Written by Twisted Ideas
Ratchet and Clank the legendary space duo return finally with a journey worthy of them. After a few spin-off and crossover games after A Crack in Time Ratchet and Clank finally get their own adventure. Unfortunately this adventure is much shorter than previous ones. Does this reduced length cripple the game or does our favorite cat and robot team still stand strong?
What is it?
A Crack in Time was supposed to be the final game in the series capping off Ratchet and Clank’s stories the best way possible. That didn’t turn out to be the case as two spin-offs came afterwards. There was All-For-One, a 4 player co-op game which took a few steps backwards. Then came Full Frontal Assault, which added tower defense elements. Both games are spin-offs that failed to advance the series in interesting directions.
Ratchet and Clank into the Nexus is a return to form focusing on advancing the characters and providing a high stakes story. However, it was made to be a much shorter game than most in the series.
Ratchet and Clank are tasked to transport a criminal Vendra Prog to a new detention center. Their ship is hijacked by her brother Neftin awakening Vendra and causing casualties aboard the ship. Despite Talwyn Apogee’s warnings, the duo aims to track them down and capture them once and for all.
The core mechanics of the games haven’t changed. You are armed with a arsenal of larger than life weapons to destroy anyone or anything that gets in your way. The weapons are similar to several in the series but you can now spend raritanium to improve their effectiveness. The newest gadget is a jetpack which allows for extended flight and combat in the air.
The Winterizer: turn you enemies into snowmen while playing holiday jingles.
Three zero gravity puzzle mechanics are introduced to the series. The first mechanic allows you to magnetize yourself to objects from great distances while floating in zero gravity environments. The Grav-Tether creates gravity streams. The streams allows you to float over the ground in a single direction. The final mechanic is a puzzle minigame featuring Clank. Throughout the game you will encounter rifts which sends Clank to the netherverse. Clank can shift gravity into one of four directions to navigate himself and objects.
How does it look?
Clank: one of the most advanced machines in the universe but still retains is propellers
The production value at a much lower quality than A Crack in Time. This is a shorter game with less development invested and it stands out. However, the graphics don’t look bad by any means. Areas are vast and expansive. The detail in the environment is true to the design of the series, it just doesn’t look as sharp.
How does it sound?
Into the Nexus sound just as good as you expect from a Ratchet and Clank game. The music doesn’t stand out significantly, however. The voice actors pull their weight and provide great performances even those whose voices are more comical or distorted.
What do I think?
At first I was disappointed with the drop in quality and the length of the game. A Crack in Time was the best game in the series and having the series spiral downwards from that was difficult to take in. As I continued the game I started to see that this was a quality game despite the issues that I have had.
The problems with the game stem from it’s length. The game is roughly 4 or 5 hours long, longer if you take your time. The story moves at a faster pace than previous games. Shortly after the story begins it feels like it’s about to end. The length also limited the amount of planets to explore and take advantage of the new mechanics. Enemies are limited and unimpressive, often using the same grunts throughout several planets. Fights feel smaller, shorter and feel obvious as to where they will be.
Despite the problems, Into the Nexus took the best elements from the series and put them into the game. The puzzles and the combat are plentiful and enjoyable. The worlds are quite large and certain ones push exploration. The weapon leveling has been reduced but upgrading them is a good compromise.
The story is what hooked me. Into the Nexus is an Epilogue to A Crack in Time. It focuses on Ratchet’s feelings concerning his decisions at the end of A Crack in Time using the new villains to draw parallels. The new villains aren’t given too much screen time but they are given more characterization than most other games. Talwyn makes a return but unfortunately isn’t given anything to do. It’s nice having her around again. Her relationship with Ratchet helps both of their characters. Captain Quark does appear twice but it feels like a cameo much like the Plumber.
I don’t understand why this wasn’t a full game or why it wasn’t being developed for the PS4. Both the game and the system could have benefited greatly if given the room to grow and maximize the game’s mechanics. It was a missed opportunity but I still don’t understand why this wasn’t a full game either. It was nice playing a true Ratchet and Clank game at a reduced price but it’s something that you can beat in a day.
Should you get it?
Ratchet and Clank into the Nexus is very good game that’s limited by it’s length. This is a good return to form and the talent in the team is still there to create a good game and a well told story despite the limitations. This game was initially sold at a lower cost than regular games which is a plus. If you’re a fan of the series or if you’re are looking for a newer, cheaper game then you won’t go wrong with this.