‘Ratchet & Clank’ twists time
Stars and Stripes November 1, 2009
When we last saw our heroes, Clank had fallen into the hands of the nefarious Dr. Nefarious and Ratchet was on his way to the rescue.
“Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time” — developed by Insomniac Games for Sony — is the third part in the “Future” series. Players get the chance to control both the furry Lombax Ratchet and his metallic sidekick Clank as they try to reconnect across the light years and save the universe.
The game features a good mix of platforming, fighting and puzzle-solving as the characters roam strange alien worlds and cavernous starships.
As Ratchet, you get to work with an interesting assortment of gadgets and weapons, ranging from a basic ray gun to speedy hoverboots to the new sonic erupter, which resembles nothing more than a belching lizard on a stick. Of course he can still use his trusty wrench to good effect, fixing broken items or whacking enemies.
Clank gets something even more interesting than cool weaponry — the ability to manipulate time. It’s a trick that comes in very handy when solving some of the game’s many puzzles. The robot can briefly slow down time before hopping onto a whirling wheel or when attacking a fast-moving foe. He can also make a copy of himself and go back in time a few seconds so that he can basically be in two places at once.
Although your goal is to bring Ratchet and Clank back together, the game isn’t totally linear. While moving from one mission to another, you often have the chance to jump into your spaceship and explore. You’ll discover helpful collectibles on various planetoids, receive side missions and encounter hostile spaceships that need to be blasted.
The game play is good. Smooth controls make the running, jumping and other platforming activities a breeze. During battles, the enemies present enough challenge to make them interesting, but not overwhelming. Most of the puzzles are fun, though a few can get tedious.
The graphics are cartoony, but that’s what you’d expect when your lead characters are a lombax and a robot.
Overall, the game is a fun and welcome continuation of an entertaining series.
Platform: PlayStation 3