Almost everyone who owned a PlayStation 2 has played at least one Ratchet & Clank game. The series is still going strong on the PS3 with games that act as a separate saga in the series, while still holding a connection with last generation’s masterpieces in an attempt to bring in both fans and newcomers. With HD remastered games being all the rage, it was only a matter of time before we would see one of Sony’s biggest franchises get the HD treatment, and the Ratchet & Clank HD Collection is definitely worth your time.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Ratchet the Lombax and his robot pal Clank, now is the time to get to know them. The collection features the main three PS2 titles in the series, Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. The duo constantly find themselves wrapped up in an epic (and humorous) quest to save the galaxy, crossing paths with some of the most memorable video game characters of all-time, including the bumbling Captain Quark and the glitchy Dr. Nefarious.
Most HD collections bring back iconic series only to remind us of how far we’ve come in the industry and further expose the control and gameplay issues we have since resolved. All three Ratchet & Clank titles, however, still hold up very well today, once again proving their overall impact on the action platforming genre. The stories are still fun to experience, and the voice acting and humor are still very enjoyable. There are some real laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the two sequels, and the subtle film and video game references only add to the charm.
Graphically, the HD remastered visuals breathe a whole new life into the world of Ratchet & Clank. Every world is bright and colorful, and look especially beautiful due to higher-resolution textures. It is easily the best looking HD collection I’ve seen, and the graphics are almost on par with today’s standards in the genre, though the sometimes-rough animations during the cutscenes are even more noticeable now.
One of the most impressive additions to the collection, however, is the multiplayer in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. Idol Minds has thrown online multiplayer back into the mix, and if you can find people to play with, it’s a very fun diversion to the story. Multiplayer will immediately be familiar to anyone who has played Battlefield, featuring deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and an excellent Siege mode that has players capturing nodes, building turrets, and trying to capture each other’s bases. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to find people to play with, but it is a lot of fun when you do.
There isn’t much to say about Ratchet & Clank that hasn’t already been said. Most HD collections are simple rehashes of games we once loved, but sometimes no longer hold up to today’s standards. The Ratchet & Clank HD Collection, however, still manages to be as fun and enjoyable as it always has been, and the humor and excellent level design never get old. There are some issues that present themselves, but most of these are from aging rather than poor programming or design, such as stiff animations in cutscenes or the occasional odd transition in and out of cutscenes. Whether you’ve played every game in the series, or haven’t touched a single one, this is one collection that is worth picking up.