Does the best PS3 title live up to it’s predecessors? Read on!
Blending platforming and third-person gunplay with RPG elements, The Ratchet & Clank series has had a long and accomplished run of excellent titles. However, not many franchises survive when a new console generation appears, and Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction failed to live up to it’s PS2 cousins. Thankfully, a Crack in Time is a return to form, perfecting the formula that older gamers love, while innovating to attract newer customers.
With the difficulty level lowered down to manageable once more, a cast of great characters and timeless game play, this title may well be remembered as the best in the series.
A Crack in Time was actually my first PS3 R&C title, my last game in the series played being Gladiator. Therefore, I wasn’t sure what to expect in the graphics department. As always, going into something with no expectations is best, so when Clank started pummeling crates and the bolts started flowing, I was completely blown away. This game is so.. shiny! Everything, down to the last robot is polished and fluid looking. I never experienced a frame drop, no matter how intense things get, no matter how many bullets fly.
The cut scenes in the game are just as magnificent. All characters are emotive, funny and a joy to watch. This is Pixar- level animation, folks, and the script works very well with it. The graphics in a Crack in Time, from the gears in Nefarious’ head, down to the fur on Ratchet’s ears, is amazing. To this day, I’ve seen only a handful better.
When in control of Ratchet, players utilize a constantly expanding arsenal of creative and deadly weapons, ranging from the fatal mating call of a frog-like alien, to a gun that fires rotating blades that whiz through the air slicing everything to ribbons. When you’re not leveling up weapons, Ratchet also does some light platforming, flies a spaceship and uses the extremely fun hover boots.
With all that happening with the Lombax, you may be wondering if Clank’s sections are any fun. The answer? Oh yes. Clank’s sections are shorter, taking place in the center of the universe, as he learns to control time. Using copies of himself, and a Chrono-scepter, Clank must solve increasingly difficult puzzles to progress through the story. These challenges are perfect in their difficulty and cleverness. Clank’s sections also serve the purpose of breaking up the main game play, giving player’s thumbs a break, while exercising their cerebral muscles. Overall, the game play in a Crack in Time is sheer brilliance, if a little repetitive at times.
While giving as little away as possible, the story centers around Ratchet finding another living Lombax, and Clank learning about his heritage. Dr. Nefarious is back and angry, with a plot to control time, and Qwark is, as usual, stuck in the middle of everything. There’s a lot going on, but nothing feels rushed in the 15hr or so game.
Something that this story has that fantastic titles such as up your arsenal was missing, is an epic feel. The plot plays out with many tendrils intertwining for a surprisingly dramatic conclusion, far more serious than anything seen before in the series. Again, the plot feels like a animated movie in terms of effort and emotion conveyed. It’s a fantastic finish to a story arc that didn’t falter throughout the game, and one that I will fondly remember for some time yet.
A Crack in Time is an incredible game, full of laughs and thrills coupled with fantastic game play. Lovers of the series and newcomers alike should buy this, play this, love this. It doesn’t get much better than it.
GAME PLAY: 9/10
Overall: 28 / 30 (epic).