Cam’s Eye View: 404: Ratchet & Clank for the PS4

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The Lombax and robot duo are back with a new animated movie and a new reboot/remake/movie tie-in game that is based on the very first game released back on the PlayStation 2. Unfortunately, it seems like the movie will not be doing well due to most reviews being negative. It’s a shame, too, since the game, which like I just said, is a reboot/remake/tie-in with the movie, is one of the best games of the year. It takes out all of the elements from first game, and replaces them with current Ratchet & Clank design choices. Anyway, let’s get started!

The story revolves around the first game’s plot, but with a few twists, where Ratchet, a Lombax alien, voiced by James Arnold Taylor, wants to be a Galactic Ranger. Sadly, he doesn’t make it as one, but ends up befriending a little robot named Clank, voiced by David Kaye. Clank tells Ratchet of an evil scheme plotted by Chairman Drek, voiced in this game by Paul Giamatti, and Doctor Nefarious, voiced by Armin Shimmerman. Can the dynamic duo find and join the Galactic Rangers to take down this evil duo? Well, in terms of story, it’s a retelling of the movie, but only keeping the most crucial plot elements, and showing off those scenes from the movie. It has its good moments, but the game’s first story was never its greatest part. However, I will give them credit for making the duo of Ratchet & Clank likable, unlike the original game where they were incredibly unlikable.

Ratchet & Clank is an action platformer in the same vein as the previous games. There really isn’t much differentiating this game from the previous high quality releases from the past, with the exception that this is a remake/reboot of the first game. It takes out the clunky controls, tedious pacing, sometimes shoddy level design, and filler, and replaces them with the more updated design decisions from the PlayStation 3 games. You still control the duo as you run, jump, and blast your way through multiple enemies with a crazy amount of weapons. These include your typical weapons, from a flamethrower to a gun that turns people into sheep. You can level all of these guns up to be even deadlier the more you use them. This game doesn’t innovate, but refines the overall experience. There is also some replay value thrown into the game, with collecting cards to gain upgraded stats, a separate card set to get the most powerful gun in the game, and hover-board racing on two different planets. There are also some other side objectives, but all of these are optional. The game will take you about nine hours to beat, and maybe add on a few more if you want to complete everything. The only other bit of replay value comes with the challenge mode, where you play through a new game with all of your upgrades, but on a tougher difficulty.

Graphically, this is a beautiful game. It might just look like a higher quality version of the PlayStation 3 games, but hey, if it works, it works. Everything ran smoothly, and I didn’t experience any noticeable slowdown. The voice acting is great, even though I do wish they could have gotten back Kevin Michael Richardson, who was the original Chairman Drek in the first game (no offense to the amazing Paul Giamatti).

If I had a few complaints, I don’t remember much of the music or the actual characters. The complex story and good music came to the PlayStation 3 games. The original game’s story was not too in-depth, and just got you from level to level. The story basically hits the most important plot points, and sadly doesn’t really invest you into a lot of the characters. I also found there to be a lack of replay value. It’s a fun game, but besides the challenge mode, there really isn’t much else.

Even with that last complaint, Ratchet & Clank is a fantastic game. Heck, it beats out other games this year by being a wonderful experience at a chunk of the price at $40. If you can find it for cheaper, I would totally get it. It’s easily one of the best games of the year, and if you love the franchise and want to have a better experience than the movie (sorry, but being made for the fans doesn’t excuse it for being bad), then you definitely need to pick up this title for the PlayStation 4.

This game gets an 8 out of 10.

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