Ratchet & Clank (2016) REVIEW

Having grown up in the 80’s and 90’s as 2D platformers quickly became 3D, with varying results, I still feel some nostalgia for the two dimensional variant but what I’ve discovered in returning to one of my favorite Playstation 2 and 3 franchises is that I’ve lost my love for the third dimension. This tongue-in-cheek PG-13 cartoon duo was resurrected after a years in limbo CG full-length motion picture was released in 2016. I couldn’t bring myself to finish the film on Netflix because it was vapid and accentuated the brainless plot of the first game. So, with some love for Ratchet & Clank on past systems I figured all of the talk of its beauty and refinement made this full remake worth purchasing for $19.99 on sale earlier this year. Yes, it looks amazing on PS4 Pro but we’re decades past ‘playing a CG movie with a controller’ graphics being impressive or important. Who the fuck cares?

Playing through yet another game that largely re-uses weapons from previous games and re-tells the plot of the first game was incredibly dull. I will say that the overall spectacle of the game was great as the animated shorts follow the quality of the film and they’ve cleaned up the areas of the first game in striking detail. The problem is that the first Ratchet & Clank was a very short experience even for a PS2 game and had very small levels to explore compared to the Ratchet & Clank Future series on PS3 where the levels became more clever, open, and gave a lot of reasons to revisit and collect crap. As beautiful as the levels are in this remake you won’t need more than twenty minutes to do every optional side-mission and they don’t offer much in terms of gameplay challenge. Sure, whatever it is a damn kids game and I haven’t forgotten that. But I know a lot of people bought this game for nostalgia and it is brief and easy as shit if you’re already familiar with the franchise.

Outside of the very cool final boss fight with Dr. Nefarious the game doesn’t have much to offer anyone who played the previous games. I felt like even a throwaway DLC game like Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty had more depth and clever variety. It is to be expected as it is a simple remake, but I have to wonder if reviving this franchise was really worth it both as a business decision and a very late doubling down upon an exhausted IP. You could probably get six previous main canon Ratchet & Clank games on PS3 for about $40 or less total and I’d recommend that instead of this. The story and quips don’t really work anymore and the gameplay loop is completely unchanged. With so many great games to play in 2017 I have no idea why I bothered to give this one a chance, but I’m not about to throw away twenty bucks and not finish what I paid for.


Title: Ratchet & Clank
Genre Action-adventure/platformer/third person shooter
Released April 12, 2016
Platform(s) Playstation 4
Score 2.25/5.0