|The Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy|
|Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Release Date: Out Now
Players/Online features: 1, 2-4 multiplayer
Released in time to celebrate the original game’s tenth anniversary, this excellent collection is Sony’s latest HD update in a long line of the PS2’s finest offerings. I played the games at the time and look back on them with a great deal of nostalgia. I was fully expecting my rose tinted specs to be shattered. How wrong I was.
Firstly, it should probably be said that if you’re new to the series then the first three games play pretty much like one very long game. It’s all about exploring the various planets, bashing (with Ratchet’s trusty Omniwrench) and shooting enemies. Ratchet gets some legendary over-powered and comedy weapons and gadgets to play with along the way, and there are plenty of puzzles and arena battles too. Throughout the series, the duo will frequently encounter a character named Captain Qwark, an ego-driven, vain and completely deluded superhero (he could be related to Zapp Branigan from Futurama or Stan Smith from American Dad) that may help or hinder Ratchet and Clank's missions somehow along the way. Whatever victories Ratchet & Clank achieve, Qwark always seems to take the credit.
You collect bolts (the game’s currency which allows you to buy upgrades for all your weapons) by killing enemies and smashing objects all the way. It’s difficult to explain just how addictive smashing items and collecting bolts becomes and I found myself smashing things to collect bolts long after I actually needed them.
Ratchet rescues a broken Clank and from then on the two are virtually inseparable friends. Ratchet is a Lombax, a kind of bipedal anthropomorphic cat-type thing. Clank is a small silver robot with the ability to interface with almost anything electronic, and spends most of his time riding around strapped to Ratchet’s back.
The only grumbles I’d have here are that the "remastering" (by both original developers Insomniac Games and Idol Minds) doesn't actually seem to have been done that well to me; cut-scenes that were originally obviously displayed in 4:3 aspect ratio are still in a "square box" format and now even seem squished vertically (which makes no sense whatsoever, and a few glaring, if insignificant and difficult-to-fix bugs from the orignal games were never addressed, The other thing is that Insomniac seem to expect you to play their games through at least two times in order to unlock and see everything—which may have been acceptable back in 2002 but seems a bit much by today’s standards. Fortunately the gameplay is inexplicably addictive and now rewards you with PS3 trophies regularly, so replaying the games through a second time fully powered-up with enhanced weapons is both a pleasure and a breeze—even boss and arena battles that may have had you sweating the first time around.
- Three classic games for less than the price of one new one.
- That R&C addictive gameplay.
- Probably 100 hours-plus gameplay!
- Fun, but flawed multiplayer mode is a bonus.
- Sometimes unfriendly camera.
- Could cause relationship problems and lose you weeks of your life.