Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
I never imagined that there existed something like “too many good games in a short time”. Only once will you hear me say how glad I am that games like Bioshock 2, Bayonetta and Splinter Cell got postponed. With Triple-A titles as Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed 2 and other sleeper hits like Borderlands and New Super Mario Bros. Wii chances are high that some games won’t make it onto the radar. Luckily, as reviewer I get games that aren’t always on my Christmas shopping list.
With Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time Insomniac’s trilogy comes to an end. The story is set just after Quest for Booty but luckily people with a short memory first get a summary by means of cut-scenes. Ratchet’s task is to find his robot friend again after he was captured by dr. Nefarious.
As we’re used from the series, this episodes is again filled with the typical Ratchet & Clank comedy. Next to the addition of the Hooverboots for Ratchet, the gameplay hardly changed. Still thousands of Bolts will be flying at you after defeating hundreds of enemies and platform segments are varied with puzzles and on-rails scenes.
As the duo is separated you’ll experience the story from both ends which requires varied playing styles. With Ratchet you jump and shoot while Clank is more about solving puzzles. With Clank you can manipulate the “time universe” which allows to record up to seven different Clanks which you can play at the same time. A large part of the time you’ll be in space, en route to new planets and luckily Insomniac swapped the cut-scenes in favor of you getting the controller back in your hands. Just like in Kingdom Hearts 2 you control a space vehicle that can also be modified with “constructo mods”, gold bolts and Zonis.
Weapons have played a crucial role in the series and again we find some great ones here. In total 17 unique weapons and gadgets are present and they can all be upgraded. Some classics like the bullfrog, the sidekick Mr. Zurkon and the Groovitron are again present, but also some rookies like the circlestrafe and the Rift Inducer 5000 make their appearance. The weapons and menus are very accessible for newcomers but also the hardcore crowd will have plenty of fun with the game.
Graphically the game can be compared with Pixar’s animated movies. The color palette is very varied and has nothing but bright and shiny colors. The different planets and star systems are all unique and have their own atmosphere. The game runs on a smooth 60fps, even during the most crowded moments where hundreds of bolts and bullets are on screen.
Insomniac knows very well what they’re doing and this is proven time and time again with delivering great games. The platform genre is gradually disappearing into the shadows but that doesn’t stop this developer from keeping this fantastic franchise alive. Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time is the best game of the series and certainly worth checking out.