Menu Close

Ratchet and Clank Review

Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Insomniac Games
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
April 12, 2016

Video games have evolved. One could even argue that of all entertainment industries, gaming has evolved at a faster clip than any other, as 40 years isn’t exactly a long time in the bigger scheme things. Even broken down into decades, comparing one decade to the next is night and day, which is why going backward can often be a shock. But there are times when looking back on certain classics is a good thing and not purely for nostalgia purposes. The Ratchet and Clank remake proves that we have to take the bad with the good, that while we’ve progressed technically we’ve also lost – or have started to lose – elements like charm, innocence, and perhaps the very essence of “fun.” Yes, prepare to smile…a lot.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this remake could very well be the best-looking PlayStation 4 game to date. Granted, Uncharted 4 will drop in just a few weeks and I’m fairly certain that will assume the top spot, and one can make a really solid argument for The Order: 1886 , Driveclub and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt . I say the remade Ratchet ranks right up there with the best, delivering stunning beauty and clarity throughout. The cut-scenes are very close to Pixar-quality and the animations are wonderfully smooth. This is a beautifully designed world, too, with unbelievable level design, raucous and eye-popping special effects, and immaculate character and enemy creation. A frame rate that can, very occasionally, fall a little too far keeps me from giving out a 10 in this category but otherwise, this is amazing .

The sound is only a slightly trickier category because I find the balancing to be a little off in regards to music, effects and voices. You really have to dive into the audio sliders to fine-tune things and even then, it’s not quite right. But I probably shouldn’t quibble because the effects and soundtrack play off each other in a lighthearted cacophony of old-school goodness, and the voice performances are stellar. Let’s not forget that the original title excelled in all technical categories at the time, so now that Insomniac has remade the production from the ground up, lovingly touching up even the smallest details, we’re once again blown away. This classic adventure has been properly updated so it can stand beside the best of the best two generations later, and that is no easy feat.

As a bit of history, Ratchet & Clank was very much ahead of its time, if I remember correctly. Not only was it a technical tour de force for the PlayStation 2 but it also successfully blended multiple genres, which, at the time, was relatively new. There were clearer lines between game genres in those days; one could easily slap a label on just about any new title that hit store shelves. R&C was one of the first games that really made critics and gamers alike start to question: “What do we call this?” It has elements of third-person shooting, platforming, puzzle-solving, and even exploration, as the game offered far more exploration and freedom than most adventures in the early 2000s. Nowadays, many games get the “action/adventure” label because most titles have a variety of gameplay features.