Reviews// Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time

Posted 22 Oct 2009 19:50 by
I'm going to divide this review into three sections, an introduction to R&C for those of you who have not played any Ratchet games, so you may want to skip ahead. Then I'll have a section on what has remained the same.

This could easily be a REALLY long section, but we'll do our best to be concise. Finally, we'll give you a summary and a score, but just before that, we'll tell you what is new, and what has changed in this game. Normally, this would be a very short section, but you might be surprised at how much is different in A Crack in Time.

For Newcomers
Ratchet is a Lombax: a furry feline creature, Clank is a robot. They are firm friends, they met (back in 2002) in the first game, when Clank discovered that the Blarg were planning to destroy the Solana galaxy. The pair tried to get famous superhero, Captain Qwark, to help them prevent this disaster. Qwark turns out to be a) an Idiot, and b) A coward and C) Working for Drek, leader of the Blarg. So the pair has to take matters into their own hands.

As a result they travel between worlds, fighting enemies and solving puzzles. The main weapon is Ratchet's omniwrench, a big spanner which he wields as a sort of sword/axe cross, and which he can throw short distances. Other weapons include a Blaster (ray-gun), Pyrociter (flame thrower) bombs, buzz-saw blades and even a drone-robot that follows you around blasting away at any enemy that comes within range.

Continually using a weapon will cause it to level up automatically, to have better range, damage or reload speed. Almost anything the characters can destroy in the deformable landscape spews "bolts" which are the currency used for weapon upgrades, and to buy armour and weapon reloads.

As Ratchet and Clank progress through their adventures, they are sometimes separated, and in these cases, the player may need to control Clank rather than Ratchet for a period of the game.

While there is a great deal of combat in the games, and some of it quite challenging, there is also a good deal of puzzle-based gameplay and also timed jumping - to avoid sweeping lasers, and so on. The resulting games, while aimed at younger gamers, are entertaining for adult gamers, and the difficulty level means they are never too easy to be enjoyable.

If you really have never played a Ratchet and Clank game, it really is worth going all the way back to the original and playing them from there. You'll be able to pick up the early ones for a song, and you'll have hundreds of hours of gaming that slowly but surely improves in quality.

It's All The Same
One criticism that can levelled at Ratchet and Clank games is that they are all very similar. And this would be a fair criticism were it not for the fact that they are also all beautiful to look at and extremely playable. Sure, it might be right to expect more variety? but when the results are this good, why mess with a winning formula?
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