PUTTING FUN BACK IN GAMING
Ratchet & Clank
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.