Ratchet & Clank

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating and My age rating.



Full content re-review coming soon...

Gameplay sum up: The basic formula in every Ratchet & Clank game is: land on a planet, destroy enemies in your way, get to the other end of that planet, watch a cutscene, find out what planet to go to next, and repeat. During these missions you'll mostly be shooting and hitting things, but you'll also be jumping and/or hovering (with the help of Clank) from platform to platform, collecting bolts (currency), grinding on rails, walking on magnetized walls, swimming, hoverboarding, and many other things during the course of the game.

Every level has dozens of breakable crates scattered throughout; filled with bolts, health, and ammo. Enemies also shed bolts when you destroy them, and act as the game's currency for buying and upgrading all of your weapons. All levels have more than one weapon kiosk, which is used to buy new weapons and ammo. Weapons will also level up automatically (and gradually) the more you use them, resulting in increased fire power and new abilities.

The majority of the platforming will be done using Clank. He sits on Ratchet's back like a backpack, and (by the third level) is equipped with a built-in, mini helicopter that comes from his head, which is used to hover over small gaps, and jump extra high to reach normally unreachable platforms. To traverse larger gaps, Ratchet will use the Swingshot, which will grab onto certain hooks in the sky, and swing him to the other end. Other than using it as a weapon, Ratchet will use his wrench to open certain doors, by grabbing onto unscrewed bolts and turning them until the closed door opens.

A key moment puts you in the shoes of Clank. Clank can enter smaller places than Ratchet, and activate devices to further progress certain levels. Although he isn't equipped with guns, Clank can hit with his fists and control groups of fellow robots; he'll use them to traverse the area by giving them commands like Attack, Follow, Wait—and he'll also have to have a certain amount of them to unlock doors and progress to the end. There are also a few areas where you compete in hoverboard races. These portions consist of racing around a track with other hoverboarders, as you try to make it in first place. Although they're pretty challenging (and can get a bit frustrating at first), they're pretty easy to complete once you've memorized the tracks.


Mild violence: (This is the first in the series) While constructing his own spaceship to finally explore the galaxy, Ratchet sees a strange object fall from space close to his position. When Ratchet reaches its location, he finds it to be a small robot, whom he then names Clank. Clank shows Ratchet a holo-vid of Drek, the main villain, who is in the process of using a device to destroy planets; he uses the remains of these planets to build himself a new one, as his home planet has become too polluted to inhabit. Time to finish building your spaceship, and find some way to stop him...

The story itself is full of silly, slapstick, sarcastic, and clever humor, with many lines like, "Afraid to go out at night? Afraid to to go out during the day? Just Plain Afraid? Then you need..." There's several more of these spoof-like infomercials that advertise in-game products and info reels promoting jobs at the main villain's facilities. So in other words, it is sarcastic and a bit over-the-top, but pretty harmless, cartoony, and all done in a fun, light tone.

The violence is very fantastical, with mass explosions, crashes, constant fire from the enemy, utter mayhem and frantic chaos. And although you will fight a variety of wild creatures, the majority of your enemy consists of several different types of robots. Ratchet will be fighting them with a couple of dozen (fully upgradeable) weapons. The majority of these weapons have exaggerated and ridiculous fire-power, like a laser blaster, a gun that sucks enemies in like a vacumm, a glove that shoots out bombs, a rocket launcher, etc. Ratchet can also attack enemies with his wrench. When Ratchet disposes of an enemy, it will explode into a cloud of bolts (currency), metal (if it's a robot), colorful firework-like particle effects, and/or puffs of smoke. Beyond this, the overall tone of violence is mild, the cutscenes' action is comparable to Looney Toon's over-the-top antics, and the actual gameplay is no worse (in fact, maybe more mild) than the sometimes chaotic and moderately violent cartoons kids watch today.


Mild language: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating, although it's mild) There is one scene near the beginning where Drek (the main villian) almost says, "Kiss my a**!" in frustration during a broadcast, but is stopped before he can say a**.


Crude humor: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) A spoof-like commercial at the end of the game advertises a product called the Personal Hygienator, it goes: "Do you have a problem with unwanted hair? Is painful itching in your nether regions causing you undue embarrassment? (in quiet, cautious voice) Do you just plain stink? Then allow me to demonstrate!" The camera then cuts to the reactions of Ratchet and Clank as they watch the commercial. After watching for a few seconds, Ratchet then says in a panicked voice, "Turn it off! Turn it off!" as the scene ends. No one knows what the Personal Hygienator actually does, as it's never shown being used. There is also a later enemy called Amoeboids; these creatures pretty much resemble a large goopey, green mass of snot, and act as such when you destroy them.


Content review posted: 03/2008


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