The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Ratchet believes he is the last of the lombax race. He is wrong. In A
Crack in Time, another lombax emerges from the shadows. His name is
Alister Azimuth, a general who served in the war that nearly brought
the lombax to extinction. Ratchet has been searching the cosmos for
information pertaining to his people and his history. Azimuth has been
searching for a way to turn back the clock to undo the terrible fate
that befell his race. In Azimuth, Ratchet has found his source of
information, Azimuth has gained a supporter to his cause. The Great
Clock, a device created to preserve unity in the universe, is believed
to be capable of altering time, but at what cost?
plot doesn’t just answer questions players have had since first
smashing a crate with Ratchet’s wrench; it unifies the series’
mythology and lifts its characters up onto a much higher and more
meaningful stage. After playing this game, I now have a cohesive view
of both Ratchet and Clank. Bringing back former antagonists, as opposed
to creating a new foe for each game as Insomniac has done in previous
entries, gives the universe a true threat that balances the scales
between good and evil. Although maintaining a whimsical tone, this
fiction now has a defined villain like Darth Vader.
strong narrative, the quest for answers (and in some cases,
conclusions) is heightened through the gameplay. In many levels, time
is bent, stretched, rewound, and thrown in directions my feeble mind
couldn’t even begin to comprehend. With the series’ trademark combat
remaining as explosive as ever, the concepts surrounding time
manipulation give sections of the game a Braid-like feel. This is most
prominently on display in the Clank levels.
Yes, Ratchet’s tin
sidekick is still around, but throughout most of the adventure he is on
his own. In a twist of luck that helps his furry companion, Clank’s
journey of self-discovery takes him into the heart of the Great Clock.
Here, most of the challenges are navigation puzzles. Tricky platforming
and amazing combat sequences are sprinkled in, but you’re mostly tasked
with manipulating time sequentially to open doors, lower platforms, and
dispose of enemies. To do this, Clank can record past and present
versions of himself that, as confusing as this may sound, run
concurrently in time. Think of it as programming AI routines that work
together. These enjoyable mind exercises escalate in difficulty as the
game progresses. In past games, Clank has had his moments, but these
sequences are far and away his most enjoyable contribution to the
For Ratchet, time is abused in ways that show
players certain worlds in the past, present, and future. Seeing how
civilizations progress through time is interesting, but above all else,
it’s something Insomniac uses to create amazing level design and
mission objectives. With that said, the excitement tied to Ratchet’s
gameplay remains largely about the weapons and gadgets he wields. While
many of the armaments’ functionality fall into the classification of a
shotgun, rocket, or machine gun, the creative spin on each weapon
deserves a tip of the hat. I especially love how the destructive power
of a species’ mating call is transformed into a shotgun-esque weapon.
With enemies throwing curveballs at you like magnetic tethers or
shields that must first be removed, the combat maintains a fresh appeal
while still fitting like a glove you’ve worn since childhood [Reiner’s
hands are tiny! – Ed].
As for the gadgets, series staples
like the swingshot and magnetic boots return, but are largely
overshadowed by the new hover boots, which greatly enhance Ratchet’s
standard movements and add a layer of intensity to the platforming
The one area where A Crack in Time stumbles is in its
aerial combat. Being able to explore a galaxy via spaceship adds hours
of exploration and gameplay, but the ship-to-ship combat drew nothing
but a yawn from me. Not only are these sequences far too easy, the lack
of mobility goes against the complexity captured in the other gameplay
Regardless, this series is the closest video games
come to having a noteworthy serialized adventure. A Crack in Time shows
a good idea and consistent execution is all it takes to keep interest
high. Keep ‘em coming, Insomniac!
Email the author Andrew Reiner, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.
It should surprise no one that a new entry in the Ratchet & Clank
series is filled to the brim with inventive weapons, stellar production
value, and top-notch platforming. A Crack in Time maintains the quality
the series is known for, and throws some new elements into the mix.
Ratchet’s hover boots make it quick and easy to cover ground, and the
Clank sections are the best puzzles seen in the series to date. These
incredibly clever areas are the stars of this installment, and I would
love a standalone DLC title that expands upon them with new challenge
rooms. Space exploration is a bit of a yawn this time around, but the
Mario Galaxy-esque platforming areas can be a lot of fun. As a total
package, A Crack In Time surpasses both Tools of Destruction and Quest
for Booty as the best R&C experience on the PS3.