Hello everybody! Thought I might as well try my hand at another one of these “thoughts on” type blogs. They’re not as good as I usually hope they’d turn out, but hey that’s what practice is for I suppose. So recently I have finished the remake of Ratchet & Clank as well as getting the platinum trophy for it, so I thought why not share my thoughts on the game. Let’s begin, I hope you enjoy.

SPOILER WARNING!

    I may talk about a few things that people may view as spoilers. Weapons, the boss, planets, story, all are subject to potential spoilers. Just a heads up to anyone cautious about it.

The Story

    Ratchet & Clank(2016) takes just about 90% of the story from the original story while putting its own twist and additions on it. The story is told in a third person perspective, as Captain Qwark tells the story of how Ratchet saved the universe (with Qwarks help of course). We begin our story with Ratchet desperately wanting to join up with the Galactic rangers as they host a training course on his home planet for recruitment. After Ratchet finishes the course he is sadly rejected from joining the rangers by none other than his hero, captain Qwark. We are then switched over to the story of Clank, as he is born as a defect and quickly learns of Chairmen Drek’s plan to destroy planets. Clank then escapes in order to find and ask the rangers for help. That night Ratchet spots a mysterious comet crash on his planet and decides to explore and find out what happened. To his suprise it is a tiny robot with information of galactic security, and thus begins the journey of these two unlikely heroes as they journey across the galaxy.

    Throughout the story there are several nods towards the other games in the franchise. One such instance is during a hoverboard race, the announcer says something about pre-orders for the brand new Protopet by Megacorp Industries (Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando). There are also a few new additions to this remake that are absent from the originals. One nice addition is the inclusion of more Galactic rangers instead of being centered around the egomaniac Captain Qwark.

“A game based on a movie based on a game.”

– Promotional Material

The Gameplay

    The gameplay consists of what you would normally expect from an entry in the Ratchet & Clank series. You are out favorite Lombax with an affinity for weapons and a knack for upgrading and improving technology. With the jump to the Ps4, control schemes have changed significantly, you can finally use triggers to aim and shoot rather than the classic bumpers or O buttons of the classics.

    The game mixes several of the series best features into one title, picking and choosing aspects that make it unique itself. We have the classic helipads and rocket thrusters that are known to the series, but we lack the awesome rocket boosts from previous titles. The jetpack from “Into the Nexus” makes a return later on in the story and adds air combat to the mix. The game lacks the space combat of the first few games but does have a few ship battles scattered throughout to make up for it, just as it did in “Up your Arsenal”.

  As expected from most titles in the series, this one brings back Clank exclusive levels and minigames, the bane of my existence. I never enjoyed these levels in the game mostly because they become extremely tedious and boring. The Clank levels are the same they have always been. You’re small so you can fit in vents and what not so that’s where you shine. Clank enters a vent, goes around finding robots that can transform into various platforms such as a bridge, an electric battery, or a jump pad, in order to help him traverse the simple puzzles. There is also a few hacking minigames and luckily these are not 100% necessary, you can skip these portions although you will be missing out on a trophy associated with them.

    Personally I enjoyed the gameplay, it was a nice return to form for the series and I was happy to see it. Although I did not like the mini-game and Clank sections, I do love everything else about it, the run and gunning, the destruction, it’s all you really need in a Ratchet game.

The Visuals

  “This game looks just like a pixar movie” is what 99% of people may tell you – they are not wrong at all. This game is absolutely stunning, from the effects of water and fire, to the level design and how smooth everything looks, this game is a masterpiece.

    We have our characters up first, the stars of the show. Every character of the game looks so beautiful, just absolutely beautiful. Various moments throughout my gameplay I had to stop and just take it all in, you can see the fur of Ratchet flowing, the metallic reflections off of Clank, the smooth texture of all the humanoid characters, it’s all breath taking and is worth the pixar comparisons.

  Next up, we have the lush planets. Throughout my playthrough I loved visiting a new planet just to see what it looked like. The planets themselves are so different, one point you’re on the desert terrain of Ratchets home world of Veldin, the next moment you’re on the lush and tropical islands of Pokitaru. The water effects on these planets are beautiful, the reflections, the clear blue water, it all looks wonderful and gives a nice feel once you dive in and go for a swim. Along with these beautiful water effects comes some of the best fire effects I have ever seen. Throughout the game whenever there was fire or I would use the flame thrower, I couldn’t help but just say out loud “Wow that fire is hot” – puns aside, these effects are what captured my eye the most. The way the embers slowly flew from it’s source just took my breath away and it is something I soon won’t be forgetting.

The Weapons

    I include this section because these games usually focus around the weapons used and the upgrades surrounding them. This entry is no disappointment in that statement, it fuses together many guns from past entries as well as tossing in some new upgrades and looks to them. Each weapon starts off at level one as usual and gradually gains experience as it is used. With every level up comes increased damage and new raritaniun upgrades. With a max of 5 levels per gun you can stack a lot of damage into your favorite weapon and once you do inevitably hit level 5 you are granted with a brand spanking new ability for that weapon. The variety of weapons is no disappointment as they brought back some of my favorites from the past including the Groovitron, the Buzz Blades, and the always amazing Mr. Zurkon. Once you’ve completed the game and obtained all the weapon holocards, you are able to purchase the omega version of weapons in the game’s challenge mode. This brings the max level to 10 and further expands the available upgrades. Weapons are by far my favorite thing about this game.

  Back from “Into the Nexus” comes the raritanium upgrade perks. Although not originally a fan of this upgrade system, it slowly began to grow on me and I ended up saving up huge piles of raritanium just in order to get that next big upgrade. As you progress further and further in the weapon levels you begin to unlock more upgrade paths and once you reach the highest level you begin to notice that the upgrade layout resembles the actually weapon, like the Goatinator resembling the face of a goat towards the end, a feature I really loved. In the upgrade trees you have multiple areas on which to improve your weapons, some have fire rate, some have increased area of effect, in the beginning it’s up to you to decide what’s more important before you max it all out towards the end.

    I really enjoyed the whole weapon system in this title. I love unlocking new features and looks for weapons and this scratched that itch. My favorite weapons have always been and probably will be Mr.Zurkon and the new Pixelator.

My Platinum Trophy

Closing Thoughts

    Ratchet and Clank(2016) is a great return to form for the series since 2002. I hope we get another remake of the titles following the first as they were some of my favorite. I would love to play Going Commando once again but this time on the powerful Ps4. I love this game, and had an amazing time throughout my 3 playthroughs of it, it’s the reason I platinumed it. For fans of the series I would highly recommend this title as it brings back many cherished memories of a classic game, and as for new comers I would say to get it as well for its stunning visuals and quirky weapons and charming characters. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts and opinions on this great title and I hope you guys enjoyed playing the game itself. Until next time everyone, have a wonderful day/night wherever you may be.

Trey

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