If you’ve played any of the previous Ratchet and Clank games, you have an idea of what to expect from the latest entry: Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time. You’ll travel the universe as Ratchet and take advantage of a large array of powerful weapons to destroy anything that stands in your way. A few new additions, like traveling between areas of interest on your ship and taking side missions from different minor planets as well as Clank’s time-altering abilities breath fresh air into the formula, but the trademark platforming and destruction insures that you’ll have hours of fun with this game.
Ratchet and Clank has always been about the platforming and the guns, and the latest entry is no exception. You’ll use many familiar guns, or variations of them, as well as many new ones to obliterate your enemies. The weapons are varied and creative. Use your constructo bomb for area damage then follow up with a few negotiator rounds or get in close with the sonic eruptor (an animal that damages your enemies with supersonic belches). The possibilities are endless and each battle feels unique. You’ll have a bit of an attachment to your weapons too as you can level them up and customize them. You’ll find mods lying around that will allow you to change ammo types and other attributes of your favorite weapons. The combat is what you’d expect from a Ratchet and Clank game with plenty of jumping and explosions.
When you’re not fighting enemies, you’ll likely be exploring space on your ship, the Aphelion. There are different sectors of space, populated by small planets which serve as spherical platforming levels, other character’s ships and the main planets that you will visit throughout the story. The small planets are fun diversions, with hazards like lava, freezing water and quicksand that stand between you and, more often than not, a secret item or Zoni (Zoni are creatures that collect in order to upgrade your ship). I found myself taking in every side quest and scouring every planet for secrets.
Some of the past games in the series (mostly on PSP) have allowed the player to play as Clank. This aspect of game play is expounded upon here. When playing as Clank, the game play changes radically. You have no weapons except for your melee weapon and your main concern is using time control mechanics to solve puzzles. You make copies of yourself and have them stand on switches or jump across gaps in unison to advance. The Clank game play is a nice diversion and challenges you to think in order to progress.
Ratchet and Clank is a beautiful game. The art style is excellent, with a Pixar-like quality unrivaled by most games. The animations and characters lend a distinct feel to the franchise and the special effects make each battle a visual treat. The sound effects follow suit. While the soundtrack may not be the most memorable, it is very solid. The sound effects are awesome. You’ll be able to distinguish guns just by hearing them and the promising clatter of bolts will always be instantly recognizable.
Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time
|Pros||Amazing visuals from art to animation, guns are a blast to use, filled to the brim with content|
|Cons||Story, though well presented, is a bit shallow|
|Verdict||If you’re looking for a great platformer, Ratchet and Clank is your game. With incredible visuals, awesome guns, and that familiar Insomniac style, this is one game you don’t want to miss. Even though it doesn’t have multiplayer, there’s plenty to do. Between the main quest, the side missions, collecting all the secrets and participating in the arena (not to mention the second play through option) you’ll be occupied for many, many hours.|