As it turns out - and contrary to recent precedent - the new Ratchet & Clank is actually a Ratchet & Clank game. It's not an R&C themed MOBA, it's not a glorified rail shooter - it's a game in which a funny and adorable planet-hopping Lombax and his Dry Wit-Bot saves the universe from behind the barrels of a dozen insane-o weapons.
It's exactly what you want a Ratchet & Clank game to be. Yes, it's thirty bucks and about a quarter the length of a proper R&C game, but it's beautiful, it's funny and it's fun.
It's fun. And I'll admit, after All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault, I was kinda' scared for it.
CHANCE : I am shocked - shocked! - by how pleasurable this is. I've put about three hours into it (cleared 3 planets and 2 arena cups), and it's already terribly evident how truncated it intends to be as I max out the upgrades on weapons with thirty minutes' worth of use, but it totally delivers the pleasures I look for in a Ratchet & Clank game. I'm wandering big, cool-looking worlds with crazy guns, blowing crap up, collecting bolts and upgrading my gear.
And the writing is pretty awesome this time around too.
CHAMBERLAIN : I am not shocked because we knew that Insomniac had this in them but I am very happy that they remembered what a Ratchet and Clank game should be. After All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault I was beginning to get worried. This is a last minute return to form.
If we weren't literally on the cusp of new hardware the length would bother me, but only because I want more. Each area is visually distinct and fun to explore. The weapons feel just a bit worn out, with the same mix of ones that I will use all the time and others that I will never touch, but the return of Mr. Zurkon means that all is forgiven.
Are the twins characters from the PS2 games? I don’t remember them showing up the Future series. The space witch calling Ratchet out on not finding the rest of his race was heart breaking.
|"The twins" are Vendra (not pictured) and Neftin Prog, Nexus's villanous duo.|
CHANCE :I think Nexus is the first time we've seen either of them, but I like them as a pair. Vendra comes across as very powerful but understandably wounded, and her brother's arc is pretty satisfying, so far.
I too cannot help but love Mr. Zurkon (and family) - they're hilarious, and certainly pack a punch once you've upgraded them fully - but I'll admit, a part of me still pines for the Agents of Doom (remember those? Little ball-shaped robots with feet who would merely say "heheh" when thrown onto the battlefield before charging the nearest enemy and self-detonating?).
I feel like I'm a bit better than halfway through Nexus (the last three horns in the swamp can go to Hell), but it's already sparked a desire in me for an R&C game on PS4.
Just please, God, don't let Sanzaru develop.
CHAMBERLAIN : I'm going to make a run at the game tonight and try to finish it before heading out to pick up my PS4. After that I have no idea when I am going to play it.
CHANCE : Same here. I'm gonna' play it 'till 22:00, watch the Spike launch special (side note : the Spike launch special was awful) and leave to get in line at 23:00. The fear of getting one of the faulty units is gnawing at me like a demented capybara.
CHAMBERLAIN : As someone who had three 360s red ring, I know exactly how you feel.
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o n e h o u r l a t e r
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CHANCE : Just finished Into the Nexus. I need someone to explain to me why it's called Into the Nexus.
|(of the minor variety)|
CHAMBERLAIN : I think it's a tease about the next series. The last thing Clank does is steal the Dimentionator. I see him trying to fix it, Ratchet trying to use it and them ending up somewhere else, somewhere between universes.
A nexus. Good stuff. If I wasn't about to get in the car I would be upset that it was already over. Definitely better than Quest for Booty was.
CHANCE : I don't think anyone was thrilled with the bar set so low. So here's the question: is Into the Nexus worth thirty dollars?
Another way to put it - did you really get half the pleasure out of ItN that you got out of A Crack in Time or Tools of Destruction? I'm leaning towards a quarter.
CHAMBERLAIN : $30? No.
But I don't know if that is a fair question. You could spend $60 on a bad game and get nothing out of it or $2.99 on an indie game and get lucky.
If dollars per hour was the only metric then I would play nothing but Street Fighter and Rock Band. I enjoyed Into the Nexus AND it was too short, not but it was too short.
CHANCE : That's a perfect way to put it.