Friday, 14 March 2008

The Pixel Diaries - Ratchet & Clank Future Edition

This one took a little while longer that I would have liked, seeing as I got caught up with work for most of last week, but alas, the game is now done. My impressions of this are very similar to my previous impressions of Uncharted (is that really the last game I played before this? Oh my), which can generally be summed up as a great looking and perfectly constructed game, but lacking in anything new or special that makes it at all a memorable experience. Each planet, which there are 20 of, are unique in their design and take around 30 well paced minutes to work through, but none really stand out as particularly wowing or spectacular, nor did any provide a real challenge, though I can’t be bothered with getting stuck when I’m trying to play PS3 catch up here.

But, as I said of Uncharted, ‘Ratchet Future’ provides a great introduction to ‘the power of PS3’. In fact I even went as far as to load up the original ‘Ratchet & Clank’ on the PS2 and switch between the two games with my remote, and let me tell you, it crushes any debate over whether this generation has really advanced in visual terms. They’re a world apart, to the point where it becomes almost unimaginable as to how you could ever stand to play a PS2 ‘Ratchet’ game at all. On the other hand, they control exactly the same. I gave the first level of ‘Ratchet & Clank’ a quick blast through right after completing ‘Tools of Destruction’, and the most noticeable difference in gameplay is a lack of a strafe button. Everything else plays and stays exactly the same, which isn’t particularly reassuring when you consider that this is the fifth game in the series. Then again, Insomniac pretty much mastered platform gaming back in the ‘Spyro’ days.

I generally did enjoy playing through it, even though it provided nothing new, and I certainly don’t count it as a waste of time. But as with Naughty Dog, I just hope they do something more special in the future. Personally I think it’s time for a new direction. ‘Spyro’ ruled the PlayStation era, ‘Ratchet’ only got better through the next, but now is time for new characters and a new world to explore. In the meantime, the next on my list is Insomniac’s other game, ‘Resistance: Fall of Man’, which I’ll hopefully have rounded off within a week from now.

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