What is Ratchet and Clank?
Ratchet and Clank is a PS4 game that's probably best described as a cross between a platform game and a third person shooter. Based on the CG film, which in turn is based on the original PS2 game, Ratchet and Clank tells the tale of a young Lombax (a ginger cat-type thing to you and me), known as Ratchet, who longs to become a Galactic Ranger. Pairing up with a diminutive attack robot gone wrong, known as Clank, the pair soon get caught up in a conspiracy of intergalactic proportions, and set out on an adventure to save the galaxy from the evil Chairman Drek, and his giant, planet destroying space station.
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How do you play Ratchet and Clank?
With an equal focus on leaping from platform to platform, and combat, Ratchet and Clank plays a little bit differently to most platform games, like the Mario series. With enemies dishing out a surprising amount of damage, you'll find yourself running from one piece of handily placed cover to the next, until you can either get close enough to whack your foe with your oversized spanner, or fire off a shot with one of the game's many ludicrous weapons. Known for its sense of humour, the game's weapons are one of its many highlights, with the Groovitron (which fires a disco ball grenade, and make your foes start dancing uncontrollably), the Pixelizer (which turns your enemies into a heavily pixelated blob), and the Sheepinator (which, well, turns your enemies into sheep), you've got plenty of ways of fighting back.
With spacious (and gorgeous) levels to explore, you're free to get to your objective however you see fit, too, rather than being forced down a set path - and with collectibles to find, upgrade crystals to collect, and elusive golden bolts to track down, there's plenty of reason to stray off the beaten track. As gorgeous as a Pixar film, and every bit as funny, there's something for everyone in Ratchet and Clank
How hard is Ratchet and Clank to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Ratchet and Clank sits somewhere in the middle. While there are regular checkpoints, so dying means you'll never lose that much progress, they're also very much a necessity, as enemies in the game dish out a lot of damage, and you'll likely find yourself dying a lot. Luckily, there is an adjustable difficulty level, and taking the difficulty down from normal to easy will leave your enemies doing only half as much damage - and, brilliantly, the bigger enemies have a tendency to not respawn, even when you die, so you can clear most areas through a process of attrition alone. With on screen objective markers telling you where to go next, and full voice acting meaning even younger kids will be able to follow, about the only thing that may cause a bump in the road is the boss fights, which younger players may struggle with. Just make sure you make the most of any health crates you find lying around, and you should be fine!
With nothing in the way of bad language or sex, perhaps the only thing to mention is Ratchet and Clank is the very mild, cartoon violence. While you do engage in combat with your enemies using a variety of weapons, the combat here is so slapstick it doesn't really come across as violent. There's no blood, guts or gore, and nothing in the way of realistic impacts - you'll spend a lot of time fighting either against monsters, or robots, with chunks of armour dropping off the robots when they get hit. Defeated enemies simply disappear, leaving behind the game's currency, bolts.
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4