Available on PlayStation 4
Anniversaries for big game franchises can be big deals, especially when the franchise is beloved among fans. It’s been 15 years since the first Ratchet and Clank game was released for the PlayStation 2. Now a re-imagining of that first game is available on the PlayStation 4. And it’s good…really, really good.
If you haven’t played a Ratchet and Clank game before, the setting is a cartoony futuristic world populated by a number of different alien creatures. Ratchet is a Lombax. He’s a cat-like being with large ears, striped fur and a tail. Throughout the games Ratchet travels to lots of different planets and interacts with lots of different alien species. Clank is a small robot who’s a defective unit from a warbot factory. During most of the games, Ratchet carries Clank on his back, though there are brief times when Clank ventures out on his own.
As noted above the PlayStation 4 Ratchet and Clank follows the same story as the original game. The alien species known as the Blarg is trying to create a new planet for their race by invading other planets. An evil Blarg known as Chairman Drek is behind the entire operation. After escaping from the warbot factory where he was created, Clank crash lands on Ratchet’s home planet. After the two meet, Clank informs Ratchet of Drek’s plan and the two agree to work together. Their first quest is to find the galactic super hero, Captain Qwark, who seems to be the only one capable of stopping the onslaught. Ratchet joins Qwark’s team of Galactic Rangers and goes on a variety of missions at Qwark’s express.
I love Captain Qwark. He’s got ridiculous proportions and a truly goofy personality. He’s not all that bright, either. A good deal of his charm is the amazing voice acting from Jim Ward.
Ratchet and Clank is mostly a third-person shooter combined with a platformer. For the majority of the game, you control Ratchet as he battles against aliens and navigates the different worlds. One of the game’s hallmarks is the wacky weapons you can acquire. Some of these include the Groovitron, a weapon that lets you hurl a disco ball at your enemies, causing them to stop fighting and dance for a few seconds, giving you the opportunity to close in and take them down. Another weapon is the Sheepinator, which does what you would expect from its name. It transforms enemies into sheep. My favorite weapon is Mr. Zurkon, a tiny robot that flies alongside you, shooting foes for a limited amount of time. It sounds a little boring, but Mr. Zurkon talks while he shoots and most of what he says is pretty funny. One example is “Death is too stupid for Mr. Zurkon.”
The game has classic mission-based objectives with some old-school boss battles peppered in. I can’t believe I now refer to these boss battles as old-school. I’m really getting old. This gameplay may seem a bit antiquated in this age of innovative mechanics, but I found it amazingly comforting to settle back into the groove. I’ve loved the franchise from the beginning and have been waiting to return to its quirky universe for some time. This game has been a huge nostalgia trip for me, especially since the story is the same as the first game.
But beyond the story, the game is just fun. There’s really no other way to describe it. Insomniac provides such a polished and mostly glitch-free game that there’s never really anything that takes away from the experience. And it’s so pretty on the PlayStation 4. The improved graphic capabilities really make the colors pop and help the universe come to life.
Ratchet and Clank is rated E10+ for Animated Blood and Cartoon Violence. Much of the gameplay includes dispatching enemies with a variety of weapons. Some of the non-anthropomorphic aliens will produce gooey “blood” splatter when shot.
Ratchet and Clank is a fantastic game. The franchise has remained so popular over the years for good reason. Its wacky universe and ageless appeal make it one of the best franchises for all types of players. If you loved the games back in the day, you will love this PlayStation 4 outing. If you’ve never played a Ratchet and Clank game, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. It’s unbelievably fun.