The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy

r&c trilogy
9 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Duration: 10/10

Great story | Amazing visuals | Gameplay has mostly aged like good wine | 3 games, 1 with improved online multiplayer, for 40$

Some minor gameplay hiccups

The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy

GAME NAME: The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy

DEVELOPER(S): Insomniac Games, Idol Minds

PUBLISHER(S): Sony Computer Entertainment

PLATFORM(S): Playstation 3

GENRE(S): Action 3D platformer

RELEASE DATE(S): 29/06/2012 (EU), 28/08/2012 (NA), 06/09/2012 (JP)

What started as an Amazon leak in March and confirmed in later days was a common secret. Given how Insomniac was celebrating the franchise’s 10th anniversary, and the fact that HD Collections are a glorious new way to bring in revenue by giving an improved game to the older players, or giving newer players a chance to experience it for the first time. Ratchet & Clank is a much beloved franchise within not only Sony’s exclusive games list, but also within the industry itself. The playful, funny Lombax and the short robot sidekick exist in a comical world, with all sorts of strange, funny, noble or evil well-written characters around them. The franchise also served as a great 3D platformer, and managed to attract tons of great review scores, praising it for the innovative, unique weapons, the characters, the story, the graphics, and more.

After being greeted with the above image, the game started. In typical HD Collection fashion, I was in a menu with 4 options: Credits, Game 1, Game 2, Game 3. I immediately booted up the first game, the oldest of them all, to see how much has everything improved, and dare I say, I was impressed. The character models, especially for the main cast, look extremely vibrant and detailed for a game released in 2002 that only got a graphical upscale, and not a remake.  The sound, the menus, everything was feeling great, and up to par with games of this generation. So, I went ahead to play the game and witness any other possible changes. The following statement can be good, or bad, depending on your point of view: nothing has changed, regarding how the game plays. In my case, that’s good and bad. Good, because Ratchet and Clank has been a phenomenal Action 3D platformer series since the start, and inspired a lot of games to follow suit. But, sometimes it’s bad, because there are things missing that you now can’t do without in such a game. Namely, lock-on targeting, and some input lag. With precision weapons, you have slim chances of hitting your target, since both sides are constantly on the move. However, even when I stress-tested the game, I saw that nothing could drop its framerate to cause additional gameplay problems. Locked at 60FPS, it’s smooth as butter, plus you can experience everything in their finest form, thanks to the updates the game has received.

Moving on to the second game, and personally, my favorite. This, obviously, looks even better than the first, and some of the first game’s drawbacks (for our time, not its release) have been mended. Lock-on is there, controls are way more accurate and responsive, and battling robotic or “squishy” (get the reference?) minions of evil with crazy guns, or platforming around the environment to discover numerous secrets, Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando is definitely one of the games you have to play before your funeral. A more badass Ratchet, a more comfortable-feeling Clank, and another batch of great characters ensure your space-wide trip will be a very enjoyable one. You’ll also be accompanied by great music and sound effects, and lots of gadget and weapon improvements over the first game, along with ship customization that give a more personal touch to Ratchet’s flying baby; just what you’d expect from a good sequel.

Now, we’ve come to the most meaty game of the trilogy, the third and last game. Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal introduces multiplayer to the series, while improving vastly over everything that the previous two games gave us. More, and more refined, options for everything, mini-games, plethora of side missions, and online (over the PSN) or local multiplayer, with or without bots, Up Your Arsenal is easily the most content packed game in the series so far, in my opinion. That’s based off the fact that, during its time, all that was a great jump forward, instead of what players would think comes as standard nowadays. Online play works excellently, with all the games I played being very smooth, lag-free, and as fun as ever. If anything, I’ll keep playing it online, since it’s so simple yet so much fun than many recent games that come to mind, while also offering Clan support, split-screen and a ton of unlockable skins, some of them being brand new, and exclusive to the HD Trilogy version.

