Friday, May 13, 2016

Ratchet & Clank
Back to the past and the formula still works

Rating : 8 out of 10

Ratchet & Clank have reminded me how much I love video games.  I love the stories, I love the storytelling, I love the action and puzzles and silliness and the sheer ingenuity of the weapons.  The game plays just like every other R&C but it still never disappoints. 

We begin with Ratchet, a Lombax trying to make a difference in the universe, starts with the Galactic Ranger course which is basically your tutorial of the controls and some story.  You learn Captain Qwark, head of the Rangers, is in jail and also the narrator for the story.  You go back to when Ratchet was rejected even though he/you passed the course with flying colors.  Then you learn how Clank was a poor Warbot defect and how he runs and escapes.  The story grows from there and its truly a great ride.

The weapons all have varying degrees of effectiveness against certain enemies and some you can set out and use to aid you as you attack larger more dangerous enemies or you can use them to focus fire on that one boss that is giving you trouble.  Mr Zurkon is one of my favorite weapons that will help you fight small enemies and keep you entertained as well.  He always puts a smile on my face.  Then there is the Groovitron which is a literal party that effects all enemies and even some allies by springing up a disco ball and ques some music and all enemies in range are helpless to the lights and sounds.  There's the Predator rocket launcher for difficult enemies, the Magmabuster for close range, the Fusion Grenades for heavy damage mid range, and the Sheepinator for smaller enemies that you just want to laugh at.  And yes, it turns them into big furry sheep.  And all weapons are upgradeable to more powerful weapons after level 5.  Once you reach that level and have enough bolts, buy the upgrades and use your radium flakes to upgrade more powerful ammo and abilities.  The Sheepinator becomes the Goatinator and turns enemies into goats that attack other enemies and even fart rainbows.  Seriously.  Just reaching level 5 of each weapon is pretty easy but will probably take two play throughs to reach level 10.

The worlds are very impressive.  In many games where every place you go is full of varying shades of greys and browns, R&C is full of lush colors of greens and yellows and blues.  Its such a small thing to say but it really is welcoming.  When you play as much Destiny and the Division or Dark Souls all you see is drab colors.  This won't win any realism rewards but its not really supposed to either.  But this by no means the levels are anything short of wonderful.  Plus the abilities make it even better.  You swim, run, slide, jump and fly through levels giving them another dimension (obviously).

I don't want to ruin any endings here, but this is a very solid buy for me.  Atleast a rent.  You must play this game.  It is beautifully done and well thought out.  The puzzles aren't too hard, the enemies aren't too punishing and you'll never be so frustrated as to put the game down for a few hours to figure out a puzzle.  But you will have a hard time putting it down and trying to max out Ratchets health, your weapons and just trying to beat Nefarious.  This game gets an 8 out of 10.  I only wish it were longer.