Ratchet and Clank - Into The Nexus Review

Ratchet & Clank Into The Nexus

Ratchet and Clank: Into The Nexus is the latest in the PlayStation exclusive Ratchet and Clank series, released in November 2013. The best thing about the game is it’s

Singple Player

After two years of Insomniac trying their luck with multi-player styled games, Ratchet and Clank finally comes back in the classic style we all loved it for. 2001, Insomniac released the first ever game in the series, All 4 One,  that features co-op mode. And not only that, but they pushed it up to four players and four different characters. Ratchet, Clank, Captian Quark, and dr. Nafarious. This have resulted in a completely different experience and different camera angle than we’re used to. Players smaller, screen too crowded, weapons changed to cope with the game style, game play heavily depends on multi-player. Also, different characters brought very little difference in terms of game play, while weapon upgrades were tied to each character separately. And since Ratchet game difficulty increases with time, it depends heavily on your weapons upgrade. So once you move little far in the game, choosing a different character, or bringing in a new player won’t be able to enjoy it, and would be very useless. The story also was twisted to adjust for the desired game play. And while it was fun for the kid, and got us to play together, the game overall was a flop in my opinion.

Then came Ratchet and Clank Full Frontal Assault. Another go at co-op mode, only this time with a gameplay similar to the classic one, but with split screen for two-player mode, and it’s turned into tower defense mode. Game is a very short one. Weapons are much more limited. And this time, story suffers even more as you mostly do nothing but keep building defense and then attacking base after base.

So it was really a relief and joy to finally get back the original Ratchet & Clank style of game. The game however is not a full fledged game like Crack in Time for instance. Rather it’s a much shorter one that doesn’t add much of new experience, but rather just takes you through a new adventure. That’s obvious from the price tag on the game. Also perhaps that’s why they added a free digital copy of Quest for Booty.

Gameplay

Gameplay is more or less the same as ones before. It’s mostly using the same engine. It is a fun game to play. I played it with Legendary difficulty (is that what it’s called?) and still didn’t face much difficulty. I did feel checkpoints were at times a bit annoying. I’m not certain. but I feel previous games had more current checkpoint locations and don’t push you back as much. Still, it’s a typical Ratchet & Clank fun experience to play.

Weapons

You won’t find any new weapons in there, only new upgrades for old weapons and how they behave. Weapon upgrades are capped at Level 3 only here. More upgrades can be purchased however using raritanium that you collect throughout the game either by collecting it, or killing enemies. Some of these upgrades will enhance weapon damage, some increase ammo, while some will give you more bolts and raritarium. I did like this new style. However the amount of bolts and raritarium is short compared to the game length, that I finished the game without maxing half my weapons, and not having enough money to buy the last weapon either. This is the first game I face this issue. I always get all weapons, and have time to upgrade most of them. Mind you I was taking care in finishing all arena challenges, and trying to maximize my earnings by using weapons with more bolts and raritarium rewards. Reason why I think is because this game is mostly using what was available off the shelf from older games, with some refinement. Game had limited budget and length, so weapons weren’t really designed and tested properly for this specific game.

Ryno VII

While this is technically a weapon, it’s a different kind that you normally unlock at the very end of the game. This time, task was to collect nine hidden Ryno cards. I did manage to collect them all, and I wanted to make sure I do before it’s too late so I can enjoy Ryno. When I got the last piece, I was told to see the Plumber who will assemble it. But where is he? Apparently he’s inside a vault, and to open it you need six keys. Collecting these keys means searching the planet, as well as collecting all 100 Gargathan horns. Why I ask you would you add such trivial repetitive boring and time consuming task just for the sake of obtaining the Ryno? Answer seems to be to stretch the game total playtime. Regardless of reason, this is an absolute time waste, and ruins the gameplay experience, I decided to ignore it. Beside all the work and commitments I have, playing a new game would surely be more fun than running after 100 dead skeletons and smashing them. Ratchet games didn’t use to be like this. There were some tasks to collect all items, but they were usually more fun and challenging, and never 100!

Graphics and Cinematography 

Unlike Tools of Destruction and Crack In Time, I felt the graphics in this game is of less quality. Also, previous games would have some special scenes where you’d be amazed by the environment, like sliding across the rail while buildings in the back tumble to the ground. You don’t get that in Into The Nexus.

Clank Levels

Almost every Ratchet game would have some different styled levels. Sometimes playing Captain Quark arcade game. Others Clank would be controlling giant robot defending model city in movie shooting against giant monster. Sometimes even making copies of yourself to unlock shut doors. They are always fun to play. This time you control Clank in a 2D side view level where you can control gravity to work in all four directions to avoid obstacles and reach certain goal point. I really enjoyed playing these levels.

Humor

The humor, while present, is less in this game than before. Curscenes aren’t as funny. Missing on Dr. Nafarious’s outrages, and the minimal role of Captain Quark also means less jokes from him. These two are always nice to have. Still the game doesn’t lack in jokes, just not like the ones before.

In A Nutshell

Fun Ratchet & Clank game, part of the series. It’s not expensive. If you’re a fan, get it, play it, you won’t regret it. Insomniac on the other hand, please bring back the full fledged games with the whole nine yards!

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