PUTTING FUN BACK IN GAM­ING

Ratchet & Clank

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX - REVIEWS - Ratchet & Clank & Clank Ratchet

TOOLS OF DE­STRUC­TION I had hom­ing mis­siles, ric­o­chet­ing disc blades, and even a lava-spew­ing flamethrower but none of these seemed ap­pro­pri­ate for the brutish war­bot ap­proach­ing me. A tow­er­ing hulk of guns and ar­mor, eyes gleam­ing red, it was the very model of in­tim­i­da­tion. So I turned it into a sheep, just be­fore mak­ing it dance to ‘80s beats.

harkens back to a time where games as a whole were far more play­ful than they were serious. The game isn’t shy with color, trans­port­ing me through worlds that run from scenic to in­dus­trial, in­hab­ited by all man­ner of crea­tures. One mo­ment I’m fight­ing sen­tient toxic sludge through sew­ers and the next I’m chew­ing through waves of ro­bots in a space sta­tion.

And the ben­e­fit of styl­ized art is that it all brims with en­ergy. Boxes and en­e­mies burst into show­ers of bolts, the in-game cur­rency, while lasers and ex­plo­sions of vary­ing in­ten­si­ties plas­ter the screen. It eas­ily turns into a con­fus­ing mess, but it doesn’t take long to fig­ure out en­emy pat­terns and where to move.

The best part is that most of those lasers and ex­plo­sions are mine. Weapons in

have al­ways been a sell­ing point. Not only is each unique in its ap­pli­ca­tion, they’re all in­cred­i­bly fun too. Much like the game it­self, what at first seems nor­mal and idyl­lic quickly gets turned up to eleven.

My lava-spew­ing flamethrower be­gan life as a reg­u­lar old flamethrower; it was only through an ex­cel­lent up­grade sys­tem that it fi­nally evolved into a kid’s dream. The same can be said for my blaster pistol, which now shoots mul­ti­ple bolts of plasma, or my sniper ri­fle that es­sen­tially slows down time. Then there’s the de­light­ful Mr. Zurkon, some­thing I’ll leave you to discover.

The game plays along too. Ei­ther the weapon de­scrip­tion starts in­clud­ing words such as ‘il­le­gal’ or ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble’ or the ven­dor starts com­ment­ing how you’re be­com­ing too pow­er­ful. It’s a nice re­in­force­ment of the

Un­like a tiered tree sys­tem like most games, up­grad­ing weapons in Ratchet & Clank isn’t a lin­ear af­fair, giv­ing the player full con­trol of what to get first.

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