The Ratchet and Clank Trilogy, otherwise known as the Ratchet and Clank HD Collection, contains the original three titles from the franchise; Ratchet and Clank, Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded and Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal. They were developed by Insomniac Games and originally released onto the PlayStation 2. Idol Minds, the developer behind the PSN title PAIN, has taken the trilogy and updated the resolutions and upped the frame rate. However, will the update see the collection be a space bond success or should the games have been left alone?
Let’s find out and kick off the HOTs and NOTs
It Only Improves
While films tend to run out of ideas and tire when sequels are made, games often go from strength to strength and that is exactly the case with the Ratchet and Clank trilogy. The first title was released at a time when platformers were being released as often as first person shooters are today, yet it managed to stand out from the crowd. It did this as the game revolves around an extremely likeable duo, who are armed with an unusual, yet intriguing, arsenal and a witty script.
The original had the basic platformer elements but ideas were tested without massively interfering with the gameplay. These ideas grew into fully fledged parts of the second and third games; the most noticeable being the upgrade to the already decent arsenal.
Simple Things Are Done Right
As the games grew and ideas developed into great concepts, the simple things from the 3D platformer genre that gave players joy were never forgotten. These things include taking out enemies, gradually accumulating bolts from every crate within the player’s eyesight, and especially finding the secret areas that were dotted throughout the game. The fact that these were not forgotten, as well as other ideas that were expanded alongside this solid basis resulted in amazing games.
First Time Or Re-Playing
Whether or not you have already played the games or this would be your first time playing through them, they are great fun. Even if you are new to the series, it is a great place to start as they are a fresh change to most videogames that are released today: not only that, but the witty nature and the settings make for a game that doesn’t feel dated, so is as perfectly playable today as when the three games were originally released. For those who have already played, there is a true nostalgic feeling to the trilogy that some of the later games have lost and I think most would agree they are certainly worth playing again.
While you shouldn’t go playing the Ratchet and Clank Trilogy thinking it will look as good as the latest titles, the team behind the trilogy (Idol Minds) did a decent job updating the graphical presentation from what it used to be. The majority of the game, with the exception to some of the cut scenes, have been almost perfectly upscaled, and the resolution has been put up without blurring textures or ruining the environments of the game. I mentioned some cut scenes since unfortunately some do have the slightest of blurring, but for the most part, this doesn’t detract from the visual experience.
The cartoony style employed throughout the Ratchet and Clank franchise truly helps the game remain looking good as it hasn’t dated anywhere near as much as the games which tried to look realistic. One last thing to note when it comes to the visual presentation is that the game sits at a rather constant 60 fps. Consequentially, everything is smooth with no sign of screen tearing.
Not only have the graphics in Ratchet & Clank Trilogy HD been improved, it has also been converted to 3D. If you own a 3DTV, Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy offers one of the best 3D experiences I’ve experienced since playing Uncharted 3 in 3D. Games usually don’t look as good as Blu-ray movies in 3D, but Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy manages to look great.
Multiplayer in the Third Game:
Fans of Ratchet & Clank 3 will be happy to know that its multiplayer mode has all been retained. Not only can you play offline multiplayer, you can also take the fight online as well. There are three modes you can play: Siege, Capture the Flag and Deathmatch. There are numerous humorous characters you can play in the mode. This includes Ratchet wearing funny clothes plus lots of well-designed robots such as insects and even a snowman!
Ratchet & Clanks multplayer mode is also one of the few that allows you to switch from first-person gameplay to third-person gameplay. You can choose to play the game traditionally from a third-person perspective, or change it to make it play more like a FPS game.
It’s great to see that this multiplayer has not been omitted from this HD re-release. Tekken Tag Tournament HD lacked an online multiplayer mode as did Splinter Cell Chaos Theory HD just to name a few. Sadly, nobody was online yet when I reviewed the game, nevertheless the multiplayer was fun even playing offline.
Nothing More Than The Trilogy
In the Ratchet and Clank Trilogy players will get everything they would have anticipated from the three AAA titles themselves, but after the games there is nothing else to be found in the collection. While this is the same for most of the HD collections, it is a shame that some bonus material wasn’t added to the bundle. Nothing else is needed, but if they were to perhaps include a soundtrack on the disc or a digital art book, it would have been nice. As it will most likely be fans of the franchise buying the collection, it gives even more incentive to technically re-buy the games they love, yet have played before.