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whatshot Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 9.1
Sound 9.2
Value 9.1
Distributor: Sony
Classification:
PG
Review Date:
December 2007
Reviewer:
Howard Bourke

9.1


Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

They're baaaaack! That right gamers, our favourite furry alien and robotic sidekick have returned to the PlayStation 3 in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, another hilarious romp through this entertaining series that sees our heroes explore the wonders of the universe and time itself. With the return of many characters that have made the franchise so addictively entertaining, including some new faces, weapons and items, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is everything you would expect in a sequel from developers Insomniac Games but better.

The story of Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time revolves around a "bug" in time that ironically sees our two heroes split up which works quite well. The story revolves around Ratchet attempting to find his missing buddy, "Clank" and we also find out some of the motivations and origins behind these two fun characters.

The game uses some great cinematics to help progress the story and it begins with Captain Quark giving a great recap of the past few games and where you currently fit into this big jigsaw puzzle. Humour is a big part of this franchise and dialogue is perfect and is not forced nor unfunny.

You'll actually laugh quite a bit in this game that only helps with the magic. Although this is a 3D platformer, the game also boasts some great puzzles, more specifically time manipulation puzzles that do require the player to think but shows how much care developers Insomniac Games have put into the franchise. Rather than keep things the same, they are always willing to try new things, including different gaming genres.

As with previous games, the main character is Ratchet but to break things up, the game contains a plethora of mini-games, cool space battles and of course some interesting Clank areas which revolves around puzzles and the mysteries of the time itself. Needless to say, the Ratchet scenes are generally more action orientated but the Clank areas are more subdued but still fun, albeit a little frustrating with some of the puzzles. The cool part of Clank is that you can actually work with yourself from different timelines that does put a whole new spin on working with yourself and takes it to a totally another level.

The control system is perfect on the DualShock controller and the game just feels GOOD to play. Whether you're running around as Ratchet using a wide gamut of weapons, blowing things to kingdom come or exploring a universal clock as Clank, variety is definitely the spice of life in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. For examples as Ratchet, you can blow people away with cunning via the sniper rifle or if you feel a little more lenient, why not turn them into alien monkeys? You're only limited by your own imagination and what items you have access to.

The enemies are also fun to engage but of course the various weapons and items to help destroy them makes for some powerfully addictive and entertaining gaming and dare I say it... this is probably the best Rachet and Clank game ever! Of course, another element that made this franchise so fun is the ability to upgrade your weapons and by collecting nuts and bolts when you destroy things, this can be used to purchase new weapons or upgrade them.

The space battles in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time are quite fun, although a little limiting while you fly around but it does break up the sometimes monotony of this genre. It reminds me of Starfox meets Stars Wars and as you progress, you are awarded new abilities for your ship as you take them down in an almost a Space Invaders like fashion. The game also offers a considerable amount of freedom to the player but unfortunately this may hinder some gamers because as you explore the moons and planets, you might need to back track, so you should always try to finish the world that you are currently on before exploring.  

Graphically, the title is pure eye candy on the PS3 with gorgeously created alien worlds and realistic animated characters who appear to have walked out of a Pixar CGI movie. The gaming environments are huge and well thought but best of all, each planet that you visit is quite different than the last. Even the space scenes look good and match that with some great special effects, especially the Clank levels and you have a very impressive looking title on the PS3. Match this with a great soundtrack and some of the best professional voice acting that we have heard this year and this is what 21st century console gaming is all about.

At the end of the day, most gamers will easily be able to knock this game over in around 15 hours, however there are also a variety of side missions, secrets and collectibles that would easily add another 10 or so hours on top of that. With sturdy gameplay, a fun story and gorgeous graphics with siren sounding music, it's easy to see how this franchise became so popular. And what can I say but about time, it's refreshing to play something fun and well-made as opposed to those dark shooters or the wealth of games that currently take themselves a little too seriously! Back to Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time for me... so go out and buy or rent this game now!





 

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