Do you remember when Ratchet & Clank was good? Yeah, me neither. Alright, so I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinions and I respect anyone who still enjoys the modern games that have been released. As you can no doubt tell, however, I am not exactly a fan of how the series has changed over the years.
Innovation is important for long-lasting franchises (such as Mario and Zelda) so let’s not lose sight of that. Yet, the Ratchet & Clank series hasn’t exactly been that innovative over the years. And, when innovations are made, it’s nothing too amazing. But, there was once an era where the franchise was elite.
The Original Series
Back in the early 2000s, the series was on fire. The first entry, while not a masterpiece, was an amazing adventure that had an emphasis on exploration and platforming. The weapon leveling system had not been introduced yet, which does hurt the aging of the game a bit, admittedly.
Then, Going Commando was released. To this day, it remains my favorite in the series and one of my favorite video games of all-time. It introduced the leveling system that the series is most known for. Compared to the first game, it ramped up virtually everything. Up Your Arsenal and Deadlocked, while not amazing, capped off the original series for the PS2 in a strong way.
The Future Saga
Moving into the PS3 era, Insomniac Games decided to move Ratchet into space (kind of). The future series showed how Ratchet & Clank looked in HD. Guess what; the games still look visually impressive. Gameplay-wise, however, the series began to get a bit more linear.
In my opinion, the weapons also started to repeat themselves too much. This part is understandable, though, as each game has had quite a few different weapons. But, for what they were, the entries in the future saga were all enjoyable in their own way.
Spin-Offs and the Reimagining
I am just going to say it now; the reimagining that was made in 2016 sucks. And, when I say “sucks,” I am probably being nice. It is utterly dreadful and somehow less playable than the spin-offs (and I still don’t know how). Speaking of which, the spin-offs are kind of just there.
They are not really a part of the main series so you can forgive them a little bit for not being the greatest. But, the reimagining officially made Ratchet & Clank dead in the water.
Can it Make a Resurgence?
This series desperately needs to be revitalized. The next entry needs to go back to the old roots. However, will it? Don’t quote me on this but my guess would be no. If the world gets another Ratchet & Clank game, it will probably be below-average.
Yes, I am not being very optimistic, but what has Insomniac Games shown that would change my mind? When it comes to this franchise, it may never ascend to the levels it once did. That is quite a sad realization.