Game: Ratchet & Clank
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Release date: April 12th, 2016
In 2002 the character action platform Ratchet and Clank was the only thing on my mind. When I heard, 2016 was bringing a re-imagined version of one of my favorite games I was skeptical. However, 2016’s Ratchet and Clank is so much more than an HD remake. It’s a perfection of one of the best action platformers on the PS2 and a welcome breath of fresh air for a genre that is next to non-existent in the current gaming landscape.
While it tells the same story, it adds stunning new visuals as well as welcome changes to collectible locations and a few new sequences including playable sections as Clank.
All the staples of the series remain. Collect bolts to upgrade Ratchets ever expanding arsenal of handheld death machines. A new card collection system has been added that gives the player different buffs like a boost to the percentage of bolts earned for every set of 3 completed. The cards also play a role with a memorable weapon for fans of the series. The R.Y.N.O. or Rip ya a new one is collected this time, not with bolts but by completing 3 R.Y.N.O. card sets.While most cards are found as mere enemy drops, the R.Y.N.O. cards are in set locations like gold bolts or any other collectible.
Ratchet and Clank does it’s best to keep elements that weren’t introduced until its sequels present in this retelling. For example Ratchets, grappling hook is no longer an item purchased from gadgetron vendors as it was in the original but takes a note from Going Commando and is merely present from the start.
The story is at its heart, a retelling of the first game. Framed through the eyes of an imprisoned Captain Quark. While this gives us an unreliable narrator at times, it provides a fun levity to the story. The game sets up the new characters for the film while never feeling like it sacrifices the charm of the original game to shoehorn in these new elements. The jokes are fast paced and even had me laughing out loud at times, something no game has done in a long time.
Ratchet and Clank is exactly what a remake should be. It makes you feel nostalgia for 2004’s Ratchet and Clank all while being something all its own. The game finds a balance with humor and while it retreads original story beats.I found myself pouring hours in during my first few days with the game. The way things are looking a second play through is bound to happen. I hope with games like Ratchet and Clank making such a splash, as well as games like Yooka-Laylee on the horizon.That 2016 sees a resurgence in the long lost mascot platformer genre.
Score:8 out of 10