Regarding the collection as a whole, every game is locked at 60 FPS, and 30FPS when switched to 3D mode. The upscaling job was very good, and the team also managed to squash some bugs and exploits, aiming for a more refined experience. All 3 games feature trophy support, and each has a Platinum trophy of its own, and a positive fact is that Up your Arsenal does not feature online trophies, meaning you can earn the Platinum by playing the campaign extensively. All of the games also have lengthy campaigns, with a lot of unlockables and replay value for each one, making for an even more justified 40$ purchase. North American buyers should also be aware of a bonus, should they get their region’s version instead of importing it. Insomniac announced that, due to the rather big gap between the European and N. American releases, North American players will get access to a Sly 4: Thieves in Time demo and a 10th Anniversary avatar, neither of which did we get. There’s no word on whether these will go on the Playstation Store at a later time, but supposedly they will.

To sum up; The Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy is a steal for only $40. Three great, lengthy campaigns with reasons to replay them, greatly fun online multiplayer that has nothing to be jealous of when compared to newer games, proper HD treatment, less bugs, no performance issues, plus Ratchet is too funny to pass. Come August, I want to believe the game will sell hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in the North American territories, which have supported the franchise vastly since its creation. You can’t ignore nostalgia when it knocks your door, and when it’s so much better than it was back in the day.

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Author: Christos Chatzisavvas View all posts by
Gaming lover, web developing graduate, founder and developer at Starblind Entertainment. Keep your eye out for news, reviews, previews and opinion articles, as well as game projects. Follow me on Twitter @CrashOkami.

11 Comments on "The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy"

  1. Ernice Gilbert July 28, 2012 at 9:43 am -

    Awesome review, man. I’ll have to pick this up. Like you said, nothing beats a good dose of nostalgic gaming!

  2. TheGrimOfDeath July 28, 2012 at 9:49 am -

    You guys should do more reviews like this! And I’m probably going to get this, miss those classics.

  3. Christos Chatzisavvas July 28, 2012 at 9:50 am -

    Thanks a lot! Yeah, I immediately pick up such collections, like Sly, Jak etc. Grew up with these games!

  4. Christos Chatzisavvas July 28, 2012 at 9:56 am -

    Grim, I’ll be picking up all big reviews, Darksiders II is on my to-do list. This one was short because I can’t talk much about it, it’s a collection of old games, but I promise you there’s much more when it comes to new games ;)

  5. DarkReaper9 July 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm -

    I might pick this up as well, I loved the first three games, and since my Going Commando doesn’t work this would be a great deal. Oh and plus Captain Quark <3.

  6. CaribbeanCLANK July 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm -

    CLANK is the MAN!!! Great games…getting this for sure.

  7. nick July 29, 2012 at 3:53 am -

    dunno whats happening with deadlocked.
    japan are getting it via a PSN download, so i wonder if it will also become available elsewhere.
    or maybe there holding off to remaster the 2 PSP games and that in the next collection.
    i hope the latter, it wont sell well just as a ps2 classic they look so bad!

  8. Christos Chatzisavvas July 29, 2012 at 6:16 am -

    @Nick, Deadlocked (Gladiator here in Europe) was great, though a departure from regular R&C. It might come in a collection with Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank, indeed. I’d get it as a separate download too, if online was reworked to work on PS3, as with R&C3.
    @CaribbeanClank, I had a feeling you would comment and say that too :P
    @DarkReaper9, definitely, it’s one of those collections that are worthy of your money.

  9. nick July 29, 2012 at 11:28 am -

    not really a departure, it was based off the arena combat.

    im one of the few R&C fans who actually really enjoyed it!
    a few weeks before it released in JP there was a trailer released for them confirming its coming as a download for JP.
    just seems weird its out now and $ony has not said boo about it since!
    oh well, hopefully once its out in the US will hear something.

  10. Christos Chatzisavvas July 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm -

    Will probably land in the dry days of Sony releases, i.e. late Fall. I really liked it too, but at the time, I had no internet access on my PS2, so I really want the chance to play it online now!

  11. nick July 30, 2012 at 10:48 am -

    yeah if there going to re release it im sure they will bring back the online functionality.
    just seems weird they announced it for JP and they have not received it yet, and no one has heard boo since.
    hope it has not been canned!

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