Can Insomniac recapture the series’ magic, or will this latest chapter further contribute to the downwards trajectory of the brand?
Galactic heroes Ratchet and Clank, have blasted their way through an exorbitant array of adventures over the years; foiling the plans of more power-crazed emperors and nefarious cyborgs than the entire Jedi Order. Sadly, protracted annual instalments and misguided multiplayer implementation began to tarnish what was once a winning formula. Despite never losing its sense of charm, gamers became fatigued, and declining review scores lead to worries over the future of the franchise.
Thankfully Insomniac Games seem to have taken these concerns onboard, with their epilogue to the future saga – Into the Nexus – stripping away the ineffectual and returning the series to its combustive roots. The solo experience is short-and-sweet and is all the better for it, its swift pacing and trademark whimsy keeping things fresh from start to finish.
The plot centres around twins and master criminals, Vendra and Nefton Prog, who are determined to open a dimensional tear, allowing the mysterious Nether to pass through. Over time their tragic past is revealed and their questionable actions made clear; and though they aren’t the most memorable villains ever to grace the series, they are an entertaining pair, whose tale is told with genuine heart. Several familiar faces make an appearance too, including Talwyn Apogee, her senile robotic companions Cronk and Zephyr, and the bumbling-yet-loveable Captain Qwark.
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Rob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.