Apart from the puzzles you solve as Clank the chase sequences can get repetitive with the rinse-repeat formula.
Moving to the weapons, this is where the game shines and you will be pushed to explore the capabilities of each weapon at your disposal. You have the standard gun, homing missiles launcher and flame thrower, but it wouldn’t be an Insomniac game without some of the crazy guns thrown into the mix. You have a gun called the Pixelizer that turns your foes into pixels. You have a weapon called the Groovatron which gets your foes grooving. Even if you throw the Groovatron at a tank, the tank starts dancing. It’s a lot of fun watching the dance moves that the animators worked hard to bring to life. The trusty Mr Zurkon makes a comeback and his dialogues are witty as well.
If the variety of guns wasn’t enough, you have the ability to upgrade them too. You have to put the weapons to use to level them up. Another way to upgrade their abilities is to collect a rare mineral called Raritanium. This helps upgrade some special abilities of the weapons. You wont be able to max out the ability of each weapon in your first play through and just to see the full capacity of each weapon is reason enough to revisit the game for a second play through.
Overall, the gameplay is Ratchet and Clanks strongest point especially the arsenal at your disposal.
Moving over to graphics, calling the game the equivalent of a Pixar move would be an understatement. The game runs at a gorgeous 1080p 30fps and I don’t think I ever noticed a drop in the frame rate. Considering the amount of action that can explode on the screen during some high tense scenarios, this is a very good achievement.
The animation in the game is smooth and fluid. There is no noticeable texture draw-in, screen tearing or anything whatsoever. Its uncanny how smooth the game looks and yet, at the same time you expect something like this from Insomniac games because that’s what they have delivered in the past.
The game does have 20 minutes of footage from the movie and when this footage appears on screen there is a noticeable difference in animation. Its not a negative, but its something that feels slightly out of place visually.
|Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Insomniac Games
Platform: PS4 exclusive
Price: Rs. 2750
Overall the graphics of the game are very good. The visuals are vibrant and stunning, the animations are smooth and calling the game ‘a force Pixar has to recon with’ is the best compliment we can give the visuals.
Moving to sound, the weapons in the game sound great. From the shotgun sound of the Pixelizer to the chaotic noise of foes dying combined with bolts flying your way and Mr Zurkon throwing taunts in the background, this is one game you will enjoy on a good home theatre. The voice cast is the same as it has been for the past five games and they all reprise their iconic role with flawless voice acting.
Ratchet and Clank Verdict
Since we have praised the game so much let’s talk about the cons here for a second. The game wont appeal to all especially the mature audience. I showed the game off to quite a few people, some gamers and some average joes. All of them were impressed with the visuals but the game couldn’t hold their attention for long simply because it was too childish. So to conclude, we’d like to say that if you are a fan of the franchise or like cartoony platforming action adventure games, then you should definitely grab a copy of the game. The rest of you are better off looking elsewhere.
NOTE: Sony hasn’t officially launched Ratchet and Clank in India. The game is available on the online PlayStation India Store for Rs. 2,750. We played a retail copy of the game for review. The download is about 28GB
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Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha
I live for gaming and technology is my muse. When I am not busy playing with gadgets or video games I delve into the world of fantasy novels.