Ratchet & Clank (2016)

Ratchet & Clank (2016) Review

Brand new console, same old Lombax

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PlayStation 4 on

ESRB Everyone 10+ rating

Ratchet and his little robot buddy Clank are back from the Nexus to relive their origins. Now that they've finally arrived on PlayStation 4, it's time to unholster your Pyrocitor and light this baby up!

Ratchet & Clank (2016) screenshot 1
The Buzz Blades may not have been in the original, but they sure are awesome

Before I begin, I should mention that I've been a huge Ratchet & Clank fan ever since I got the original for Christmas back in 2002. I still own every single game in the series and I've spent many hours mastering all of them. Now that I've played a complete reimagining of the original, I'm a very happy man. Ratchet & Clank first debuted on PlayStation 2, was remastered in HD for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, and now a whole new take on it is available for PlayStation 4. Thankfully, the combat is just as intense as ever with an array of crazy weapons at Ratchet's disposal. Most of the weapons are from previous titles yet a few new ones help mix things up. The one I enjoyed most is the Pixelizer which turns enemies into 2D blocky forms of themselves. Overall, the combat will be right at home for anyone familiar with the series yet it manages to feel fresh enough to be nothing short of exciting.

Although combat is the primary gameplay element, Ratchet needs a variety of activities to stay fit. Whether he's grinding on rails, solving puzzles with the Trespasser, taking part in hoverboard races, soaring through stages with a jetpack, or disguising himself as Captain Qwark; you'll delight in every moment you spend controlling the always surprising Lombax. Of course, Clank has his moments, too. You control him in a couple of different segments where he's either being chased or has to solve puzzles. These puzzles are quite enjoyable as you have to think of how to utilize drone bots to perform functions such as transforming into trampolines, building bridges, and powering up stations in order to move on. There sure is a lot of fun to be had when you hang out with Ratchet & Clank!

Ratchet & Clank (2016) screenshot 2
Ratchet's rail grinding skills give Sonic a run for his money

The first thing you'll notice upon booting up Ratchet & Clank is how amazing it looks. There haven't been that many big budget 3D platformers so far for modern consoles (is this the first?), so that makes taking in the impressively outstanding display all the more special. The stages are awe-inspiringly detailed and colourful with each one offering a unique atmosphere. On top of this, the audio is bursting with quality through a fantastic orchestral score, gratifying explosions, and a voice cast composed of top talent. I hope that this game paves the way for more Ratchet & Clank and I can't wait to see what other 3D platformers pop up down the road.

Completing Ratchet & Clank will probably take longer than you'd expect. As a relentlessly action-packed and cinematic adventure, you'll probably assume that it couldn't be more than a few hours long but it'll likely take you at least ten to finish it. After doing so, there's still a lot to accomplish. As you play, you'll collect cards that correspond to various characters, weapons, and locations. When you complete a set of three then you get permanent bonuses such as better item drop rates and improved wrench strength. Hidden gold bolts also make a return. Finding them all grants you access to plenty of image galleries, visual gimmicks, and cheats. Heck, simply levelling up and upgrading all of your weapons is enjoyable. Additionally, playing through on challenge mode after beating the game is great fun.

Ratchet & Clank (2016) screenshot 3
Not every battle needs to be on the ground

Even though this reimagined Ratchet & Clank is one of the best games currently available for PlayStation 4, it's missing some features from the original that I was looking forward to. First of all, this game basically follows the same events except they're told through Qwark's perspective. That explains why there may be differences here and there and I thought this was actually a very cool idea. However, the parts that are absent mostly have to do with gameplay. In the original, I loved collecting skill points by doing silly things such as standing between a statue's legs and turning a tank into a chicken yet they aren't in this version. Also, many classic weapons are missing like the Visibomb Gun, Decoy Glove, and Tesla Claw. I guess you can't expect everything to remain intact but it's still disappointing.

Throughout my time with Ratchet & Clank, I encountered many frustrating moments that occasionally popped up. These didn't happen often enough that I felt like turning it off, but I was annoyed that they happened at all. A couple examples of this include dropping a drone as Clank only to have it sink into the abyss as opposed to forming a bridge and watching Ratchet get stuck behind a rock and being unable to move him. Another issue is the fact that things kept getting in the way of the action. Whether it's due to a cloud of smoke from an explosion or a close object obscuring the camera, taking a few hits because you can't see what's going on just isn't fair.

Ratchet & Clank (2016) screenshot 4
Why not take a break from shooting and enter a hoverboard race?

Ratchet & Clank is a must-buy game for anyone who owns a PlayStation 4 and wants to enjoy a reimagining of one of the best 3D action platformers ever created. So, what are you waiting for? Smash some crates, snag a few bolts, and pick up a copy already!

  • + Intense combat and variety of incredible gameplay elements that fans crave
  • + Outstanding presentation on every level
  • + Lengthy campaign with lots of replay value
  • - Fans may be disappointed by some absent elements from the original
  • - A few technical issues can result in unfair or annoying situations
8.9 out of 10
Gameplay video for Ratchet & Clank (2016) 5:24

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