The Ratchet and Clank Trilogy | Zombiegamer Review

In short

The Ratchet and Clank Trilogy brings us three brilliant games from one of the most enjoyable series from the days gone by. I was pleasantly surprised by how the wonderfully designed gameplay and levels still managed to delight. One of the most enjoyable collections you can buy for the Playstation 3 and it certainly does well as a re-mastered HD package.

Developer: Idol Minds, Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony
Distributor: SterKinekor
For fans of: Platform games, adventure games
Reviewed on: Playstation 3
Also available on: N/A
If we had to give it a numerical score: 8.9/10

What we loved

  • Glorious gameplay
  • Brilliant design
  • Huge value
  • Loveable characters
  • Addictive

Not so much

  • Show their age here and there
  • Some less than impressive cut-scenes

Gameplay and Features

The Trilogy consists of Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank 2 [Locked and Loaded] and Ratchet & Clank 3 [Up Your Arsenal]. You get to experience the evolution of the wonderful Ratchet and his sidekick Clank, in their genre-defying adventures.

The basic gameplay revolves around the classic platforming, but then you have a trusty wielding axe to hack and slash your way to collectables and past the bad robotic creatures. You also can collect and purchase an arsenal of weapons from guns, to flamethrowers and grenade-like throwables. To top it all off is a range of gadgets to diversify the gameplay far from the run-of-the-mill plarformer. You have gadgets to use as weapons, gadgets to help you fly or boost your way to normally unreachable platforms, and so there is such a great variety of gameplay on offer without getting confused or simply falling flat for trying too much.

The weapons for example, as I unlocked or bought more and more of them, I thought that I would end up not using half. That was not the case thanks to the brilliant design – the different enemies, or the various level designs, almost force you to use the different weapons or gadgets for their various advantages. This aspect of the design evolves throughout the trilogy as does the gameplay. So with the three games it is not just about the trip with Ratchet and his evolving robot sidekick – the series takes a validated jump with the design and gameplay as you progress through the three titles. With the second and third titles you can even purchase weapon upgrades, something that is more common with RPG titles.

The series also differs from your average platform title in the way you need to achieve objectives. The three games are not totally linear as players need to hop from planet to planet in each of the games to clear objectives for the various planets. The levels or planets have unique and varying environments, and for the most part you can tackle open-planned planets in whichever way you choose. There is a general path, but you can stray, especially with the second and more so the third game.

The gameplay is an absolute joy, which evolves wonderfully from the first to the last title. The gameplay has not only held up to the test of time, but is still comparable to much newer titles. Not only do I think this will appeal to the ‘core’ and ‘casual’ gamer, but if you have kids I can think of few other series’ that deliver such intuitive and exciting gameplay without the gore and aggression.

Sound and Visuals

Being PlayStation 2 classics, anyone with the experience with the HD remakes will know that the audio and visual aspects are never the selling features. The trilogy has however aged rather well, and was not an issue for the most part. There are some 4:3 cut-scenes that could have been given the widescreen treatment, and the presentation definitely shows its age, but for the most past I was impressed.

Linear and geometric shapes were used in creating the 3D planets or levels, so the clean lines made for generally good graphics. The levels or planets differ in the colour palettes that were used in the design, so there is good variation to keep you interested. I noticed a few inconsistencies with the graphics –  the character was able to hide in a solid object or not quite in line with the platform he was on, but nothing that notably detracted too much from the overall visual quality.

The sound effects are very typical to the era in which the games were created and not unlike a Sonic or Jak & Dexter title. The sounds are light-hearted or cheerful, well suited to the game’s world. I enjoyed the quirky humour that prevails throughout the series and it definitely compliments the characters and the games themselves.

Overall while that audio and visual quality should not be the determining factor when purchasing an HD remake collection, the Ratchet and Clank Trilogy is one of the better ones that I have played.

Closing comments

The Ratchet and Clank series is the beloved series that brought us game-changing gameplay when we were first introduced to the first game. This glorious gameplay still manages to stick with the best of them and even more modern titles. The series’ sneaky trick is that the gameplay successfully crosses genres which will surprise and delight. As for the Trilogy – it is as fun and engaging as it once was in an unadulterated package that takes you on the wonderful evolution of both the series, and its wonderful stars.

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