Pretty much every other saga for PlayStation 2 has already seen a release as a high definition collection on the PlayStation 3, including the recent Jak and Daxter collection, Sly Cooper, Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry, God of War (twice!) and Prince of Persia. Why shouldn’t Ratchet and Clank get a turn?
The duo have been destroying stuff for years, starting with their original adventure on the PlayStation 2 and leading through a number of sequels, including Up Your Arsenal and Going Commando. Sony has recently announced that Ratchet and Clank HD Collection is in the works for PlayStation 3, including the original game, Arsenal, and Commando, for your playing pleasure. If you’ve played them before or you’re just discovering them for the first time, you’re certainly in for a treat.
Like previously released HD collections, all three Ratchet games will be remastered in 1080p and Sony will be adding 3D support. That means if you’ve got one of those PlayStation 3D monitors or a fancy new television that you want to take advantage of, this game will definitely keep up. Considering the original games ran at a very solid 60 frames per second – even during the most frantic action segments – we’re in for a stellar looking effort indeed.
Not only that but the Ratchet and Clank games also come packed with plenty of comical voice acting. These heroes are definitely rascally but back up their words with plenty of firepower, mostly bought through interstellar shops. Lending a hand (more or less) is Captain Qwark, a galactic superhero who isn’t quite what he makes out to be thanks to comical errors on his part and a little something called ego getting in the way. At least he’s good for something, including numerous mini-games where you control him in side-scrolling shooting action – sort of like the games you grew up with on the NES and Sega Genesis.
Along with the presentation that many of you may remember from the original games, Ratchet and Clank HD Collection also comes with terrific gameplay. Your wrench is quite a handy tool in itself, not only for quick melee attacks, but also for distance throwing (perfect for deactivating explosive crates) and unscrewing certain gadgets in order to activate doors or bridges. Yep, like an actual wrench.
But where Ratchet gets most of his strength is through his utmost firepower. Over the course of the game you’ll pick up a slew of impressive weaponry, including laser blasters, grenade launchers, and the always-interesting chicken gun where you can transform mortal enemies into not-so-troublesome farm fowl. It’s a great weapon if you find yourself overwhelmed in the heat of battle.
The game’s development is being handled by Idol Minds (who have worked on previous HD collections) in collaboration with Insomniac Games, the original Ratchet game developers, to make sure that every bit of quality remains from the original games. It’s releasing in Europe in just a few weeks’ time but the teams are holding off on the game’s US release until later this fall.
There's a good reason for that -- Insomniac is throwing in a rumored surprise of some sort. A conversion of Deadlocked, perhaps? Or maybe another Ratchet and Clank-based goodie, like a virtual museum or new side adventures of Captain Qwark? Whatever it is, the team isn’t saying yet!
One thing we can reveal with Ratchet and Clank HD Collection is that it will include a few virtual rewards – in this case, Trophies. All three games come with Trophies to unlock, including three Platinum Trophies, one set aside for each game. That’s a heck of a reward, considering the original games didn’t have them.
What Arsenal and Commando did have, though, was multiplayer. These games will retain that same level of action across the PlayStation Network as you can challenge others with various weapons throughout the galaxy. Considering that the new Ratchet games don’t have competitive multiplayer (Ratchet and Clank Free 4 All does have co-op, but it isn’t the same), it’s nice to see this surface again.
Ratchet and Clank HD Collection may still be a ways off from release, but the wait should be worth it, especially considering how well other collections of this type have turned out. Fans can look forward to blasting through stages all over again while earning Trophies and taking on friends in multiplayer. The innovative gameplay should shine as well, especially with some of the wackier weapons you’ll pick up later on. We’ll be back with a hands-on report following E3.