Ratchet & Clank is a 2016 platform video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. It is the fifteenth installment in the Ratchet & Clank series. The game is a re-imagining of the first game in the series, as well as being based on the 2016 film of the same name. The game was originally planned to be released in 2015 but was delayed, along with the film, to April 2016 in order to give the film a better marketing campaign and the game additional polish time.
Ratchet & Clank received positive reviews upon release, with critics particularly praising the overall gameplay, controls, visuals, weapons, and world design. The game was followed by Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which was released for the PlayStation 5 in June 2021.
Ratchet & Clank shares many gameplay similarities with the other entries in the series. The main playable character is Ratchet; Clank is playable in several portions of the game. As Ratchet, the player navigates diverse environments, defeating enemies with an array of different weapons and gadgets, and traversing obstacles. Clank is attached to Ratchet like a backpack, performing several functions, such as allowing diving in the water, gliding through the use of propellers, and on occasion, acting as a jetpack to allow flight. Clank’s gameplay sections are drastically different, even though the premise of navigating environments and the controls remain the same. Clank is not equipped with weapons; instead, he utilizes punches to defeat enemies. Clank’s gameplay sections mostly revolve around solving environmental puzzles, rather than defeating enemies.
Though Ratchet & Clank is a re-imagining of the 2002 video game, it has a variety of gameplay elements from different entries in the series, such as strafing, automatic weapon, and health upgrades, manual Raritanium weapon upgrading, and the inclusion of weapons seen in later games. It features new weapons, such as the Pixelizer, which gives enemies an 8-bit appearance. Environments are presented in a somewhat linear manner, although multiple paths are available for the player. The player progresses through the story by traveling from planet to planet. New planets are unlocked once story objectives on previous planets have been completed. Aside from battling enemies, the player utilizes a Slingshot to cross gaps, rides grind rails to travel through levels, walks on magnetic surfaces, activates switches to open new paths, and occasionally must solve a hacking mini-game.
The player unlocks weapons and gadgets as the story progresses, but some are bought through vendors. Bolts, which are found in crates, dropped by defeated enemies and given as rewards, act as currency. Crates also contain health and ammunition. Items are used in several different ways. Gadgets are automatically equipped at certain points in levels, weapons must be equipped manually, and lastly, the OmniWrench, which acts as a melee weapon, is always equipped as it has a dedicated button. Several collectibles are present, such as holy cards, which provide information about the world, and gold bolts, which unlock aesthetical extras. Skill points, which were prominent features in the previous games in the series, do not return, instead substituted by the PlayStation trophies system.
Racing, in the form of hoverboard races, and aerial combat missions, in which the player controls a spaceship, also appear in the game. Bosses, which are a mainstay in the series, are featured on some levels. After completing the game, the player may choose to enter “challenge mode”, in which the game’s difficulty level rises considerably, but most items, including all weapons, are carried through.
|Publisher||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Released||NA: April 12, 2016|
PAL: April 20, 2016
UK: April 22, 2016
JP: August 9, 2016