Ratchet and Clank
A new 3D platform game, that's actually quite good...
Ever imagined what life was like in a distant, cartoon like galaxy? No… me neither, but with this game you travel to an unknown galaxy where something strange is afoot. You take control of Ratchet, eerily similar to Tails from the Sonic series, and occasionally Clank, a very small, but very clever robot. Ratchet is a mechanic and gets dragged in to saving the universe by the ever-moral Clank, don’t you just hate it when that happens! This is, however, no bog standard 3D platformer, I’m pleased to report. It’s a little bit sluggish to get involved in the highly comical, and sometimes moral, plot, but once it gets there you will find yourself laughing your gravitron magnaboots off. Once you’ve put your boots back on, you begin to notice the striking music in the game too. It is very filmic with climactic music at all the right places in the story. It is surprisingly good to listen to, and there were many times I died due to over attention to the score. Which is quite a compliment. The graphics are pleasantly crisp and stylised with a real attention to detail. All the widely varied monsters and aliens you have to kill have been painstakingly created and have individual movements, weapons and ways in which they are defeated. The levels too are just about the right size. You don’t find yourself endlessly walking around looking for a tiny object, hidden in a small crack, in a maze of 300 square miles. While this may be too easy for some, it will please younger audiences, as they will not spend too long in one level. The array of weapons is incredibly substantial and original, too. You have a standard wrench (which performs varied tasks) along with weapons that vary from a ‘hand of doom’ glove (which fires small bombs that explode into 4 little robots who run after the enemies and blow them to smithereens), to a suck gun (which sucks up small enemies then fires them out at their mates!). This is combined with the gadgets you can pick up on the way. You can get anything from helmets to flying ships, shoes to walk upside-down and helicopter blades for Clank - the list is quite impressive. I do have a bit of a problem with the controls, however. They have a large repertoire of moves that are guided fluently, once mastered, by the two analogue controllers. Personally I found them reasonably accessible but with this game aimed at young gamers, will they be too annoying? The game play options too are rather limited (with no 2 player option or difficulty rating) and if you were to complete this game I feel it would offer you very little extra to go back to. Can this game go on to achieve the dizzy heights of Jak and Daxter? It shares many of its qualities and even surpasses it in the areas of aesthetics and overall atmosphere. This game is without doubt a worthy progression in the 3D platform genre and I wait with baited breath for a sequel. Come on chaps, don’t disappoint. If you don’t you’ll have millions of children and adults running the streets for bolts in order to acquire a hover board. Confused? Well buy the game. Enough said.