Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Review

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Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Publisher: Sony
Developer: Insomniac Games

Platform: PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Following the events of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Clank has fallen into the clutches of Dr. Nefarious, and Ratchet is wandering the galaxy in search of his friend. It turns out a clock-like space station has been constructed at the center of the galaxy to repair flaws in time created by reckless time-travelling, and Clank is heir to the clock's caretaker position. Unfortunately, every villain in the galaxy has their own plans to use the clock to undo past rights, and Ratchet and Clank must, once again, save the galaxy.

Kyle Ackerman

I love the Ratchet & Clank games. To the extent that reviews need to be objective, I'll do my best to give you solid reasons why Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is a brilliant game. But simply put, even more so than past Ratchet & Clank games, A Crack in Time put a smile on my face. I found myself replaying A Crack in Time simply because I didn't want the experience to stop.

Insomniac Games has been making Ratchet & Clank games for a long time now, spanning both the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3, and the developer has clearly polished the platformer to perfection. There's the right mix of jumping, combat (littered with entertaining weapons) and exploration – all of which are rewarding, and nicely balanced so that anyone (with a little forethought) can accomplish nearly every challenge in the game.

Lombax in the Moon

A Crack in Time dramatically extends the exploration element. Ratchet has always had access to a spaceship with which to travel between worlds, but now he can freely explore whole sections of space. At will, players can get into dogfights with hordes of enemies or drop onto moons, each of which serves as its own (mostly optional) combat or exploration puzzle. To progress the plot, players will have to visit a few of these moons, but the vast majority simply offer bonus collectibles or weapon enhancements. Besides, they're honestly worth visiting just for the platforming puzzles.

A hallmark of the Ratchet & Clank games has always been the exceptionally creative, and often outright ridiculous, weapons with which Ratchet gets to demolish his foes. In fact, television commercials for many of the past games have focused exclusively on this feature. This was my only (and minor) disappointment with A Crack in Time. In an attempt to extend the crazy weaponry, this game had me searching for parts with which to upgrade my pistol, shotgun and bomb glove. The upgrades were effective, and made it worth reconfiguring my weapons for certain encounters. At the same time, the upgrades weren't laugh-out loud funny (like Mr. Zurkon). I'd have rather played with even more silly weapons, instead of feeling like I was handicapping myself to ignore the extensively upgradable weapons.

Give or Take 50 Feet

Every Ratchet & Clank game has its puzzles, but A Crack in Time is a dramatic step forward. Most of the past titles have used simplistic puzzles as a way of unlocking doors, and Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction even forced me to tilt the SixAxis controller to pass certain checkpoints. Others have had Lemmings-style games or had Clank ordering around minions to resolve areas. A Crack in Time, however, has absolutely the best puzzle element of a Ratchet & Clankgame. Clank can record multiple instances of himself, starting on "time pads," in order to do multiple things simultaneously to pass through puzzles. This has the potential to be contrived, but the puzzles are clever. Furthermore, all the puzzles that require real thought and timing are optional and only available after areas are completed.

As always, the writing and voice acting is an important part of what makes A Crack in Time so much fun. Ratchet, Clank and Captain Quark (and in this case Dr. Nefarious) are hilarious, and make the cut-scenes and vocal interludes as compelling a reason to play the game as the entertaining platforming and combat. Simply put, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is a whole lot of fun, and easy to recommend to anyone with a PlayStation 3.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on November 11, 2009 6:41 AM.

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