You’d be hard pressed to find a PlayStation gamer who doesn’t have some fond memories of the Ratchet and Clank series. The lovable Lombax and his wise-cracking robot companion have been staples of the console ever since their debut back in 2002, with kids and adults alike being able to enjoy the franchise’s wise-cracking humour, ridiculous weapons and blatant innuendo.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing though, for a while the series seemed to be in the midst of an identity crisis with entries like Ratchet and Clank All 4 One trying to crack competitive multiplayer and Ratchet and Clank Full Frontal Assault putting a focus on tower defence gameplay.
None of it has quite captured the magic of those earlier titles, players didn’t want these massive changes to the formula, they wanted a game reboot of what made the original so special.
Cut to the present and we just recently saw a brand new game reboot of Ratchet and Clank, a complete game reboot of the title for the PS4 which might be the best one of the series yet. Not only that but on the 29th of April people were able to sit back and relax to watch the Ratchet and Clank film based on the titular characters.
Insomniac has brought the series back from the brink in incredible fashion, catering to its already dedicated fans by taking Ratchet & Clank back to its roots while also putting it in a position to find an entirely new audience and live on for many years to come.
It’s easy to take a very pessimistic view of game reboots, unnecessarily revisiting a dusty old IP which has probably had its day can damage any fond memories we had in the first place. A few games spring to mind which are absolutely guilty of this. I’m still heartbroken at what became of Prince of Persia and don’t even get me started on Duke Nukem! Luckily we seem to be at a point where the many franchises being brought back to life are being treated with care and respect, holding on to what made them special in the first place and improving on their faults.
Take the new Hitman game reboot for example, while not exactly a reboot it was designed to revitalise the series after a number of subpar entries and so far it seems to have accomplished that. Despite taking a fairly unusual episodic approach to the games release, the gameplay at its core takes the best elements which span the series and pool them to create the game that fans have always wanted. It combines the sprawling environments of Bloody Money filled with murderous potential and the sleek control system of Absolution and in doing so removes the issues both games were plagued by. I loved jumping back into that franchise to find it had become the game I always hoped. Now we can look forward to its future, knowing that the potential is there for it to become great again.
Maybe it’s that the fans of old are the developers of these new game reboots, their personal love and frustrations towards an IP helping to craft experiences which are fresh and exciting yet true to the games for which we have such fond memories of. With games like Doom set to return and promising to build on the strong foundations of the original, it’s exciting to think that they might even be able to improve on those classics.