Worth the Nostalgia? – Ratchet and Clank PS4 Review
Insomniac Games’ 2016 origin story of Ratchet and Clank is a “re-imagination” of the original 2002, PlayStation 2 Classic that also coincides with the recent Ratchet and Clank animated film.
For those unfamiliar, Ratchet is a humanoid alien feline known as the “Lombax” race, living out his life on the desert planet Veldin, longing to be a Galactic Ranger alike his hero and game’s egotistical narrator, Captain Qwark. Evidently, our Lombax gets his chance at a legacy when he bumps into “defect” warbot, Clank. The miniature machine warns Ratchet of a chaotic galactic plot by villain Chairman Drek. The impending decimation of entire civilisations, lives, and planets with intent for ultimate rule. Thus, begins their immediate bond as Ratchet and Clank and journey to save the universe.
Despite being based on a decade old game featuring outdating assets, the various overhauls have been selected to bring the story to the contemporary generation of consoles and players. The essentials and most noticeable are the graphical upgrades and audio improvements, proving to be absolutely incredible. Cutscenes have been upgraded to a level on par with Pixar animation at times, feeling almost like a feature animated film, as developers, Insomniac used animation assets from the paring movie in. Undoubtedly, the best development and possibly setting a new bar for best remaster in recent history. Nevertheless, gameplay hasn’t changed too much from the original, so the title faces the curse occasionally poor camera angles and awkward aiming mechanics.
The game’s audio feature tracks from the film’s soundtrack as well as others. The quality of these tunes make for great support to the guns blazing, planet hopping, space adventure however never really matches the uniqueness and quirk of the originals. The score is just that, a score. Nothing memorable and at times may seem tedious. Despite this, the clean cut and well-orchestrated tracks are undeniably created with expertise; they just do not scream anything special. However sometimes sounding derivative, the game’s excellent movie-like soundtrack works perfectly to enhance the action, though the original is sorely missed.
An improvement the remaster has made upon the classic is replayability. With added cheats, art, a card collecting metagame and so on, players are often encouraged to scour the environments of levels for more than just the original golden bolts. The story revamps aim to improve the replayability, attempting to make it more enjoyable with the omission and selection of certain aspects. A mere oversight here would be the near eradication of all Ratchet and Clank banter. The original featured them often heckling back and forth, as they slowly became more of a team. In this, players are introduced to the heroes, they meet and instantaneously become life-long partners with no quarrels. Additionally, Qwark as the narrator to the Ratchet and Clank origin story is often at times annoying and some jokes do fall flat. However, this is more a reflection of the audience’s view of the character, as generations grow older, and a much more subjective criticism. Overall, the story takes around 10 hours to defeat, and additional modes unlock upon completion. A completionist will find an investment of close to 25 hours, which is much more than can be said for the original, however short if compared to the longevity of other titles of this generation.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
A terrific trip down nostalgia road with the fantasised vision of memories being perfected visually upon the screen in front of you. Ratchet and Clank is no doubt a joyful space journey, featuring one of gaming’s classic beloved duos. From racing, puzzling, platforming and classic ol’ guns blazing Ratchet action fun to the additive modes and extras that accompany the remaster, the immense value in this title is quite clear. Despite being partially let down by a boring soundtrack and awkward platformer controls, it is worth the price for another shot at saving the galaxy.
By Omi K