May 19th, 2016 at 12:40 pm
|Tagged With: Console Hub, insomniac, insomniac games, next gen, playstation, playstation 4, PS4, ratchet and clank, Ratchet and Clank 1, Recommended, review, scea, SCEE, sony|
The highly popular Ratchet and Clank series has finally made its way to the Playstation 4. However, it has not done so with a brand new game but rather a return to the original game which started the series all the way back in 2002, also named Ratchet and Clank.
The original Ratchet and Clank has always been one of my favourite games (if not my favourite). I have lost count of how many times I’ve played that game. The HD remaster of the game which came in 2012 filled me with excitement so imagine my joy when I heard that the original game was getting “re-imagined” and remade from the ground up. The game is based on the plot of the Ratchet and Clank movie, which itself is a twist of the story from the original Ratchet and Clank game, told from the perspective of Captain Qwark (who has made a few notable changes).
Immediately upon starting the game, you will realise that the game is not a remaster. As I said, the plot is based fairly heavily on the original games, but some of the fan-favourite aspects from across the past games have made their way into the game. The planets look and play similar, yet also feel remarkably new and different. You will recognise many of the weapons making a return from the original game; the Pyrocitor and the Agents of Doom for example, you will notice most of the weapons don’t actually come from the original such as the Groovitron, Mr. Zurkon, Warmonger and the Pixelizer.
The game has a comprehensive weapon level-up and upgrade system. Each weapon can be leveled up to a maximum of level 5 (which isn’t too hard to do) upon when it becomes a more powerful variant of that weapon. In Challenge Mode, if you have collected the full Holocard set for the weapon (more on that shortly) and you have leveled the weapon to 5, you will then have the opportunity to purchase the Omega variant of the weapon and further upgrade it to level 10.
In addition to this, weapons can be upgraded heavily using collected raritanium. Each time you visit a Gadgetron Weapon Vendor (which thankfully are still the same blue cubes) you will have the option to open up the weapon upgrade page in which you can spend one piece of raritanium to buy one cell in the beehive-like tree of upgrades for a particular weapon. If you manage to buy all the cells around some mystery cells, you will get those mystery cells for free! Much of the boosts to each weapon will come through this upgrade system, so make sure to spend wisely from the start!
I mentioned earlier in the review that you would need to collect a Holocard set in order to buy the Omega version of a weapon. Holocards are obtainable through random enemy drops and are hidden at various locations across the game’s planets. There are a number of Holocard sets; sets for planets, sets for characters and a set for each weapon in the game. Completing a character or planet set will often give you a special gameplay boost (eg. change of a holocard drop increases by 5%) and completing a weapon set will allow you to purchase the Omega variant of the weapon in Challenge Mode. There is also a special set of 9 RYNO Holocards which, when completed, will allow you to get the RYNO on planet Rilgar.
Immediately from the start of the game, Captain Quark narrates the action as it happens. However, as the game progresses, no more narration seems to occur and you forget that he was narrating in the first place. This is kind of a shame as he usually gives you a chuckle with his choice of words, particularly if you have already played the original game and know the story! It is a pity that Insomniac didn’t use this new mechanic more as it would be quite interesting to explore where they could have gone with it.
Ratchet and Clank PS4 is quite fast paced and the planets have been reconstructed beautifully. You will find yourself hopping between Kerwan, Rilgar and Gaspar so quickly that you won’t even stop to take in the magnificent design around you. Simply, Ratchet and Clank PS4 looks and plays gorgeously and you won’t be disappointed with the visual effects, nor the sound and music for that matter.
The platforming and shooting aspects of the gameplay are as good as they have ever been and you will have just as much fun playing as you did with any of the other excellent Ratchet and Clank games (all of which you should go and play now if you haven’t already!). The signature weapon wheel makes a return and is paginated so you will probably never find yourself entering the Weapons menu in the pause screen. You can also add a few quick weapon shortcuts on the D-PAD which is hugely useful for the likes of Mr. Zurkon; a quick push of the down button could spawn him instantly.
However, there are a few things which I am disappointed with as a long time fan of the series. In all the beauty of the planets and the fun of the gameplay, Insomniac seem to have forgotten about the story of the original game; the bonding of the once-selfish Ratchet and the humble, helpful Clank. In this PS4 re-imagining, they seem to just hit it off instantly and are best of pals. It would have been nice to see more of the relationship side of the story from the original game.
Additionally, some planets which were in the original game are notably missing. For example, Eudora (Logging Site), Umbris (Quark HQ), Orxon (which has become Quartu in this game), Hoven (Bomb Factory), Gemlik Base and, in my opinion, the worst absence of them all, Oltanis (Gorda City Ruins). Oltanis was perhaps my favourite planet from the original Ratchet and Clank and the absence of both it and the Tesla Claw weapon were quite the disappointment.
However, Ratchet and Clank PS4 is still a fantastic game and offers some great value for money with around 12 hours of gameplay for £30/€40! If you are a fan of the series, you should definitely play this game! If you are not a fan of the series, become a fan of the series and then play this game! Truly, Ratchet and Clank PS4 is just 12 hours of pure, innocent fun.