Ever since the glory days of the PlayStation 2, Ratchet & Clank have been a prime example of how to make a cartoonish platformer feel different. Its first outing may not have revolutionized the formula, but the amazing cast of characters, beautifully detailed worlds and absolutely insane arsenal of weapons helped it stand out from the competition. Subsequent sequels only got better as time went on, continuing throughout the PS2's life-cycle and into the last console generation.
That being said, it's been a while since gamers have gotten their hands a true Ratchet & Clank sequel. It's been three years since Into the Nexus launched, and with a feature film on the way, it makes sense that Insomniac Games and Sony would want to bring the duo back to the forefront — and with an HD update, no less.
As with any remake, some fans have been skeptical as to whether or not the updated graphics are worth the price — sure, they're gorgeous, but has anything really changed in the 14 years since the original game was released?
Actually — yeah, quite a bit:
Setting aside the incredible leap in graphical fidelity, the game's introduction has been entirely reworked. Not only is there a lot more context and characterization, but the tutorial's been expanded to cover Ratchet's reworked controls and the entirely new Clank sequences.
Seriously, take a look at the original version:
It's clear that Insomniac didn't want to simply polish up the old content and sell it as "new." There are so many lazy HD collections and remakes available today, so it's nice to see a developer that's willing to really go in and change things up.
Additionally, enough can't be said about the new graphics. It's not just better textures or animation, the entire presentation has been rebuilt from the ground up. The original game featured a relatively bland, lifeless opening stage — the PlayStation 4 version, on the other hand, is vibrant and colorful without compromising the setting itself. It's still a lonely desert planet, it's just there's more to it than muddy brown textures.
Between the updated story and improved visuals (from both an artistic and technical standpoint), the PlayStation 4 version of Ratchet & Clank makes a strong first impression — true, it's just a small slice of the full game, but if the rest of the experience is as strong as its opening moments, this new Ratchet & Clank could be the best one yet.