Freebie Feelers... Ratchet and Clank
Freebie Feelers is a series where we download the free monthly console-specific or newly released free-to-play games to test their worth.This series will contain some useful information as well as plenty of personal opinion. While these articles may not be reviews, we hope that you will be able to use them to help decide whether that free download is worth it.
What is it?
Ratchet and Clank is, first and foremost, a remake of the original game of the same name first released in 2002 for the Playstation 2. The remake’s release intentionally coincided with the premiere of the fully CG film, again of the same name, that it is based on. So to clarify, this game is based on a movie that is based on the original game, which the remake is also a retelling of. For the sake of ease from here on out the game that is currently available to download through PS Plus will be referred to as Ratchet and Clank (2016). Still with me? Good, because that’s the confusing part out of the way at least. In case their names weren’t already repeated enough, you control the titular heroes Ratchet and Clank. Ratchet is a “Lombax”, a fictional creature that appears to be a humanoid cat-lion of some kind, while Clank is a tiny, adorable robot who serves as a combination of Ratchet’s sidekick and back-mounted jetpack. Through a combination of 3rd Person Shooting and Platforming your goal is to stop the evil Drek, chairman of Drek Industries, from threatening the peace of your home galaxy with his army of robots and strange alien bug men known as the Blarg.
What did you think?
It should be noted that this is not my first Ratchet and Clank game. Throughout my youth I poured hours and hours into two games in particular: Ratchet and Clank 3, (known as Up Your Arsenal in the States), and Tools of Destruction for the PS2 and PS3 respectively. This entry evoked in me an enormous sense of nostalgia despite having never played the original 2002 release, so excuse me if my opinion is a little biased. What I’m trying to say is that Ratchet and Clank (2016) is exactly what one would expect from the series at this point; a perfect blend of action, platforming and a little bit of puzzle solving in the form of Clank’s own gameplay sections. The ever present humour and occasional 4th wall break are here too, offering even more for veterans in the form of a few cheeky nods and references to the rest of the series, (one character even vocally acknowledges the fact that this isn’t a simple remake, stating to our heroes “See you in the next reboot!”) The game is full of wacky, charming and overall memorable characters, and some introduced in later games even found their way into the remake of the first. All of the original voice actors from across the series’ sixteen year history return to reprise their roles, and anyone who played a previous entry will notice immediately the chemistry between the characters is there in just as much force as it always has been.
Is it worth downloading?
In a word, yes. As a remake of the original, new players won’t have missed out on any of the stories previously told, and characters are reintroduced as if it were the first time we had seen them. As mentioned before the chemistry shown between characters is stellar, however as this is currently the series’ only entry on the PS4 it’s unlikely that newcomers will get a chance to go back and play any of the other entries, even the more recent ones. As a whole the game is definitely more enjoyable if you are a veteran of the series, however it is still a great play for anyone who wishes to give it a try. It’s thanks to all these key components of a great game that I’m able to recommend it to anyone, regardless of age or experience, as there’s something for everyone to be found here. Don’t let the cartoon-ish graphics and over-the-top voice acting put you off; this isn’t simply a game for kids, and you would be missing out on a real gem if you passed it up.
Ratchet and Clank is available from the 6th of March through to the first Tuesday of April.