PLATFORM: PS3
RELEASE DATE: 10/2009
DEVELOPER: Insomniac
ESRB RATING:
E10+
Progress: 76% trophies as of posting

Right off the bat I need to tell you this review is completely biased. I’m fairly certain Ratchet & Clank is my current favorite video game/franchise. The graphics from the first Ratchet &Clank Future PS3 Release in 2007 is the reason I dropped my Wiimote and came over to The Darkside Playstation. The latest release in this very sucessfull Playstation exclusive franchise is Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time. This is a very finely polished platformer that excels with its engaging story, humor and action. Go forth and join this fuzzy, alien Lombax named Ratchet on his journey to rescue his lost buddy Clank and uncover some secrets about himself.

A Crack in Time continues the epic story started in Tools of Destruction (TOD) and continued in Pirates Booty. Following the crazy cliffhanger ending of the last game, answers start coming right away. Clank has found himself at the Great Clock in the center of the universe “give or take 50 ft.” The mysterious creatures, the Zoni, are on hand and their secrets revealed. Quickly Clank discovers that his true purpose is to be the keeper of this clock. A clock that not only holds the universe together but can control time itself. Most of the game you play as the hero Rachet who is still busy trying to find Clank. Nothing can seperate these two great friends; even fighting his way through Dr. Nefarious’s minions.

The story telling in A Crack in Time is on par with some of the movies from Pixar (only with guns – lots of crazy guns). I find myself really caring about the characters and wanting to get our heroes back together. I anxiously await watching the beautifully, animated cut scenes for pieces of story information and the witty satire that comes with it. I know some gamers may not be fans of the slightly childish qualities of the game but not on this site. A Crack in Time is as endering as it is exciting.

What is not childish is shooting guns. Ratchet & Clank take guns to the next level. Throughout the game you start with your trusty Constructo Pistol and roll through your arsenal firing everything from the Groovitron Glove to the RYNO V with devastating, and often hilarious results. Equipment like your Constructo Pistol and Constucto Glove can be upgraded when dealing with the Gadgetron, the local “shop keeper.” Bolts and Raritanium collected while smashing everything in site can be used as currency. Clank also carries his trademark OmniWrench which can be used to hit things and solve most puzzles.

The graphics in
A Crack in Time continue the look established in the previous titles in the franchise: highly stylized characters and environments with bright colors and big explosions. This release is the best looking yet. Rachet’s hair is fantastic. The shine and reflections on everything including the their uniforms and surroundings and the jaw-dropping scenery are all just amazing. If you have any love for anything CG animated you need to be playing this game.

The collective experience of the Rachet and Clank franchise games has resulted in some of the best play mechanics in gaming. I like to think of it as platforming with guns. If you are new to Ratchet & Clank you may need a few levels to get your head around the buttons but once you do it handles like a charm. Definitely not for the button shy as you will be using all of the PS controller’s buttons.

Flying your spaceship from planet to planet is a fun change of pace to the action. Adding elements from a flight simulator mixed with an arcade shooter and a little Starfox action. Maybe its just me but it reminds me of the classic scifi movie The Last Star Fighter. Just like your weapons and armor you can upgrade your spaceship. After finding Zoni creatures they will make upgrades to your ship after all they are experts with machinery.

New to A Crack in Time is abilty to control time using Time Bombs. Faced with an impassable jumping sequence Clank can throw a time bomb onto some fast moving parts thus creating a path for himself on the now slowed down moving parts. Another aspect involving time is Clanks abilty to create time based clones of himself to pass through areas he wouldn’t be able to do on his own. This brings some very challenging puzzles to accomplish.

Highlights:
-8-bit bonus game “My Blaster Runs Hot”
-Grinding rails is still hot
-Bonus planet for finishing the game

Replay is very high. Just like a good DVD you can keep on watching over and over. Now that I completed it I just pick it up to do some casual shooting and blowing things up, a lot.

A+
Forget Unobtainium, I’m after Raritanium