Release Date: 10/27/2009
Rating: Everyone 10+
Available Exclusively On
The Ratchet & Clank series is dear to me because it came out about ten years ago when I just seriously getting into gaming. It’s part of my generation and now that I’m playing the last game in the second part of the series it feels great. Everything you expect from a Ratchet game is here and intact and nothing has really changed. That’s both good and bad depending on how you look at it. Hardcore fans will love this and not feel a thing towards the repetition, but to me, it feels Insomniac was running out of steam gameplay-wise. The story is great, but it’s the same run and gun controls, slippery platforming, and a few curve balls thrown in to keep the series interesting like past games.
This game is serious story-wise and tells the tale of Clank’s origins, what his purpose is, and this is the best part of the game. It’s what we’ve been waiting to hear about for ten years, but after playing Clank’s mind-bending puzzle sections Ratchet’s feel monotonous after about halfway through the game. Changing up the levels doesn’t cut it anymore because the graphics are pretty dated. The art style is still charming, but the graphics look like a really good PS2 game compared to other games out there today.
Clank’s levels consist of time manipulation and you can record former selves to solve puzzles. It’s hard to explain, but there are four sections in total through the game (not enough) and then there’s a bizarre dual-stick shooter mini-game thrown in towards the end of the game. Clank’s levels look better than Ratchet’s and have better effects, but this is where the most interesting part of the story plays out. Clank does have combat abilities, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.
Ratchet’s levels are the same since 2002, and while there are some new weapons I found a lot of them useless for once in an R&C game. A lot of the enemies recycle and repeat, and only certain weapons are good against certain enemies. However, later in the game a lot of the weapons just don’t do much and you resort to using more powerful weapons. You can find mods for your weapons that add different types of ammo, make it shoot different, add power, etc, but these are hard to find and require hardcore fans hours of dedication to finding them all. Ratchet has a couple of new gadgets such as the OmniSoaker and Hover Boots, but I wanted to see some more since this is a finale.
Ratchet can now freely explore space and visit mini-worlds for Zoni (to enhance your ship), mods, gold bolts, etc. This adds variety to the game, but after a while, they get boring since there are only so many different types of worlds that are copied. Space battles add a nice mix to the fray of just on the ground run-and-gun affair so it is welcomed. Just like ground shooting once you get to the last sector you’re just tired of the same space fights and planet exploring.
The best part about the game is probably the boss fights since they are challenging and each one is different and unique. It really makes you utilize your arsenal, but again some weapons will be completely useless. There seem to be spots here and there of uniqueness and variation, but it’s not dished out as fast or as often as past games. The enemy variety is really low so you will kill the same robot the one-millionth time by the end of the game. It’s a shame Time turned out to be such a repetitious game because it has a ton of potential. I would have loved to play more as Clank solving puzzles, but there’s enough here to keep you going through the 15+ hour game.
Despite a nice ending to the game, you can start a new game+, but there’s no real incentive to go back through since you’ll want the game to end early on anyway. The voice acting is top-notch as usual, and the storytelling is Pixar quality, but this is probably the worst R&C gameplay-wise just because I expect a lot from Insomniac. The series needs a serious reboot or I’m not coming back to visit the furry one and his metal pal.