Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Game review: Rachet & Clank

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A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.
A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.

It's a game based on a movie that's based on a game. Confused about this meta movie-game mash-up? As Ratchet and Clank's hoverboarding ally Skid McMarx might quip: "Like, totally, dude."

Don't be confused. Ratchet & Clank, the 11th game in the franchise and first on PlayStation 4, keeps things simple. Incredibly simple.

A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.
A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.

Based around the adventures of a spaceship tinkering Lombax and his wise-cracking robotic buddy, it might be the easiest pick-up-and-play platformer on the market. With boosted graphics running at 1080p, it might be the best-looking, too.

Ratchet & Clank isn't so much a reboot as a retelling of its 2002 debut. As told by imprisoned baddie Captain Qwark, you'll recognise characters, like bumbling boss Chairman Drek.

A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.
A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.

You'll also remember challenges, like those spaceship shoot-outs or those snappy Sand Sharks. And you'll remember scenarios that long ago made you fall in love with your PS2.

Insomniac Games haven't messed with their formula, and they probably shouldn't. It really is as easy as this: Blast baddies. Collect bolts. Solve puzzles. Buy weapons. Laugh out loud. Fly to the next planet. Do it again.

A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.
A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.

If anyone wants to get into gaming, smashing baddies with a Fusion Grenade and swooping up all the rewarding bolts is the best place to start.

But it's just as much fun for hardened Ratchet fans. Why? Those weapons. The game's best bits involve working out which weapon you want to use against the next group of baddies.

A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.
A scene from Playstation 4 game Ratchet & Clank.

Do you use Mr Zorkon, a flying buddy who zaps baddies from up high? Or do you use my favourite, the Pixeliser, which creates eight-bit versions of enemies ready to be smashed into tiny pixels?

Decisions, decisions.

Ratchet & Clank is kind of like the gaming version of The Force Awakens, an extremely good-looking nostalgia trip that never gets boring.

Review: Rachet & Clank

Platform: PlayStation 4
Rating: PG
Verdict: Peak Ratchet and Clank is a very good thing

- TimeOut

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