Ratchet & Clank
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
SCEA
Developer
Insomniac Games
Genre
Action/Platformer
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Huge living levels
• Lots of weapons and gadgets to use
• Graphics and music are well done

The Bad

• Camera is a little lazy
• Aim on weapons is flaky

 
Grade
A

Ratchet & Clank are thrown together as allies in a quest to find Captain Quark in hopes of informing him about Chairmen Drek's plan to destroy other planets and use them to create his own perfect planet. The two adventures travel from planet to planet in hopes of locating Captain Qwark, all the while finding videobots to give them coordinates to new planets. While the story may not be all that original in it's telling, it is told well enough to keep the game going and there are enough funny moments to keep the player pleased.

Each planet starts off with a hub location where the player often has choices as to which path to take. On each planet the player has objectives to fulfill, which range from just exploring the location to doing odd tasks for characters they run across to just paying someone for an item or weapon. There's an equal balance between platforming, puzzle solving and action in every level. At the player's disposal is Ratchet's... uh, ratchet, which can be used as a melee weapon or as a boomerang attack. Also, the player can pick up weapons and gadgets to use. The further into the game you get, the more you'll have to use the gadgets to solve puzzles in the levels. Weapons are varied and allow the player to customize their means of attack. You'll have access to bombs, a laser rifle, missile launcher and even the R.Y.N.O. (Rip You a New One). With the variety of weapons at hand, the player has some choice in boss battles.

And, outside of the standard exploration are some minigames, like the hoverboard race, which can earn the player certain items, gadgets or weapons or even satisfy objectives in other worlds. And, each level has more than enough hidden locations that you may not find everything in the first run through. While the player can collect bolts (which act as cash) and even very well hidden Golden Bolts, there seems to be a strong intent not to make the game into a "fetch quest".

Visually, Ratchet & Clank is awesome. The immense levels are teeming with life. Outside of the basic minions you have to deal with, many levels are packed to the gills with life. If you're not impressed with all the activity, you will be by the draw distance as each level looks vastly larger than it actually is. All the characters and enemies are designed and animated well. The game is painted with such a brilliant palette that it just jumps out of your television. Level design is nicely done and everything, including the crates you can brake, have a nice level of detail to them.

Audiowise, Ratchet & Clank is put together nicely. The music is varied and enjoyable and the sound effects really accent the visual style of the game nicely. The voiceacting is appropriately done and manages to bring the story along with a humorous style.

I would have to say that there are only two things that really are a minor unresolved nuisance in Ratchet & Clank. The camera tends to be a little lazy and can take some time to catch up with the player, but it's never so bad that it ruins the game. Also, the aim on some of your weapons can be a little flaky. Some times, you'll get a lock-on to enemies, while other times, you'll be shooting off into the background.

Ratchet & Clank is a very enjoyable game that fans of the platformer and adventure genre's should make the effort to find. While it may not revolutionize the genre, it does more than enough things right and offers a wide variety of options to get through the game that everyone should be pleased with the effort.

- - Vane

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