Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Review
Ratchet & Clank pretty much invented the platform shooter genre and the series has consistently delivered some of the best platform games available, with or without the shooting. A Crack in Time continues the series' tradition of quality, delivering one of the series' best and one of the better platform games available.
A Crack in Time continues the story from the previous game, Tools of Destruction. The robotic Clank is coming closer to discovering the reason he was created while Ratchet is still searching space for his buddy, a quest that will give him some insight into his own past as well. If you're new to the series there's a brief synopsis at the beginning that brings you up to speed on the events of the past, which also serves as a nice refresher for those who haven't played a Ratchet & Clank game in two years. You'll have a better idea of what's going on if you've been following the story in previous games, but you can certainly have fun if you're a Ratchet & Clank newbie.
Separating Ratchet and Clank almost makes A Crack in Time two games in one. Both characters do their share of platform jumping, but while Ratchet is spending a lot of time blasting aliens and monsters with the wide assortment of imaginative weapons for which the series is famous, Clank is busy solving some rather ingenious puzzles. Let's take a look at Ratchet's adventures first since you'll be spending more time with him in the game than Clank…
Ratchet's search for Clank takes him across the game's twisted galaxy, with stops on planets both large and small as well as quests and battles in the space in between. The large planets (and space bases) form the main levels for Ratchet's portion of the game. A lot of work and imagination has gone into each of these worlds – each has its own unique look, inhabitants, and enemies. Some of the worlds emphasize shooting, some platforming/puzzle-solving, and most a mix of the two, but the thing that they all share in common is that they're colorful, packed with detail, fun to explore, and packed with things to smash with Ratchet's wrench to collect bolts, the game's currency. The game's battles are as fun as they've always been in Ratchet & Clank games, partly because the controls are so tight and responsive and partly because the enemies are so varied and interesting, but in a big way due to all of the weapons in the game. Most have been seen before in the series, including the one that makes your enemies uncontrollably start disco dancing, but that doesn't detract from the fact that they're pretty much all a blast to shoot. As you use each weapon you'll earn experience with it, and when a weapon levels-up it becomes more powerful and may gain a new capability as well. You also carry a blaster that's both upgradeable and customizable, right down to its color scheme. Target lock and strafing controls make the weapons as easy to use as they are fun to use.