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Ratchet & Clank Impressions

Warning: This isn’t a review and this isn’t trying to approximate public consensus. This is merely my personal opinion as a fan.

The R&C series reminds me of a Pixar movie, and not simply because of the graphics and the “look”. Pixar is known for making high quality movies that simultaneously satisfy both children and adults. Children need movies that are somewhat simple and easy to enjoy at an accessible level, while adults appreciate more clever writing and subtle complexities.

In the same way, R&C appeals to both novice gamers who want something that is rewarding to play without being too complicated or difficult, and to veteran gamers who enjoy innovative, extremely polished game play, with high production values, and bleeding edge technology.

If you are a veteran gamer who is turned off the family friendly look of the title, I would strongly recommend you give it a better look. Often, the cutting edge games are made by passionate developers who tend to prefer mature themes while the family friendly titles are made by market-savvy business types who don’t want to put the effort into making an innovative title. However, this title really does both.

My biggest worry with this title, was that it would be exactly like earlier titles in the series with upgraded graphics. Fortunately, that’s not the case at all. The general structure of the game is exactly the same, but there are many evolutions, improvements, tweaks, and changes that make this experience feel fresh. I’ve only played through the first few levels, but so far, it definitely delivers the gameplay improvements that I had hoped to see.

The graphics and technology in this title are amazing. The wow factor behind the graphics and animation are the best I’ve seen on the PS3. There is constantly a huge amount of activity occurring in the foreground and background and the frame rate is consistently high. The most impressive graphical feature is probably the animation. Everything in the game has a very complex and fluid set of animations. The PS2 R&C titles still look amazing, and while better graphics are assumed, the improvement is quite dramatic.

If you haven’t played this series, I’d summarize it as a light-hearted, innovative, funny, family-friendly, extremely well polished shooter with some platforming and exploration elements. If you’ve played previous titles in the series, you know if you like it or not, but compared to previous entries, the gameplay is better than ever, there are definite enhancements, the polish is very high, and the technical wow factor is strong.