There aren’t many things left in life that give me a nice fuzzy feeling. It’s a feeling I fondly remember when I was younger. The original Ratchet & Clank game was one of those things for me. Insomniac have recreated it so perfectly that it brought back the now highly sought after fuzziness I crave.
But it’s not just the universe Ratchet inhabits that brought this feeling back. A whole plethora of aspects to this game constantly remind us what a good job Insomniac has done. They have done the name of their company justice as their game turned me into quite the night owl.
The Colourful Universe Of Ratchet & Clank
Having played the original, I approached the new title with a hint of trepidation. Like so many other remakes, there’s always the risk that ‘it just wouldn’t be the same anymore’. Running through the many colourful planets the game has to offer, I noticed that there were segments of these levels that were completely identical to the original.
Yet, more often than not there were plenty of new areas too. This made the identical bits add to the old nostalgia factor as, when I found them, I’d gleefully utter ‘Aaahhh! I remember this place’. What a wonderful feeling. With that, you can rest assured that if you pick up the game, you won’t simply be running around in a high definition clone of what you’d already played a decade ago.
Crowd Control Simulator
Each area has a consistent sense of momentum as you push on through the screen-filling hordes of enemies. What Insomniac has really excelled on is an exciting sense of progression. An ‘I wonder what comes next’ kind of feeling as they dripfeed you new features to play around with. This may include navigating networks of grind rails, walking upside down with grav boots, playing as Clank or taking part in hoverboard races.
That’s not even everything you have to look forward to either! Most notably are the flying segments. Admittedly, they’re few and far between. But each time I played one, I was dazzled at the visuals on show. Also, the objectives were different each time. This meant I was never pulled back into Ratchet’s ship, thinking ‘Oh here we go again’. As so many people felt with the Batmobile in Arkham Knight.
Mr. Zurkon Is Here To Kill
All these features are so wonderful to play around with. It’s only really possible to pay attention to the story when you’re sat watching a cutscene. That’s not really a big deal as the story is nothing to write home about. Of course, what players want is to mess about with Ratchet’s cool guns and gadgets. There are loads to unlock and you can even level them up, upgrading them at a Gadgetron vendor.
I’d come to a point where I filled my weapon wheel inventory up. I saw there were still new weapons available to me and I wondered if I’d be swapping things out. Perhaps being forced to choose what I wanted in my weapon wheel. But, much to my surprise, I found out that pressing L1 or R1 would bring up a whole new weapon wheel, meaning I’d be messing about with an arsenal double the size I’d anticipated. Oh, Insomniac, now you are spoiling me!
Ratchet’s New Next Gen Combat Is Refreshed And Sticks To Roots
It goes without saying, the combat in this game is super fun. Insomniac has stuck to the old aim-and-strafe formula which still works as well as it ever did. You’ll eventually find yourself mixing up attacks to do your best in carpet bombing an area. For example, I could whip out my murderous sentry bot, Mr.Zurkon. He’d cover me while I mined the place with zappy proton drums. Boss fights are great too as they allow you to experiment with the most damaging mixtures of attacks you can muster. You needn’t wait for all this later in the game, either. From the get go, Ratchet & Clank throws everything it has at you and it is made all the more beautiful by hundreds of nuts and bolts whizzing into your collection.
It is good to see that Insomniac Games hadn’t succumbed to the ‘Chrispher Nolan’ treatment of our fuzzy hero, making everything dark and serious. They remembered throughout development that delivering fun was the highest priority. Ratchet & Clank makes no apologies for what is and you’ll soon realize that when a character says, ‘see you in the next remake’.
As Ratchet looks on confused. This new version of Ratchet & Clank made me realize that we were all justified in saying ‘they don’t make them like they used to’. Now that developers are looking to older styles of play with the new Doom and Shadow Warrior 2 on the way, I’m hoping to see a revival in the ‘fun comes first’ approach to gaming… Secretly hoping for a new Jak & Daxter.
To wrap things up here, Ratchet & Clank succeeded in making me feel like I was a teenager on my PS2 again. For that, I am honestly grateful to them for delivering a new gloriously nostalgic experience to me. There’s also plenty here for newcomers and it’s cool to think that a new generation of gamers can experience the wonderful whacky world of Ratchet & Clank anew. They can look forward to loads of collectibles, plenty of variation and even more eye candy.