Ratchet & Clank First Impressions

Is Ratchet & Clank's wait in the UK a bad omen, or does the game stand as one of the greats? Read on in my First Impressions.

It sucks when a game comes out in the UK - or anywhere for that matter - weeks after everywhere else. It means you miss that shared buzz when something incredible, or unexpected, or gorgeous comes around and surprises or astounds everyone. I suppose the idea of a worldwide release date has spoiled us somewhat, so when it doesn't happen, it seems weird and, honestly, is just annoying for everyone.

This is how I came to Ratchet & Clank: being annoyed that this game I'd felt like playing for weeks hadn't come out until now had been a thought that plagued my day, but was also one instantly forgotten as it began. I can confidently say that this is, hand down, the best looking game I've ever played. From the various trailers and pieces of gameplay you can see a glimmer of this, but it is something that really needs to be seen firsthand to be believed. This struck me, made me forget any bad-thoughts I had going in, and kept striking me over the two-and-a-bit hours I've played so far.

The idea of having a game that is - in essence - a Pixar movie is genius, and something we don't see often today, primarily because the audience for games is growing up, getting ever older and moving away from games that look family friendly.

Having said that, I think that might be exactly why Ratchet & Clank works so well: the fact we don't often get something like it means - just by playing it - we're reminded how much we do love a game of this ilk.

And, if you're worried about the game being aimed toward kids, don't be. Just like a Pixar movie, it contains jokes for the old, young and everything in between - ensuring no matter who you are, you'll get something out of it, which is awesome. And it is really, genuinely, funny: something else I don't think what we've seen so far has done justice to.

The combat follows the not-strictly-a-kid's-game rule. While it isn't necessarily hard (don't go in expecting Dark Souls), it certainly isn't as easy - from what I've played so far - as what I was expecting.

The good things just keep on coming: cool - if not insanely detailed - characters, brilliant, really varied weapons and, so far, a really cool story. The game is a masterclass in how to create something cute, yet - as I said before - I can see it being really appealing to all ages, and no matter which genre you normally lean toward.

There are, however, a few things that spoil the otherwise brilliant few hours I've played so far. Namely, some slightly clunky action sequences that don't control as well as everything else and an awkward method for selecting weapons that could be much easier to use. Another slight gripe I have is that the areas to explore seem a little small so far. Hopefully that's something that opens up a bit further as the game goes on, but I constantly just want to run off and explore this gorgeous world.

But, please don't let that put you off. If what I've played so far is anything to go by, Ratchet & Clank is a game that should definitely be on your radar and is a great way to tide PlayStation fans over until Uncharted 4 next month.


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