By Jaran Chance
April was the month of Ratchet & Clank, seeing a big screen adaptation of the classic franchise along with a game based on the movie based on the original game. Ratchet & Clank (2016) marked the 15th video game release in the franchise as an attempt to reboot the series the game is actually a remake of the original Ratchet & Clank (2002).
After over a decade of semi-annual releases to the series, developers Insomniac Games and High Impact Games chose to take a break. Insomniac intended 2016 to take 2016 by storm with the remake of the fan-favorite original and a movie adaptation of the adored lombax, tiny-robot duo’s adventures.
Regardless of how the movie is received, the game reboot was undeniably a success, wowing long-time fans’ sense of nostalgia and surely sparking interest in new fans.
Right away the scenery assures that this is a remake through and through, showing impressive detail to traits of the original game. The visual feel of the Solona Galaxy in high definition accompanied by Michael Bross’s soundtrack often gives a vague resemblance to a cartoony Star Wars.
The strong feelings of deja vu hits almost immediately upon entering the reimagined world of Ratchet’s home-world, Veldin, with strikingly familiar level design and unchanged controls.
While some planets like Novalis and Kerwan are left almost completely the same as the original game others are completely reimagined or just flat-out cut from the game. This makes for a shorter story and game. One notable plot point from the original that is missing is the feud between Ratchet and Clank that in turn serves to strengthen the duo’s friendship. The game features different companions and villains and removes some memorable characters and sequences.
Another notable difference is the absence of the earnable skill points from the original. These were used to unlock extra features and in-game cheats for replayability. However in the remake these extra features can be unlocked through attaining the 28 hidden gold bolts (12 less than the original).
One of the biggest focuses with Insomniac on overhauling the 2002 original was to bring fan favorite features from later releases into the story and atmosphere of the original game. The game now features character and gun levels, raritanium upgrades, strafing and brand new guns in place of some of the older outdated guns of the original.
With gun leveling comes omega guns which replace the gold guns of the original. Players now start with the hydro-pack for faster underwater swimming. Instead of having to pull up the weapons menu every time they want to use a gadget, players can simply click circle or triangle to use gadgets like the swingshot. Ratchet now runs faster on magneboot tracks, climbs ladders faster and most importantly now when players die in the middle of a planet they are no longer forced to restart from the beginning of the planet.
With the added features and improvements this is definitely a game worth playing for long-time fans and casual gamers looking for PS4 exclusives. Some of the story changes and cut content will leave long-time fans feeling slighted at times but overall this is a nostalgic journey fans will not want to miss.