Reviews: Ratchet And Clank Future A Crack In Time

A disappointment, but it's okay

So, I finally got round to playing Ratchet And Clank: A Crack In Time, a game I'd owned for a while but had neglected. Ouch. Sorry to the fans of the game, but I wasn't too big on this. To me, this game is just decent at best.

Gameplay-wise, ACIT recycles countless aspects of previous Ratchet and Clank games but doesn't do much to make them feel fresh. The environments are so-so at best, the platforming is a bit tedious and the usually absorbing destructive action isn't always as interesting here, largely due to the fact that the first few purchasable weapons in this game are very weak and boring to use. This makes the game's enemies not as much to fun to fight and the environments feel somewhat dull. Weapons do get a lot better eventually, but they're still a pretty big step down from the excellent, varied weapons introduced in Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal and Tools of Destruction.

Because Clank has never been that much fun to play as in this series, in ACIT the developers worked hard to try and remedy this. While I admire some of the puzzles added to Clank's sections, they're perhaps a bit too confusing and frustrating. They may be more creative and artsy than they normally are, and completing them is satisyfing, but I still didn't find them very enjoyable.

However, for me, the biggest weaknesses of ACIT are the story and characters. The story is dumbed down, cliché-ridden and stretched thin. The characters, on the other hand, are even more disappointing. To me, they are some of the worst in the Ratchet and Clank universe, either being totally forgettable or downright obnoxious, especially due to the painful voice acting throughout the game. Virtually all of the attempts at humour are lousy as well (never before have I so repeatedly groaned at the jokes in a video game before) and a monotonous soundtrack adds almost nothing either.

Thankfully, ACIT does have a few big strengths. The graphics in this game are very strong (especially during flying sections), the controls work great, the hoverboots are incredibly fun to use, and the gameplay improves somewhat after the half-way point. It's not a bad game by any means, it's just all over the place. ACIT does several things right but also several things wrong, and is a disappointment. I'd still recommend it for Ratchet and Clank fans, but this game is a muddled mixed bag.