Should you get it? Read our Ratchet and Clank Trilogy Review to find out
Ten years have passed since the release of the first Ratchet and Clank, one of the best adventure/platformer game ever made. Since then the franchise has flourished, with multiple games releasing over the years in Sony consoles. And what better way to celebrate this anniversary? Sony and Insomniac Games decided to re-release all the three games from the PS2 era in fully HD. Was this a good move from Sony? Well... it was a great one!
For anyone of you who doesn't know what's the story behind Ratchet and Clank here is a quick summary. Ratchet, a lombax (something like a space cat), is an engineer who knows his way around with mechanical things. One day as he was working on his space ship, another space ship crash land near his location. He investigate the crash site and finds a special little robot named Clank. The entire galaxy is in danger, because of one crazy man and so the two pair up to save the day!
The other two games story are similar to the that of the first one, where the galaxy is in danger and it's up (again) to them to save it. But the stories are only similar. Plot twists and turns keep the experience from becoming stale. Helping in this is also the amazing cast of characters that populate the universe of the game. Each one of them is well-developed and the dialogue is amazingly crafted. The humor these characters bring is fantastic. Many adventure games did that back then and I am very surprised that the new adventure games today kinda lost that touch.
But lets talk about the most important thing (at least for me) in Ratchet and Clank games, the weapons. The weapon of choice Ratchet uses is the Onmiwrench. Hack and slash or ground pound enemies to the death, yes this wrench is something special. Other than using it in combat, he also uses it to screw bolts in place, to complete different puzzles. In the second game he gets new and more powerful wrenches as the games progress, but that's only in the second game.
Other than the wrench, through the games, Ratchet uses an immense arsenal of weapons. From blasters to shotguns to grenade launchers and other explosive weapons such as rockets, mini nukes etc. Other weapons are the ones that transform the enemies in sheep or in a duck. Another weapon is one that sucks small enemies and crates and fires them as missiles. Also you can get shields you can throw where you want or you can get robots that help you by shooting the enemies. As I said the arsenal of weapons is gigantic. In the second and third game the weapons upgrade or level up the more you use them. Also as they level up, apart from becoming more powerful they change their look and at level 2 or 5 (in the third game) they can change the projectile they fire. Upgrading the weapons to the max is really fun.
On some missions you control Clank. He is slower and has less health than Ratchet and uses only his fists in combat. But he can mind-control other robots. These can be small and very aggressive robots or big robots with special abilities. Also in some missions he can "control" a monkey by throwing a banana where he wants. These cool mechanics make for some interesting gameplay sessions.
Other than the weapons, the collection of the gadgets in these games is also immense. A grapling hook, a generator which can activate specific objects, different types of hacking devices and other great gadgets are found in all the three games. In the first game, you can upgrade Clank by attaching him helicopter parts or jet engines or hydro jets. With these you can do big jumps, glide and swim underwater really fast. But these upgrades are not only for Clank. Ratchet can equip different helmets with different abilities or different boots such as gravity boots ( which help to defy the gravity), grind boots (you can grind over rails, wires etc) and rocket boots ( which can boost Ratchet to crazy speeds). Also in the second and third game you can buy and upgrade the armor Ratchet wear. Each one of them has different stats. All of these gadgets help you traverse through the levels, but you should also keep your eyes open for secret paths in which you may find special bolts or trophies.
But how do you buy or upgrade the weapons and armor? Simply by using nuts and bolts. Everything you destroy or kill gives you bolts to spend on more awesome weapons. Collecting bolts can become addictive ( trust me). You can also get bolts by competing in arenas or different challenges.
In the third game you can use some vehicles like a jep or a space ship. Also in the third game, other than the singleplayer, there is also a multiplayer. Form teams and compete in online battles. It's really fun.
Graphically the games looks amazing. The HD remake is done masterfully. The environments looks vibrant and the character models are fantastic. Also the animations of these games are really great. I can say that the graphics looks like the PS3 titles, but not as good as them. The cutscenes looked great, but the pre-rendered ones looked horrible. They are not widescreen and the quality is something like 240p. Maybe they couldn't re-render these cut-scenes, but if they did the package would have been perfect. There is also a 3D mode in the game, but I haven't tried it, cause my TV doesn't support it. The frame-rate stay stable at a 60 fps, but in big battles it can drop very low or at least it happened to me.
The sound design is also great. The soundtrack is cool and creates the perfect atmosphere for the game. The sound effects are also well done. Everything sounds as it should be. But the most characteristic sound of these games is the one while you collect the bolts. OMG I love that sound. When I heard it I felt again like a 10 year old. I played all the games in Italian and the voice acting was fantastic!
An advice I can give is that don't play all the three games continuously. Why? Because it can get repetitive and frustrating because of the strange checkpoint system. Sometimes the jump input doesn't register when it should and you fall to the death, then you start from maybe the beginning of the level. So don't play through all of them one after the other. Take a day break, by playing maybe Jack & Dexter HD Collection. BTW also buy that cause it's awesome :D.
Overall this collection is amazing. For the price you pay you get three full games. Completing these games will take you about 30-40 hours, but if you are like me you will need at least 50 or more hours to find and collect every secret these games have. Also the addition of trophies will keep you hooked up for a while. Go out and buy this game. Thank you Sony and Insomniac Games for the awesome memories and I hope you will continue to do so!