|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Insomniac||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (SONY)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 23, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matt Cabral
Poor Ratchet and Clank; while everyone's been looking to flying, fire-breathing mythological beasts and sword-wielding, crimson-haired heroines to deliver the PS3's first killer-app, the lovable Lombax and his metallic sidekick have been nudged out of the cyber spotlight. How ironic then that Sony's dependable duo have delivered what Lair and Heavenly Sword could not: the best damn reason to pick up a PS3.
You'd think after nearly as many sequels as Ratchet has guns and gadgets, that Insomniac Game's favorite franchise would be getting a bit long in the tooth. But following their PSP powerhouse, Size Matters, they've saved their best effort for Sony's horsepower-hogging hardware. And from top to bottom, visuals to sound, creative weapons to quirky creatures, it looks like they've milked every last drop of awesome from the PS3's cell-processing potential.
This series has always gone above and beyond in terms of graphical prowess; even on the comparatively underpowered PSP Size Matters delivered an eye-popping production. So, you can just imagine the eye candy buffet that's being served on the PS3. There's so much to see, it's difficult to take it all in during a single play-through; whether it's the fleet of ships hovering in the background or the dozens of enemies rushing you in the foreground, the screen is consistently filled with candy-colored chaos. And the PS3 handles it all beautifully with nary a hiccup or hitch. The franchise's staple visual vividness shines like never before with imaginative, out-of-this-world locales brought to life with Disneyland-meets-Halo detail; from the slick sci-fi backdrops to the inspired character and weapon designs, you'll be hard-pressed to find a single detail that isn't pretty.
And speaking of those weapons, they didn't choose Tools of Destruction as the subtitle for nothing. These games have always been about creatively kicking butt, and this one actually ups the ass-whupping ante with a host of new upgradeable armaments. Just when you thought Insomniac had exhausted all possible fresh ideas for blasting bad guys, they equip us with the fairly self-explanatory Tornado Launcher. This powerful friend literally sucks--in a good way--as it quickly clears a room of all alien annoyances; SIXAXIS controls even allow you to navigate the mini miracles of nature toward your faster foes. On the franchise's ever-expanding device docket is the new Groovitron, a disco ball-spewing gun that'll immediately turn your enemies into dancing machines - believe us, they're much easier to deal with when they're getting their groove on. This is a Ratchet and Clank game, so weapons and devices alone won't cut it; expect gadgets, like the grappling glove-like Swingshot, to help you out of the tight spots.
Without spoiling too much - after all, half the fun is discovering the silly goodies in Ratchet's endlessly inventive universe - we'll say that these goofy gadgets, weapons, and devices are just a few of the many items in your arsenal that effectively take out goons and help you navigate the galaxy while simultaneously putting a smile on your face. And using this stuff is only half the fun, as collecting and upgrading them is an RPG-inspired blast. Collecting bolts pads your bank account, allowing you to purchase the coolest new goodies, while finding raritanium--a precious metal in Ratchet's wacky world--will allow you to tweak them to their full planet-saving potential. Ratchet's armor can also be customized as you collect new pieces. This too becomes an addictive activity among many in this brimming-with-fun package.