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Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus Review


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On 11/18/2013 at 09:48 PM by Nick DiMola

Mr. Zurkon found a lady-friend and got busy!
RECOMMENDATION:

For everyone, especially at its bargain price. The deal is even sweeter when you factor in the free download code of A Quest for Booty that’s packed inside.

As of late it seems that Ratchet & Clank has been something of a test bed for Insomniac Games. With All 4 One, the team shoehorned New Super Mario Bros Wii-style cooperative gameplay into the Ratchet & Clank formula, while Full Frontal Assault saw the duo attempting Tower Defense. Although these experiments were certainly interesting, they’re no substitute for the tried-and-true gameplay of the franchise. Thankfully, the newest entry in the series, Into the Nexus proves that Insomniac is still devoted to producing new entries in the series’ classic style. Though on the shorter side, this highly engaging romp is a great send-off for the now last gen PlayStation 3.

Let me temper your expectations – though a successor to the fantastic A Crack in Time, Into the Nexus is not the bigger and better sequel you may have been expecting. The modest epilogue is more akin to Tools of Destruction and its predecessors than the grand masterpiece it follows. As a veteran of the series, I was able to finish with 100% completion in around eight hours, collecting all of the optional gold bolts and RYNO VII plans.  

Thankfully, Into the Nexus was built with replayability in mind and upon completion of the main quest you unlock Challenge Mode (New Game+). All of your weapons and character progress are carried over and you start the game from the beginning; only this time it’s more challenging. Furthermore, there are a swath of in-game achievement-like objectives that will unlock various cheats and galleries. These plentiful objectives are sure to keep you busy long after you complete both the main game and the subsequent Challenge Mode.

Though short for a game in the series, Into the Nexus is tightly crafted. You’ll be doing the usual running and gunning with an array of outlandish weapons, as well as a fair share of platforming, but you’ll also get quite a bit of time with a few new devices that really spice things up. The new grav-field device brings a little Portal 2 into the game, allowing players to create a gravity field between two predetermined end points that will carry them across chasms or up into new heights. The new ability is also used for some light puzzle solving, just as it was in the game that inspired it.

However, the grav-fields are nothing when compared to the Jet Pack. For those of you familiar with Pilotwings, the Jet Pack operates quite similarly to the Rocket Belt, and boy is it fun. Not only can you zip around the world, but you’ll get to take the fighting to the sky. It’s highly satisfying to attack and evade with full 360 degree control and when you take down a particularly challenging foe, you feel like a complete badass.

When coupled with the hover boots, it’s clear that Insomniac put a lot of thought into how you’d be traversing the landscapes of Into the Nexus. With ramps placed throughout the world, you’re more mobile in Into the Nexus than you’ve ever been before in a Ratchet & Clank game. This high speed movement fits extremely well with the fast-paced gunplay of the series and brings the platforming and exploration to a new level.

The only real stumbling block of this entry is the story. Not that any of the stories in past games have been anything spectacular, but this one feels particularly inane. Insomniac makes an attempt early in the game to pull on your heart strings, but those events quickly fade into the background once you’re fully entrenched in the mundane story of Vendra and Neftin Prog and their dastardly plan to summon the Nethers from another dimension. Of course, the patented sarcastic humor of the series is still present in full-force, so despite the lackluster story, you’re sure to be entertained.

Being an epilogue, Insomniac did have an opportunity to reference all of the past games in the series, and they certainly took advantage. Not to spoil too much, but fans of the series will particularly love one of the missions of the game as it incorporates all of the past stories in a seamless and entertaining way.

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus is a fantastic send-off for both the PlayStation 3 and this generation of the series. Though short, it’s tightly constructed and lays the groundwork for inclusion of great new features in the next iteration of the series. Fans of the series should absolutely drop the cash for this discount title, and those that don’t already have A Quest for Booty will get it free as a nice little bonus alongside this brand new adventure.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Matt Snee Staff Writer

11/19/2013 at 03:37 AM

Darn, I don't think I've ever played even one of these games.  I guess I've been missing out.  

And I love jetpacks!

Ranger1

11/19/2013 at 06:20 PM

GO BUY THE HD COLLECTION NOW!!!

Matt Snee Staff Writer

11/19/2013 at 07:25 PM

ha ha, you've convinced me!

V4Viewtiful

11/19/2013 at 11:26 AM

I saw this game for £20 today, i'll get it on my Birthday next month :)

mothman

11/19/2013 at 12:42 PM

I own all the previous games except for All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault because I had no interest in either of those games. I like my R&C straight up. I am interested in this one even though I've had Quest for Booty since it appeared on PSN. Maybe I can give the code to someone. 

transmet2033

11/19/2013 at 01:36 PM

Ratchet and Clank is one of my all-time favourite series.  I missed out on the last two releases, and it sounds like I did not miss much.  It pains me to see this one slip through my fingers all because I do not have the necessary hardware.  I may have to rectify that in the coming weeks.

Ranger1

11/19/2013 at 06:21 PM

Hmm... Going to have to get this.

MotDrum

11/20/2013 at 12:09 AM

Great fan review! Cannot wait for xmas break to play this. Sounds like the perfect length for me to wrap too

KnightDriver

11/20/2013 at 03:22 PM

Playing it right now. Loving it so far. Even the platforming isn't annoying me much like it usually does. Flying is great, shooting is great, the weapons are fun, all the characters are appealing. Glad to hear there is a challenge mode after you finish the story. I want to play this some more.

Pacario

11/20/2013 at 05:25 PM

Was hoping for a My Blaster Runs Hot sequel included therein. Ah well.

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

02/09/2014 at 11:52 AM

What a fun game. I WANT MORE! I can always play challenge mode because I just finished it... 9.5/10 HOoM

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