tue 27/02/2024

Ratchet & Clank | reviews, news & interviews

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank

Spit and polish trumps bodge it and scarper

New tricks - but no old dog

Ratchet & Clank may well be the biggest chart topping videogame double act you’ve never heard of, but all that is set to change. After a dozen games in 14 years, Ratchet, the feline-like character known as a lombax, and diminutive robot Clank, have got a headline-grabbing year ahead of them.

Not only are they the stars of the best game they’ve ever graced the cover of, but there’s also a big-budget animated movie set for an imminent release starring the vocal talent of Sylvester Stallone and John Goodman. So essentially you’re playing the game, which is based on the movie, which is based on the game. Simple.

The Groovitron makes your enemies start dancing like their lives depended on it

And what a game it is. Don’t be put off by the cartoony characters, because this is some of the finest 3D shooter/platform action to ever grace the PS4, and it looks like a Pixar movie. Ratchet & Clank is based on elements from the original 2002 game but has been rebuilt from the ground up with new locations, weapons and bosses alongside an hour’s worth of cinematics, including content from the forthcoming film.

Ratchet works in a garage on planet Veldin. His dream is to become a Galactic Ranger, fronted by Captain Qwark, the narrator of this humorous tale. Ratchet has a TV audition that cleverly acts as a tutorial to master the gameplay basics, and then it’s off to save the world. And the world you enter is a beautifully depicted masterclass in level design. From the futuristic cityscapes complete with towering skyscrapers and flying cars, to the wild panoramic expanses of alien worlds, there’s a massive depth and variety to the visuals on display, with the only constant being the tip-top production qualities. 

Weapons have always been a highlight in the R&C games, and fans won’t be disappointed. You’ll start out with a simple blaster and a wrench for melee combat. But soon you’ll be wielding wacky weapons like the Sheepinator that does what it says on the gun barrel (it turns the bad guys into sheep, in case you weren’t paying attention), or the Groovitron weapon that makes your enemies start dancing like their lives depended on it. The all new Pixelizer is a spectacular addition the the armoury that transforms enemies into explosive 8-bit pixels that fill the screen in colorful little blocks. It’s cracking fun.

Ratchet & ClankAll the weapons and character abilities are upgradeable, including turning robot sidekick Clank into a helicopter, thereby allowing you to glide across gaps and get to hard-to-reach places. Clank is controllable at multiple points throughout the game, normally associated with modest puzzle-solving tasks such as powering machinery or making bridges. Clank’s inclusion adds a welcome change of pace from the often hectic combat shenanigans of Ratchet, and the game is all the better for it.

There really isn’t much to fault in this mascot-platform romp. Ratchet & Clank now shares the same all-star stage as Sonic, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, and not before time. If the movie is able to match this highly entertaining benchmark arcade game, there will be a whole new audience keen to lay hands on the cunningly cute lombax. 

Read other gaming reviews on theartsdesk


Ratchet & Clank now shares the same all-star stage as Sonic, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, and not before time


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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