Review: Ratchet & Clank (PlayStation 4)
- Publisher: Sony Interactive
- Developer: Insomniac Entertainment
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
I haven't played any previous R&C games. This was my first introduction to the world contained therein as I haven't seen the holo-movie, which was based on the 1st holo-game, that this holo-game was based on. Confused? It doesn't matter. Much like our overly friendly rock buddy Korg from Marvel's Thor franchise says, "Nothing makes sense here. The only thing that makes sense is that nothing makes sense." You can drain an ocean with a gun, fling robots at a spaceship in lieu of missiles, and ... transmogrify those pesky Blarg sentries into sheep.
The intro into the game is what I would assume would be a cutscene from the movie. It begins with the disgraced hero, Captain Qwark, telling his new cellmate in prison the story of what transpired from "his point of view" during the events of the game/movie. As such, the game includes a goofy yet appealing commentary from the macho, chiseled abs hero. He anecdotally notes little hints and tips throughout in this fashion. You begin as Ratchet, the furry little Lombax protagonist of the title, in the workshop he's established on the planet of Veldin. He has a mentor named Grimroth Razz who helps you familiarize yourself with the basic mechanics of gameplay movement, along with the previously mentioned commentary from Qwark. It isn't very hard to get a foothold on the way the game is played. Whack, smash, and blow stuff up while avoiding the same being attempted towards you. There are little puzzles involved which leads me to the next introduction ... Clank
Clank is your partner in this space romp of irresponsible destruction and molecular manipulation. To avoid spoilers, as his introduction is a bit into the game and somewhat central to the story in my opinion, I'll just say that he's a Warbot that switched sides. He's analytical, creative, and at times a bit sarcastic. With these personality traits he is your guy for most of the puzzle portions of the game. They can be challenging at times, but I did find them an enjoyable addition to the title. as Clank you solve 3D platform puzzles where you throw little bots around in order to move through an area, with the ability to transform the bots into useful apparatus' appropriate for the needs of the situation. As Ratchet, you utilize your trusty Trespasser (TM by Gadgetron) to essentially hack locks through a process where you solve a circular puzzle by rotating and enabling/disabling lasers to line them all up with corresponding pads on the outside of the circles you rotate. Both of these puzzle scenarios I found easy to understand, yet challenging enough to be enjoyable.
The worlds you visit in your quest are designed uniquely in each having different environments, and vast areas of exploration. Many of the explorable areas you'll have to return to later in the game when you have the appropriate equipment to do so. You may also find a few bugs here and there in the graphics, but that could depend on what PS4 you're playing on. I was on a Slim model. From jetpacks, to underwater breathing masks, to raritanium modifications to your spaceship, there is a lot of equipment and weapon upgrades to be had. You haven't lived until you turn a robot pitbull into a sheep, then blow aforementioned sheep up in a paradoxical explosion, but we'll touch on the weapons a bit later. For now, let's just focus on the world designs. There are 12 different worlds in total, and they all feel unique. You have a desert planet, an ocean paradise, a toxic polluted industrial corporatized dump, a Death Star-ish battle station, and various other well imagined and designed worlds complete with enemies to sheepinate, buzz-saw, atomically disintegrate ... I'm getting carried away again. Screw it lets just get right into it now.
Oh my, did I find the various weapons and upgrades extremely satisfying. The system is designed in that the initial acquisition of your arsenal isn't very difficult or tedious, and the upgrade process doesn't feel very grindy. It meshes very well with the progression of the game, and if anything, makes things sometimes seem too easy. The weapons are bought and upgraded through the Gadgetron vendors placed throughout the game, and are paid for with bolts (for weapons) and raritanium crystals (for upgrades) which are collected from baddies and environmental destruction. You get access to traps, flame-throwers, homing-missile launchers, a sheep transmogrifier, and ....
Mr. Zurkon, A violent little robot assistant that's quite fond of inflicting pain. I'd say more, but .... yeeeahh just pick him up in-game when he comes available. You won't regret it. There's various other weapons to be utilized that I haven't described, but for the sake of keeping this somewhat short I'll end this Gadgetron weapons ad with this, There's a Challenge Mode that's accessible after completing the first run through that allows more upgrades.
+ Creatively designed
+ Visually attractive
+ Fun puzzles
+ Good gameplay mechanics
+ Great for kids
- Average story
- No character development
- Minor graphics and environment bugs
out of 10
(not an average)
All in all if I were to rate this game on a 100 point scale, I'd give it a 78/100. It's creatively designed, appealing to the eye, the destruction is addictive, and the puzzles and mechanics are a pleasure. The cons I found, is that the story was alright, the characters were hard to get attached to, and there were a few bugs here and there that while not game-breaking, just annoying to see or experience. If you have kids, this is a great game to play with them. If, not, it's worth the 15-20$US it sells for now. I'd recommend it certainly. Again, I enjoyed it.