Ratchet and Clank Into the Nexus – PS3
Developer: Insomniac games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
AU November 6, 2013
NA November 12, 2013
EU November 20, 2013
JP December 12, 2013
Nerd Rating:9 out 10
Reviewed by Shadow Links
Insomniac FINALLY returns to its core gameplay for the Ratchet and Clank series 4 years after A Crack in Time was released. After fiddling with the spinoffs of All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault the pair of heroes continue to protect the galaxy with crazy upgraded weapons and exploring out of this world planets in this new half sized game. Yes its only half the size of the normal games, but also only half the price ($30).
Taking place sometime after the events of A Crack in Time, our heroes have been heroes for quite a while now and are pulling an easy job of transporting a space witch that was arrested with Cronk and Zephyr. Of course things have to go wrong, and you spend the rest of the game attempting to recapture her and her brother. This takes you through a wild ride of just 5 planets (Told you it was small), each vastly different and making use of new gadgets such as the Grav-Tether and rethinking old ones such as gravity boots which now can attach to surfaces from far away, and the jetpack which now actually flies rather than slowing decent.
Another new addition to the game is the minigames that take place in the Nether, an alternate dimension which is the focus of much of the plot. At certain areas Clank can explore these 2D levels and manipulate gravity at a whim to navigate the treacherous dimension. A rather interesting change-up from normal that I would have liked to see more of or perhaps even different types of Nether regions.
As the series has always been known for, the weapons are as crazy as ever. Almost every weapon is new or develops at level 3 into a new version not seen before in other games and later into omega versions in challenge mode. Every one remembers Mr. Zurkon who’s currency is pain. Well upgrade him and you get the Zurkon family of Zurkon Jr. and Ms. Zurkon. Netherbeasts and the Nightmare box, are new examples of weapons which spit out ghost like creatures of the Nether and scarecrow like robot that scared enemies.
Raritanium makes its return to further upgrade weapons in minor aspects like rate of fire and ammo capacity. Special unknown areas on the chart can be surrounded to get special upgrades and effects like slowing time with the sniping weapon or the Nightmare Box robots could spit acid blobs to damage enemies. The area that can be upgraded increases with each level gained and reveals more special upgrades as well.
Visuals in the Ratchet and Clank series hasn’t changed significantly since the previous titles of Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time, but I see that as more of a limitation placed by the style of the graphics. The scenery and characters all look well animated and fluid as every and unless they went with a more realistic style, I doubt that much more could even be accomplished on next gen hardware.
I will have to mention again that this was not a full length title. With only 5 planets and 3 weapon levels, this is a game that could easily be completed in a day and half again in challenge mode. Seeking out secret golden bolts and finding all the parts for the RYNO VII (Rip You a New One) can easily extend gameplay although may leave you frustrated until you get the mapper.
Nerd Rating: 9 out of 10
Roughly from what one might expect from a well-packed miniature Ratchet and Clank game. Plenty of humor, a few secrets, fun guns and of course saving the galaxy. Of course while I would always like to see more of everything, from planets to challenges to guns and secrets, there was only so much room in this title and at least had the decency to have a price reflecting it. While Insomniac could have relied on the tried and true formulas, they did go out and work in new ideas and setups to make this a game worth playing.
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