Ratchet and Clank Future: Crack In Time

Review

posted 12/14/2009 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PS3
But who cares about the hover boots when you have so many weapons to choose from.  A Crack in Time offers you a chance to defeat your enemies using 16 powerful weapons.  There are a few returning guns (such as the Judicator Missiles and the Groovitron Glove), plus a whole bunch of fresh weapons for you to try out.  A lot of the weapons do predictable things, such as fire sharp blades at our enemies, use a space frog to blow back your foes with its burp and fire at aliens from long distance with a sniper-type plasma gun.  But there are also a few genuinely creative weapons as well.  My personal favorite is the Rift Inducer 5000, device that opens up a dimensional portal that has some huge squid-like space creature attacking from the other side.  It's impossible to not feel giddy while watching your foes deal with a bunch of tentacles coming at them from another dimension.  It's this type of quirky weaponry that has sustained this franchise for so long.

Long time fans of the series will already know that part of the fun of Ratchet & Clank is powering up the various weapons and seeing what they turn into.  A Crack in Time is no different.  You gain experience for every enemy you take down, so there's more than enough incentive to keep you using all of the weapons to upgrade them.  If you kill enough enemies with the Judicator Missiles they will be upgraded to a super weapon that shoots three powerful missiles at the same time.  Or better yet, if you upgrade Mr. Zurkon (a floating robot that will attack anything you get close to) he will become Zurkon the Destroyer.  Because it's so easy to gain experience, I found the process to be extremely satisfying and  exciting.  I couldn't wait to see what even my least favorite weapons were going to turn into.

On top of the special weapons, you also have access to a few guns that can be customized in a number of interesting ways.  Throughout the game you will find custom pieces lying around ready to be found.  You use these pieces to turn your standard gun and shotgun into, well, tools of destruction.  Because these weapons can be personalized, I found myself using these more than any other weapon.  This is a great idea that kept me searching the levels for all of the customizable pieces; in the future I hope I will have more control over how I customize some of the more specific weapons.


When you're not playing as Ratchet or Clank, you're probably flying through the solar system in your little space cruiser.  The game is split up into a bunch of different sections of space, each with their own planets, moons and stranded space ships.  As a means to get around the space cruiser isn't that bad, it does what it's supposed to and gives you plenty of control over where you're headed.  But there are times when the game tries to turn these space travels into giant space battles.  Needless to say, these battles feel more like an afterthought.  They aren't especially difficult to win and some of the combat controls are a little on the awkward side.  Thankfully these battles are few and far between.  Like Ratchet (and Clank, to a certain extent), your space cruiser can be upgraded to offer better fire power and boosters that will make you go faster.  Still, no matter how much you upgrade your ship, these sections are easily the weakest parts of A Crack in Time.

The game gives you a surprising amount of things to do when you're not sticking to the campaign.  Surrounding all of the different planets you will find small moons that are just waiting to be explored. These moons act as the games bonus stages, offering a variety of things to do on each.  On a lot of the moons you be tracking down Zoni, the race of aliens that kidnapped Clank.  In order to catch these dastardly creatures you will need to navigate a series of increasingly complicated platforming puzzles.  These small moons share more than a passing similarity to the levels in Super Mario Galaxy, not just from the size of the moon's horizon but also the extremely complicated 3D platforming that you are asked to complete.  As a long time platforming fanatic, I had some of my best Ratchet & Clank experiences on this tiny moons.
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