Having been a Nintendo guy in my youth, my first jump into the Sony world was the Playstation 2. I was seduced by games like GTA, Freedom Fighters, and of course Pro Evo. It was a time when you played with friends. As such I missed Ratchet and Clank the first time around. With this cut-price reboot, I’m so glad none of it is familiar. This really is the game of the year so far.
Insomniac have done a complete rebuild of the original game to tie in with an animated film version of the characters and the results are nothing short of stunning. Watching the first in-game cutscene will leave your jaw on the floor. The animation, lighting, and colour palette are Pixar level of detail. In fact, I would put this graphically at the level of something like Cars. The use of reflection and texture on the metals of Clank and the robot enemies, really catches the eye and people passing will stop to marvel at it for a few moments.
Of course, all this would mean nothing without gameplay to match and the fact that Ratchet is based on the first game, takes us back to a time when 3d platformers were frankly better designed. Take a look at this game beside Knack and try to tell someone that Knack is a better game. It was heralded as an overlooked title with decent gameplay. Put it next to this and you get the superior game design from years ago with the amazing modern graphics. There is no comparison.
The game itself is an expertly crafted platformer with the addition of crazy weaponry. No sooner have you become familiar with one type of weapon and begun to upgrade it than another more crazy kind comes along, all beautifully animated of course. One minute you are setting enemies ablaze with a flamethrower and the next you are turning them into blocks of ice. Defeat an enemy and they explode in a shower of nuts and bolts, that are then used for in-game currency. As you travel through the various worlds you are rarely asked to do more than three tasks, meaning there is no pointless exploration for the many collectables. In Ratchet, the collectables are in the form of trading cards, a nice touch to find and open as it brings duplicates into play.
The game should last an average player around 10 hours for a straight run, leaving it open to a replay for collectables or on the hardest difficulty. As such it is the perfect compliment to Dark Souls 3. If you are getting depressed and defeated on the harder game, stick this in for a while to relax and unwind. There is no need for an in-depth review, this is pure, simple AAA gaming at a reduced price.