The platform genre is difficult to succeed in. Most 3D platformers are full of backtracking, bad controls, and countless pointless items to collect. However, Ratchet & Clank skillfully avoids most of the traps that hold back the majority of modern platform games. Developed by Insomniac Games, the company behind the first three games in the Spyro the Dragon series, Ratchet & Clank presents a beautiful story-driven high quality action adventure.
Each level in Ratchet & Clank is a different planet. New planets are revealed to you by “infobots,” small robot storage devices that contain a brief video clip. The cutscenes shown when accessing an infobot are sometimes intercepted between Drek and his army, others are newscasts that talk about the havoc Drek has unleashed, and still others are commercials that advertise various spots in the universe. The cutscenes also provide an initial reason for visiting a planet, though you will usually receive other objectives as you explore each world.
While Ratchet & Clank is structured like a majority of every other platform, it succeeds in skillful combat and fun gameplay. Your standard weapon is a large wrench, which you can swing around or toss like a boomerang. You’ll also start with one of the game’s many weapons, the bomb glove. As you might expect, equipping the bomb glove lets you toss bombs at enemies. All your enemies are robotic, and when they’re destroyed, they explode in a shower of nuts and bolts. As you move through the game, you collect the nuts & bolts to unlock newer weapons and more.
Ratchet & Clank has a variety of gameplay, in an ‘open world’ setting where you traverse to kill enemies, even though the gameplay can be described as linear. It has great weapons, a heart-warming story, and sets the precedent for platformers to come.
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