Crack in Time Impressions


CiT1

Improvements from Tools of Destruction

  • Challenge: One of the big problems with Ratchet ToD was the lack of challenge. CiT definitely nailed this one. I felt that completing the main campaign on the “hard” setting was on the easy side, but there is tons of challenge in getting the skill points and PSN trophies, doing the optional moon side-quests, collecting the Zoni/bolts, and most importantly, improved arena battles. I still prefer the approach of the older Ratchet games that spread the arena style challenges over the ends of different campaign missions in different non-arena environments.
  • Visuals: Compared with ToD, CiT adds tons of new graphical effects, filters, and brings back spherical levels. Overall it simply makes more skillful use of the same general technology.
  • Space Mission Hub: The space combat was pretty simple, but the big improvement was the easy to navigate mission and mini-moon hub.
  • Tons of Small Changes: The core game design is the same as ever, but there are tons of small tweaks and changes to everything about the game, which make the game feel fresh and improved.
  • Fun New Mini-Mechanics: Mini-Moon Side Missions are the big standout. Hover boots and time puzzles were also fun.
  • Aesthetic Improvement: Some of the levels really showed some artistic flair beyond the standard high production values that are expected from the series.
  • CiT2

    Positives that aren’t new to the series

  • Core Diverse Action/Platforming Gameplay
  • 60 FPS
  • Production Values: Animation, voice work, 3D graphics, colorful environments that feel alive, and the cut scene quality are all great.
  • Diversity and Level Design
  • Arena Battles: These challenges are often some of the best parts of the game.
  • Great Level Design + Well Balanced Battles
  • CiT3

    Negatives

  • No Flying: I loved the tilt wing flying segments (not the outer space stuff) in Tools of Destruction and was really hoping that they were going to take that to the next level. Instead, it was completely removed.
  • No Racing: Mario Galaxy had highly entertaining water race levels, Jak 2 + 3 had the best racing segments in the genre. I’m disappointed that the new Ratchet title doesn’t have anything similar. The hover-boots and rail grinding segments were nice, but weren’t fleshed out into full racing gameplay.
  • Father/Son Issues: There were many horribly awkward father-son dialog that made me want to slink out of the room. Whoever wrote this game had weird parenting issues and they felt wildly uncomfortable in a game.
  • Story: It’s extremely well voiced and animated, but the story and characters were unengaging.
  • Simple puzzles: Many of the puzzles such as the battery-bots and the omni-soaker felt almost like simplified chores.
  • CiT4

    Conclusion

    If you aren’t familiar with the series, it’s really fun: The core fun is the combat and managing all your different weapons and powers and figuring out how to tackle all the different zany and very well balanced levels and battle scenes and then getting awesome Pixar-like production values on top of that.

    If you are familiar with the series this is definitely a high point: lots of little improvements and enhancements and polishes to the Ratchet experience. Also, this is a full blown sequel with all new levels, monsters, story, gameplay adjustments, etc.


    Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


    1. #1 by Fleakitten on November 27th, 2009

      No racing mini games? That’s one of the best parts about the R&C series.

    2. #2 by mcloki on November 27th, 2009

      Good game overall. Needed to use more of the sniper rifle/red dot mechanic. It was a great addition and should have been used more. More arena, just more. I always like arena.

      Level art direction was uneven. Some levels are spectacular, like the loonely toons-eske canyon level. Some just are nice.

      Definitely would buy DLC for this game. More time levels and make them harder. This was a great game mechanic that deserves to be used more.

    3. #3 by Darrin on November 27th, 2009 [ 17143 Points ]

      Yes, the sniper rifle was barely used.

      And the arena battles are one the best parts of the game. The Gametrailers review said that the arena battles felt like filler to fluff the game out, which I think is way off the mark.

      flea, when did Ratchet have a racing mini game? I remember Jak and Mario doing racing but not Ratchet…

    4. #4 by JimmyMagnum on November 27th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

      I had a blast with Jak 2/3 racing!

    5. #5 by Fleakitten on November 27th, 2009

      @ Darrin
      Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal had the racing mini games. Can’t remember if the first game had any.

    6. #6 by brit on November 29th, 2009

      I thought the story and the dialog were engaging and compelling to the point were I was sad the game was over so soon.

    7. #7 by Royalty2132 on November 30th, 2009

      Um… i just got one thing about this game that i buggin the hell outta me. Insomniac said that this would be the last R&C game but it clear in the end that it isn’t. Why would Insomniac say that?????

      P.S. Just got online User ID is Royalty 2132 playin U2 multiplayer and it awsome. I played MW2 before then and its good but i just like U2’s multiplayer alot better. More fun to.

    8. #8 by Michael on November 30th, 2009

      Summed it up pretty well, I’d have to agree with most of that.

      The omni soaker was just too simple compared to previous incarnations, and the story is a bit weak in some of the details but over-all the idea worked (i haven’t finished it yet). But the difficulty ramped much better than TOD, which was way too easy for most of it till the final fight which I gave up on (although they have a couple of fights again where you’re next to a vendor and can stock up/recharge health at any time, which removes a lot of the challenge).

      I’m glad they got rid of the racing mini-games, they used to shit me off to the point of throwing controllers, mainly because they were just so hard to control. Ended up having to do it it over and over, and eventually the competitors got so slow you could win, but it took about 20 goes sometimes. DEFINITELY NOT FUN. (same goes for jak 2-3’s races – jak 1 had the hard-to-control craft too though).

      Good to see the arena battles back too. And the visuals are really very nice – so many fine details here and there they never managed before, and even more action and enemies on-screen – I think it finally does full justice to the world they created. Oh and no tearing (as usual) but no slow-down-to-half-speed when they drop a frame either. The cut-scenes are pre-rendered at a much higher quality this time too.

      Actually, If this were the last R&C game (and afaik insomniac only stated the last in this story arc), I think i’d be quite satisfied – they were starting to beat a dead horse a bit, but this showed there’s still some life in the game. But is there enough to do another trilogy?

      It would be a pity in one way though – there’s really no other decent 3d platform games like this around. I could really go a proper jak & daxter 1 style game again. Really high quality ‘pixar-like’ `animated adventure’ thing, a bit less blasting and a bit more adventuring. I’m a bit over flash-game-remakes, small puzzles, and 1st person shooters which seem the staples these days.


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