Ratchet and Clank PS4 Review - The Warmest Blanket of Nostalgia

For the past couple of years, PlayStation gamers across the world have been begging for some of the old, classic franchises to make their return. Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Ratchet. Honestly, I was absolutely a doubter. In my head, studios should move forward, and try to avoid previous projects. “Why revisit the past when you can create the future?” That was my mentality, until I played the new Ratchet and Clank. Because, alongside Bloodborne and Until Dawn, this remake is the third must-own PS4 exclusive.

So...what is Ratchet and Clank all about? Well, it's a platformer-shooter video game, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. At its core, it is a re-imagining of the first game in the series, based on the upcoming film by the same name (that's where the "Play the game, based on the movie, based on the game" slogan comes from). In spite of being inspired by the first game, this versions feels completely different, thanks to updated graphics, new features, mechanics and sequences.

As soon as I began my playthrough, I was charmed by what I saw. When promoting the game, people said it looked exactly like a Pixar movie. Now, I wouldn't say it reaches that level (it has a DreamWorks movie feel), but considering this is a video game and not an animated film, I don't know how it could look any better. The overall experience has been vastly improved. Funny thing is, I remember playing the original game back in 2002. Therefore, some of the environments were engraved in my brain. I would constantly ask myself "was I here before?" A lot of times, I couldn't answer. The visuals are so damn charming! Some of the cutscenes are directly pulled from the upcoming film, but even the in-game visuals are remarkable. Every character looks alive, full of color and detail. The lighting is impressive, and weather conditions are fantastic. The good news are that presentation is also top-notch. Outside of a rare box texture disappearing, the game runs flawlessly. No framedrops or studdering. This is quite outstanding, as there is a lot happening on the screen, at all times. Countless enemies shooting at you, while you're picking up the hundreds of Bolts (in-game currency) and trying to get some more ammo before destroying your opposition. That's where the fun starts.

Indeed, this remake might be the most fun I've had on the console. Most of the time, the game is a third person shooter. After playing other titles with more complex mechanics, this can certainly feel "kid-friendly". Nevertheless, that doesn't mean you can't have a blast. First off, it is so unique. From beginning to end, Ratchet and Clank has you doing new, different things. The opening hour is mostly spent by learning  how the shooting and upgrading systems works. After that, it opens up. Next thing you know, you're participating in hoverboard competitions, using a jetpack to find brains, fighting on top of a moving train, battling one of the many challenging bosses, and flying your ship while trying to eliminate the invaders. These activities are extremely original, work great, and most importantly, they entertain you. Still, once these cool sequences come to an end, it's back to shooting bad guys. And that's when your jaw drops.

Why does it drop? Because this remake has some of the finest weapons I've ever seen in a video game! You have your regular blasters and grenade/missile launchers, but some of the arsenal at your disposal is incredibly adorable and satisfying. From the Groovitron, a floating disco ball that plays mesmerizing music, causing anyone near it to dance uncontrollably. To my personal favorite, the Pixelizer (as you might have guessed, it turns enemies into an 8-bit appearance). I could give you countless examples, but I think you understood my point: the weaponry is amazing. Once it all comes together, you truly live some breathtaking moments.

Here's another thing I love about Ratchet and Clank. The story. Now, the plot is pretty simple and straightforward. But it's carried out by two things: the protagonists and the humor. Both protagonists are extremely likeable characters. Why? Because they're relatable. Ratchet is a small lombax, chasing enormous dreams that society doesn't quite want him to reach. Clank is a peculiar robot, who is tired of being a sheep, and escapes the tyranny and oppression. Once they meet, they instantly connect with each other, and they form a comradely you genuinely want to be a part of. Together, they go through some wonderful, hilarious escapades.

I want to make this very clear: this game is funny. Like, surprisingly funny. I haven't laughed this hard while playing on my console in a long time. Outside of the crisp dialogue full of chuckle-worthy one liners, there's a fair amount of fourth wall breaking, and self-aware jokes. The game isn't afraid to make fun of itself, and the result is an enjoyable, laid-back atmosphere.

As far as negatives, I only have one. During the first couple of hours, there were some weird pacing issues. It was as if the plot was taking us from section to section, without giving us enough context. For example, when Ratchet and Clank first meet, Clank is injured. Ratchet takes him back to his garage, and they decide they will fix a ship, and go save the world. After that, I was expecting them to sit down in front of the moon, and learn more about each other. Or interact in some sort of way. However, the next cutscene is them not knowing how to fly the vessel before instantly being shut down into a planet. Far from a deal breaker, but it was noticeable

Verdict: Ratchet and Clank make their return in rather epic fashion. This game reinvents the franchise, and takes it to a new level! For the price, this is an absolute must-play for every PlayStation 4 owner.

The Good
- Gorgeous Visuals
- Fun, Satisfying Gameplay
- Wild, Unique Weapons
- Likeable Characters
- Crisp Humor

The Bad
- Pacing Issues During First Couple of Hours

No comments:

Post a Comment