Ratchet and Clank Review

Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: November 4, 2002 Also On: None

Leave it to the first game in a three game franchise to have the best box art. It’s been only two years since Ratchet and Clank first came out, and since then, we now have seen a total of three games. We’ve also seen Ratchet and Clank replace Crash, Spyro, and Jak and Daxter as the Sony platforming mascots.

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Another thing that the original does best is the story. The evil character leading the plot is Drek, a strangely similar character to the villain from the James Bond classic, Moonraker. Drek leads a charge by his planet to collect resources from other planets, since they’ve destroyed what remains of their own, to create a new, habitable environment. Like the games to follow, the game is light-hearted fun, with plot-driven cut scenes.

Levels in Ratchet and Clank are actually different planets. There are usually several objects that must be completed in each environment, before completing the necessary amount of missions to continue on. You receive coordinates to these worlds from infobots, which play intercepted video from Drek and his minions, commercials of desirable locations in the galaxy, and newscasts.

Ratchet and Clank isn’t your standard platformer. In fact, it’s more of an action/shooter in many cases, but there are several platforming and puzzle-solving elements to deal with. Your primary weapon is whatever is in your inventory. A quick select is available by pressing the triangle button.

You’ll start off with your wrench, which can by either thrown like a boomerang, or swung like a bat. Guns will be obtained as you carry on throughout the game, with the ability to purchase new items from nuts and bolts that you collect from boxes, dead foes, etc. You’ll later obtain a bevy of gadgets, be it a grapple hook, liquid displacer, even a robotic disguise, which you’ll use at a Drek factory to get past guards.

R and C has the finest controls of all platformers. The camera angles are never a nuisance either. The aiming is precise, and even more so, at the risk of being shot, when you go into the first person, by pressing L1. The levels are straightforward, with a map to provide you with help, if needed.

The only complaint about Ratchet and Clank that I can find is its length, which is resolved with its two sequels. The game starts out easy, but will later become more difficult. The final boss is a multi-stage boss, and is very difficult to beat. Overall, it shouldn’t take you more than 7 or 8 hours to complete. Once you’re complete, if you own Going Commando, you can transfer your weapons to that game, as long as your save file still exists. Ratchet and Clank is the start of a franchise that I hope will continue to thrive long into the next generation with the PS3.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 9.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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