Ratchet and Clank's comeback trail

User Rating: 9 | Ratchet & Clank PS4

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Ratchet and Clank for the PS4 is one of the most genuinely fun games I’ve played in a while. Most games lose something when they are modernized, but Ratchet and Clank is one of the few games that actually got better. Now, I know it really hasn’t been that long since we’ve seen the titular duo on the PS3, but something was missing there. Maybe it was franchise fatigue, or that gamers just wanted gritty shooters, but whatever the reason, Ratchet and Clank on the PS4 is a fantastic game.

Ratchet and Clank is a remake of the original that came out on the PS2, so don’t worry about being lost in the story. In case you’ve never played an earlier title, it stars Ratchet, who is a fuzzy Lombax, and Clank, a robot reject. Together, they land on a dozen or so planets, righting wrongs, meeting a bunch of comical aliens, and blowing up any baddie along the way. The story is narrated by Captain Quark, a hero who has fallen from grace. He’s basically Zapp Brannigan from Futurama except even more cowardly. Quark’s narration is a welcome addition, since it lets the series trademark humor shine and keeps a light tone to your adventure.

Throughout the game you will be doing a lot of platforming and shooting with a radical arsenal of weapons. There are some other neat game mechanics such as rail grinding, space ship battles, puzzles, and even some racing. All this adds up to a very varied 15 hour or so adventure. The series is known for having some out there weapons and this entry is no different. One of my favorite weapons are the groovitron, which shoots out a disco ball and makes every single enemy on the screen start dancing. I also liked the pixelizer, which is a gun that…well pixelizes enemies, making them look like they stepped out of Minecraft. You can also level up your weapons: either use shards found in the environment, or by simply racking up kills. Doing so will not only increase your damage, but can add weapon effects, like making the Groovitron’s discoball become a timebomb.

Now, one of the reasons why this is a remake and not an entirely new game is because Sony has an animated Ratchet and Clank movie in theaters and wanted some synergy between the two. Insomniac, the developers behind the franchise, worked closely with the animation studio by sharing assets. This cooperation between game developer and animation studio makes Ratchet and Clank one of the best looking games I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a little trite when someone says a game looks like a Pixar movie, but Ratchet and Clank gets pretty damn close. Some of the cutscenes are straight out of the movie, and some are specifically made for the game. This lavish amount of detail in cutscenes make watching them a treat, instead of a slog like in some games.

With Ratchet and Clank on the PS4, you’re getting a solid action game with some awesome weapons and boss battles. It’s nice to have a tightly paced, linear adventure when so many franchises are getting lost in the shuffle of trying to be an Open world Collect-A-Thon. There are some collectibles and side areas, but they aren’t integral to the adventure. You simply get to “live in the moment” and enjoy the awesome level and combat design. This also means there isn’t much replay value after your initial playthrough except to scoop up any trophies you missed. Long term value aside, I can safely say that if you have a PS4, having Ratchet and Clank in your collection is a good idea.