The 2016 reboot of Ratchet & Clank is a reimagining of the first Ratchet & Clank game from 2002. This HD version has a few new features including new weapons and additional upgrade features as well as new 3D platforming moves such as strafing.
The 2016 game was released within a week or so of the movie, which if your kids are playing the game (or if you’re just a big kid at heart) provides an additional dimension to the release. I actually played this game with my 5 year-old son who was completely enamoured with both the characters and the gameplay.
I’m going to get one of my only negative points out of the way right at the beginning so I can get on with how much I love this game. My copy of Ratchet & Clank was a digital download – not a very common occurrence for me as I prefer physical copies, so maybe this is just something I’m unfamiliar with. Once I had downloaded the initial file, I was disappointed to discover that one level in, my game became stuck on a “game is installing” screen. It was only when I went back and checked my downloads list that I discovered there was another 24GB file downloading in the background. My son (who has no sense of time or patience) was particularly disappointed because he wanted to continue immediately and had to wait for it to finish. That said, it’s one of the only downsides of the game, and something I doubt will be an issue if you’re buying a physical copy of the game.
Anyway, moving on…
The story follows a Lombax named Ratchet, a mechanic who dreams of joining Captain Qwark’s Galactic Rangers. He passes the physical exam but is rejected based on his troubled past. Meanwhile, the construction of Dr. Nefarious’ mechanical Warbot army is underway when a defective Warbot escapes in a stolen ship. He is discovered by Ratchet and named “Clank”.
The pair must fight their way across a variety of planets, completing missions that bring them ever closer to their goal of defeating the evil Dr. Nefarious. One of the best features of Ratchet & Clank is not only the fact that it’s fun, but that it’s not simply a remastering of the original – it’s a full reboot. The game has been completely remade from scratch and the characters and environments, while familiar, are beautifully rendered in HD glory.
Although in many ways this game shares elements of the original, it also introduces some new moves that are essential for a newer and improved platform including features such as side-strafing and weapon upgrades. It’s above all an action platformer / shooter, and the game is designed to be fun in all respects. This includes the use of my son’s favourite weapon, the Groovitron, which disables your enemies by forcing them to disco dance so you can attack them without fear of retaliation. There’s also the introduction of a new weapon called the Pixelizer, which turns enemies into explosive 8-bit pixels.
The gameplay is not only fun and dynamic, but it’s easy to pick up and play immediately. It’s easy to understand but challenging enough (depending on the difficulty of course) that you won’t be bored within five minutes.
Likewise, the story is engaging and feels like a good, old-fashioned adventure tale complete with twists, humour and treachery.
If you’re a fan of the original game or a noob who’s never played Ratchet & Clank, or if you’re wanting to introduce the franchise to your kids, this reboot of Ratchet & Clank is a must have. It’s a game that’s fun for kids (and adults) of every age.