Think back 10 years. The year is 2002. Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears top the charts.
Fear not though! One of many good things that did come out of 2002 was the first Ratchet & Clank game; and in the following years many more came out. Come back to the present. Now rejoice! The original three games have been re-released in full HD and Stereoscopic 3D glory.
Although I may not have even reached by tenth birthday at this stage, I distinctly remember pouring endless hours into these games (yeah I’m a bit of a fan as my username indicates), especially with the third instalment. Why? Because they are just so much fun, and so with a huge serving of nostalgia let the review begin.
For those not familiar with the series (and probably dead inside), the Ratchet and Clank games are a mix of platforming and action in third-person perspective. You play as Ratchet – a Lombax (animalistic human-like character), who is a mechanic, and sometimes as Clank – a pint-sized robot.
The universe is in peril and only Ratchet & Clank can save it… Okay sure, the story can be a bit clichéd but the gameplay makes it all worth while through a combination of an array of weapons and gadgets. The weapons come in a variety of damaging functionalities from standard pistol-ish guns to vacuums which can suck up small enemies and shoot them back out again. Throughout the story you’ll find yourself faced with numerous obstacles that require the use of one of your many gadgets, ranging from slingshots to get across gaps to something that can drain a pool. There is one thing Ratchet couldn’t go on without however: his – uh – ratchet.
You’ll use this baby to smash more crates than you can fathom and you’ll be swinging and throwing it at enemies throughout the game. Anything you perform with this instantly becomes 10x more satisfying than using a weapon. One thing to note though is how annoying the sound of all the bolts can be when they come flying at you after you have just smashed through eleventy billion crates.
On the topic of sound, the audio in the HD trilogy is as good as it gets really. All the environment sounds and voice acting is crystal clear. The audio in the cut scenes (along with the video) seems of slightly lower quality than the gameplay areas but this doesn’t really detract from the overall experience.
Now, the main question on people’s lips when a HD remaster is announced is – just how good does it really look? Well, keeping in mind that these games were designed for SD release 10 years ago, I think Sony in conjunction with Idol Minds have done a pretty good job! Okay sure, they aren’t going to win a beauty pageant, but all the models and textures have been polished up for viewing on any modern HD TV. Sure, it’s not as slick as the newer (possibly inferior) Ratchet & Clank games but for games from the middle of the last decade they look stunning.
Overall, the HD collection of the original three Ratchet & Clank games is sure to satisfy those who played the games when they were originally released as well as newcomers to the series. These games have been and will always be an endless amount of fun for all age groups. The Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy gets 4.5/5 ratchet swinging drop bears from me!