BADGP Reviews: Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus (SCEA, Insomniac Games)

Released: November 12, 2013

December 29, 2013

Zach Buzan

Review

Ratchet and Clank are back with a brand new arsenal to decimate and humiliate their foes. This dynamic duo was first seen back in 2002, and since then they have been an icon for both Insomniac Games and PlayStation. Recently the Ratchet and Clank series tried to move away from their single player platformer experience and attempted to make games that strayed from their original formula. The attempt to step out of the comfort zone and bring a new perspective to this franchise was an admirable goal, but all these new experiences, in my opinion, fell a little short from their past successes. Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus is the latest title in the series and it brings the player back to what made Ratchet and Clank unique. With the main focus on the weapons and platforming, Into the Nexus brings another great experience to this beloved franchise.

 

The Story

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus wraps up the future series in the franchise. The game starts out with Ratchet and Clank transporting an evil witch named Vendra to a high security prison. Along the way Vendra’s brother Neftin attacks your ship and releases her from her restraints. As the story progresses you find out that Vendra is attempting to release her childhood “friend” from another dimension or what the game calls the Nexus. It is up to the protagonists to stop Vendra from accomplishing her goal and take her to prison once and for all. The story is very short and brimming with humor and charm. Much like most of the Ratchet and Clank games the voice acting is excellent and the writing can be really witty and cheesy at times.  The story can easily be beaten in six hours, but encourages the player to attempt the unlocked challenge mode that allows the player to replay the story with all of their upgraded weapons. A couple of side characters make a welcomed return but never stay long to make a real connection.

 

Gameplay

Besides the new story and weapons, Into the Nexus handles the same as most of the other games in the series. With tight and responsive controls, the player rarely has issues with the platforming side of the game. The new gameplay comes from the gravity beam puzzles and Nexus puzzle missions. The gravity puzzles deal mostly with traversing to new sections of the map by shooting targets with your gravity gun. The beams of gravity travel in different directions depending on the order you shoot them and you will also have instances where beams will cross each other. Some of the puzzles get to be somewhat tricky but nothing gets to be crazy difficult. The Nexus puzzles are carried out by Clank. Clank enters an alternate dimension and performs a two dimensional puzzle where he can manipulate gravity. The gravity is controlled by using the right thumb stick which becomes the main form of traversing these puzzles. The main goal of these puzzles is to lead a spirit back to the beginning of the map so that it will cause an explosion in the main dimension. These explosions cause openings to appear in the map and a new area becomes available in the story. These Nexus puzzles get too complicated, but there are few of them with not enough to ruin the experience in the game.

The newest addition to the gadgets that Ratchet and Clank have in their arsenal is the jetpack. This was a great addition to the gadgets and opened up areas dramatically. The only issue I had with the jetpack was that it could only be used in a few areas. Since I was limited where I could use the jetpack it just felt like a side item to acquire. All the weapons you acquire show up at a fast pace and never leave you with the same arsenal for too long. With new weapons like the Winterizer and Nightmare Box you will have fun testing them on every enemy that you come across. As you use each weapon to remove your enemies they will gain experience and level up to the max level of 6. As the weapons level up they will change in appearance and also gain special abilities. You can also upgrade each weapon with Raritanium. This allows weapons to carry more ammo, increase rate of fire and improve various other stats.

The Verdict

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus brings back what made the older games in the series great. With the focus back on a fun arsenal and interesting platforming designs; Into the Nexus is a great addition to the franchise. Don’t expect a long story or anything new to be brought to the table this time around. Instead you will enjoy a short and sweet Ratchet and Clank game that basks you in glory of gameplay that has been tried and true.

Score: 8.0

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