Looking at the new Ratchet & Clank game from afar, it seems to have a few things going against it. First off, it’s a movie tie-in, and those games generally aren’t received well. It’s also priced at a mode moderate price point, at a little over half the cost of a normal AAA release. That’s also something that’s rarely a good sign from a major publisher. And then there’s the fact that it’s another ‘remake’. Well… despite all that, Ratchet & Clank’s PS4 debut is excellent – here’s our review.
To start with the third “issue” mentioned in our intro, the game isn’t a remake in the same sense that Uncharted and The Last of Us got their PS4 makeovers. This is an original adventure that mixes and matches elements from previous games in the series as well as the recent movie – even if thematically speaking it’s closest to the original game in that it describes an origin story for the titular duo Ratchet and Clank.
For those not familiar with Ratchet & Clank, despite about 10 games so far, Ratchet is a cat-like character who would love nothing more than to be a galactic ranger – always caught up in adventure and heroics. All about adrenaline, Ratchet will shoot on sight and won’t shy away from a battle. Clank, on the other hand, is a small robot character and not nearly as combat-minded. This is echoed by the gameplay, where Clank missions are much more about stealth and puzzles and Ratchet missions (the majority) are of the action platforming variety.
Playing through Ratchet and Clank on the PS4 reminds you exactly why this videogame series was turned into a movie – its characters are endearing and well-developed. In fact, the core gameplay here hasn’t evolved that much from when the series started on the PS2 – this is fairly classic 3D platformer territory we’re talking about. It’s the way that Ratchet and Clank interact with each other and other characters in the game that makes everything just a little more fun to play, an element that was somewhat missing in a few of the spinoff games that the series had a few years ago.
Of course there are plenty of outlandish weapons available to you in the game, and there’s plenty of diversity in the game’s action sequences. From chase sequences right down to short races, there’s a lot here and it’s presented in a cinematic fashion. In that sense, Insomniac has mastered the action platform genre just like Naughty Dog did with the Uncharted series – wonderful set pieces and sequences to complement an incredibly solid foundation.
It’s great to see the return of Ratchet and Clank – they represent some of the best in a genre that PS4 owners haven’t seen that much of so far. What’s more – they also show that they still have what it takes to entertain us, even if what’s on offer is particularly original. Despite that – even if you have all of the previous games, you won’t regret picking this up, since being unoriginal doesn’t stop the experience from feeling fresh.