A little history
Peanut butter and jelly. Eggs and bacon. Ratchet and Clank. Some things in this world just fit. For the better part of the last decade the platforming duo, consisting of everybody’s favorite lombax Ratchet along with his robotic pal Clank, have became the face of platforming this side of the red plumber. Exclusively developed on Sony platforms by Insomniac games, the series is known for its creative weapons, smooth gameplay, and good linear storytelling.
Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus is, surprisingly enough, the 6th Ratchet and Clank game on the Playstation 3. It continues the “Future” series preceded by Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, and the critically acclaimed A Crack in Time. However, with recent entries sliding into mediocrity (All 4 One, Full Frontal Assault) can Insomniac recapture the lost magic needed to deliver the Ps3’s swan song?
Gameplay: For those wanting a return to the classic Ratchet gameplay, this is it. You’ve got the crazy weapons. The great gameplay. The storytelling. The pacing. Clocking in at around 6-8 hours on a normal playthough, the campaign features some decent replayability to collect everything, and is fun throughout. For those familiar with Ratchet, you can dive right in. If not, the easiest difficulty will be easy to pick up, with the hardest setting offering an almost “Knack” like experience. Shooting is as you would expect. Fun and balanced. The hover boots and other traverse items (like the new gravity line) are mix up the slow paced running and keep things fresh. If you’re sick of Ratchet, Into the Nexus won’t change your mind. Same goes for if you’re looking for Ratchet to innovate.
I did notice a LOT of glitches throughout my playthrough. Many of them are small things, like clipping here and there, texture pop in, framerate dips (occasionally) and getting stuck. Nothing game breaking, but it’s worth noting.
Story: Taking place after A Crack in Time, you’ll be after the criminals Neftin and Vendra Prog as they attempt to bring the ghost-like creatures; the Nethers, into the universe to cause Havoc and destruction. The story itself is good at best, and serves purpose. The interaction between characters is good, and you’ll actually care about some of them. If you’re expecting a Crack in Time story greatness, prepare to be a bit disappointed. Running 6-8 hours, it’s a good time.
Visuals: The worst part of Into the Nexus is certainly the visuals. Don’t get me wrong. This is a good looking game, just not as good as A Crack in Time (which was released 4 years ago). It just doesn’t have that extra polish and perfection that I’ve come to expect with mainline Ratchet games. You can notice it as well. ACiT pulled me into the universe 4 years ago and didn’t let go. Into the Nexus felt like a pit stop and then I moved on my way. The graphics get the job done, and for the most part do a good job. But nothing great.
Overall: Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus will be a love/hate game for most gamers. I love the return to form with classic gameplay, and hopefully it serves as a warm up to what Insomniac is cooking up for the Ps4. However, if this is NOT a warm up, and simply the last we’ll see of Ratchet for a long time, then I will be disappointed. This is just not the AAA Ratchet game I wanted, although I guess it’s a start. As much as I want people to buy the game to support future Ratchet, this is a perfect rental. Beat it once, twice, and you probably won’t touch it again. However, DO PLAY it. It’s a very enjoyable game with all said, and still better than a lot of 2013 games.
Gameplay – 8.0
Story – 7.0
Sound/Performance – 6.5
Visuals – 7.5
Value for price – 9.0
Overall – 7.6