Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
8.8
Sound:
8.7
Control:
8.5
Replay Value:
8.0
Overall Rating:
8.5
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
SCEA
Developer:
Insomniac Games
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/Adventure
Release Date:
November 12, 2013


It’s always good to try new things. The familiar and the tried-and-true are bound to get results but every now and then, a talented developer like Insomniac wants to spread its wings. This resulted in what I like to call experimental Ratchet & Clank installments, such as All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault . One wanted to focus on the multiplayer draw while the other tried to embrace a more strategic gameplay style. Both were good games. But you know, fans have been pining for a return to form for the dynamic duo, and now they’ve got it with Into the Nexus . Hysterical, addictive and just a blast to play.

From a technical standpoint, one could argue that the latest entry doesn’t do anything special. However, it would be insulting to the developers to ignore the wonderfully creative and colorful presentation, which has been a highlight of this franchise for years. The imaginative weapons, comical foes and excellent level design are all here, which is great news for long-time fans of the series. The animations are smooth and fluid, the special effects fit the appealing palette beautifully, and in short, there’s really nothing to complain about. No, it’s not pushing any boundaries but considering the goal of this game, it doesn’t need to. It succeeds where it counts.

The dueling, hilarious personas of Ratchet and Clank lead the sound category, as they so often do in this franchise. In addition to the genuinely funny banter and some witty dialogue, the apt, nicely orchestrated soundtrack continues to bolster the experience with every step. For a budget-priced game, the audio is surprisingly well balanced and very effective throughout the adventure; the voices, original score and effects all combine to give the player a traditional R&C quest. It feels like Ratchet , it plays like Ratchet , it looks like Ratchet , and it sounds like Ratchet . Yep, this is indeed the action/platformer we always loved.

Contrary to the aforementioned experiments, Into the Nexus is easily recognizable. If you were a big fan of the original style and structure, you’re bound to enjoy the latest entry, which is in fact a climax. It follows the events of A Crack in Time and although it only clocks in at about five or six hours, this spirited, well-designed game is bound to make you smile. At the start, the heroic duo is transporting the dangerous criminal Vendra Prog to jail. But Vendra’s twin brother, Neftin, rescues him during the transport, and Ratchet and Clank must set out to reclaim their former captive. This is all about tying up loose ends, if you haven’t already guessed.

There’s a lot to like about this invigorating, entertaining quest. The humor is off the scale, always appreciated, and never feels overdone, and the action is quick and accessible. The fantastic voice performances feature guests Talwyn Apogee, as well as The Plumber, The Smuggler, and the beloved Captain Qwark. These characters cement a setting and presentation that is both cheerful and immersive, and you just can’t stop playing. The latter trait is one I experienced over and over again when playing some of the earlier games in the series, and now it’s back. You know what I’m talking about, right? When we say to ourselves, “okay, just 15 more minutes…”