When it comes to Ratchet & Clank, everyone is excited for the newly-released remake. So of course, that’s not the one I played.
As I mentioned when I discussed the remake as one of several new 3D platformers, I had no familiarity with the Ratchet & Clank series.
Since I had the Ratchet & Clank Collection, I decided it was a good time to finally check out the original.
Ratchet & Clank is a 3D platformer from Insomniac Games, the company that made the original Spyro games. Unlike Spyro, however, Ratchet & Clank’s gameplay involves the use of weapons and gadgets alongside its platforming. And instead of a hub world, you travel from planet to planet in your spaceship.
In addition to the required objectives, there are optional tasks you can complete as well to get new weapons and gadgets. I loved the sense of exploration, especially whenever I found a secret area or an infobot with information about a new planet. And there’s just something satisfying about smashing some boxes to collect bolts (which are used as currency).
There were also parts I didn’t love. You can assign weapons and gadgets to a Quick Select wheel so you don’t have to enter the menu when you want to equip something new, but its limited space made it occasionally tedious. When you die, you return to a checkpoint… but although the enemies respawn, any ammo you used is gone. (Bolts and crates also remain gone.)
Finally, it might have been my imagination, but I noticed an odd difficulty spike. For most of the game, the enemies were moderately challenging and the checkpoints were fair. Just when the strongest enemies appeared, however, it felt like the game became stingy with checkpoints.
But even though I was frustrated near the end of Ratchet & Clank, I enjoyed it overall.
The story was entertaining (as simple as it was, it surprised me a couple of times), the characters were endearing, and it had a great sense of humor. I didn’t realize it was a funny game, so I was pleasantly surprised.
I love 3D platformers, and I’m glad I finally played Ratchet & Clank. It had its frustrating aspects, but I look forward to finishing the Ratchet & Clank Collection, playing the other sequels, and finally checking out the remake.
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