- + Brilliant new visuals
- +Slight twist on the original story
- + Loved the improved weapons and upgrade
- - No Walloper, sad face
- - Perhaps too short a game time to complete it entirely
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “BOLTS! GODDAMN BOLTS!”
When I was younger my parents weren’t very video game friendly, so it took some persuading to get my first ever console; a PlayStation 2. And what game came with this? The first Ratchet & Clank. Now this game was the bee’s knees, and I mean seriously, I couldn’t get enough of it! Then it was re-released on the PlayStation 3 and I was the happiest man alive. Turns out, this re-release was the first game I ever platinumed. It seems that this enjoyment and dedication to the Lombax and his robot sidekick has stuck with me to this day, as after a mere few days I’ve platinumed it once more.
I downloaded this remaster of Ratchet & Clank overnight on release, the day after I spent playing the game. All. Day. Long. It took me 9 hours to finish the story and under 24 hours to platinum. Insomniac took everything brilliant about the original and improved upon it. Improved upon it in ways that I didn’t know existed. They’ve rekindled my love of this game and I can’t thank them enough.
The basis of the story doesn’t differ too much from the original. The first Ratchet & Clank was based around the Galactic Rangers, Captain Qwark, and Chairman Drek. This new iteration follows the same principles but throws in a few twist and turns along the way, which is nice; I didn’t know everything that was going to happen and it felt like a fresh experience for me.
The core of the story is that Chairman Drek has built a “de-planetiser” which destroys planets in order to make new ones. He’s part of a race called the Blarg who don’t have their own planet anymore. Drek simply wants to make a new planet for his race, which seems innocent enough, but goes about it in all the wrong ways. It’s your job, as the fluffy Lombax and shiny tin mini-man, to bring him down. As I previously said, it took roughly 9 hours to complete the story line. I’m sure this could be done quicker but I spent a lot of time finding the hidden secrets that I remembered from the original.
Speaking of hidden secrets, there are 28 gold bolts hidden across the planets in the game. These generally require you to have unlocked some kind of gadget or skill. During the course of your playthrough Ratchet will acquire Magneboots and Grindboots, both of which are essential in collecting all of the gold bolts. I had a lot of enjoyment in finding these again. Turns out my memory isn’t too bad as I found a fair few of them using my knowledge of the original game. I’ll admit, I did have to Google a couple of them. The puzzles in this game remind me of playing Zelda; they’re meant to be simple enough for a younger audience to solve but my God were they frustrating!
These puzzles occur when playing as Clank. There are certain sections of the game that require clank to access the air vents or venture out of the airlock. As Clank you gain access to Gadgebots, these little fellas come in three varieties; Spring Bot, Power Bot and Bridge Bot. Pretty self-explanatory when it comes to what they do. The Spring Bot allows you to reach higher platforms, Power Bot powers up electricity pylons and Bridge Bot can construct bridges to cross perilous gaps. Both Josh and myself found some of these puzzles to be a right pain, much swearing ensued.
The weapons have all been tweaked and modified, the core features and mechanics of them relate back to the original weapons, but they’re just, well, better. Each weapon has 10 levels and they can be upgraded via Raritanium. Upgrades would increase the blast radius, how much ammo you could hold, the duration of the effects etc. Even though each weapon has 10 levels, you could only access the first 5 levels. In order to progress further you had to collect Holocards. There were Holocards for nearly everything, planets, Heroes, other characters and weapons. Collecting a set of three for a particular weapon granted you access to buy the Omega version of the weapon. This unlocked the remaining 5 levels and granted you a few more upgrades. Collecting other sets of three Holocards would give you a permanent boost to the amount of bolts and Raritanium you received. Even though the weapons were brilliantly updated, I was a little disappointed that the Walloper didn’t return.
The trophies in this game made me feel rather nostalgic; they were oh so similar to the original (on PS3 that is) and some of them were, as I remember, fiendishly difficult to acquire. But perseverance and a sheer love of the title, strove me on to acquire all of them and the much desired platinum trophy.