Considering just how many trailers, making of previews and all round general hype Sony have put into Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, it's amazing that more hasn't been done to promote lifelong PlayStation partner Insomniac games' latest Ratchet & Clank game.
Here we have two of the console's greatest gaming characters, in a (sort of) brand new adventure and with a movie tie-in just on the horizon.
With less than ten days to go until it's released (April 20) and to have had virtually no mention of the game in most circles seems bonkers.
Which might lead many to believe the game's not going to be much to shout about.
But it's quite the opposite.
Ratchet & Clank is visually stunning, seriously funny and endlessly addictive to the point we didn't want to put the controller down.
In short, it's damn near perfect.
Visually, this is probably one of the best looking games we've ever seen on the PS4.
Sure, it's not rendering lifelike humans, but it's still amazingly colourful and vibrant and shows off just what the PS4 is capable of.
But this isn't a case of giving a beloved classic a lick of new paint and sending it out to shops, because the game's plot has been substantially overhauled too.
You play as Ratchet, a furry character who wants to join the Galactic Rangers, and Clank, a defective robot who crash lands on Ratchet's planet with intimate knowledge of how villainous Chairman Drek attempts to destroy the Solana Galaxy.
Together the pair must team up and save the day.
Much like the 2002 PS2 game of the same name, this is a origin story for the series, rather than a continuation of the nine games that came prior.
But equally this is more than a simple remake.
The plot has been modified to include elements from the upcoming animated film, the origin of both Ratchet and Clank have been expanded much further than the original game and there's plenty of new cutscenes and footage to flesh out the pre-existing story.
Many of the planets from that original game – such as Novallis, Aridia, Pokitaru and Rilgar – have remained roughly the same.
But there's several planets – such as Veldin and Kerwan – which have been almost completely reworked.
That's on top of the new planets they've added which weren’t included in the 2002 original.
Equally, the planet of Gaspar has a giant new section which makes use of the Ratchet & Clank Future: Into the Nexus Jet Pack.
And that's also another core feature of the game.*** Take a look at the original Ratchet & Clank on the PS2 below: ***
Rather than lazily using the exact same controls and weapons from the first outing, developer Insomniac have incorporated many features from later Ratchet & Clank games in the series to give those old levels a fresh feel to them.
The same of which can also be said of Ratchet's arsenal of weapons.
The Groovitron which sends giant monsters bursting into dance (with each foe having its own animation) and the Pixelizer, which turns enemies into 8-bit characters, are both weapons taken from PS3 era, but have been brought forward to further beef out the variety of gameplay on offer in this newest adventure.
We also haven't taken into account the new sections of the game where you can play as Clank.
These form as puzzle sections to the main game and provide a welcome break for the more a-typical platforming/shooty sections you'll experience with Ratchet.
Throw in a collection of new bosses to encounter and you've got a healthy injection of new content which instantly refreshes the game for anyone worried about retreading the exact same experience as 14 years ago.
Let’s also lay to rest a concern of some gamers brought about by a few early reviews.
The game is not a measly 5 hours long. A casual gamer, playing on normal difficulty and doing the odd bit of side questing will easily get 10 hours out of this latest adventure.
Despite not having a stopwatch to hand, the developers assertion that the game would last roughly 10-12 hours is probably about right.
An appropriate length for a game like this and roughly the same time most Ratchet & Clank games have previously opted for.
And this is before factoring in the games challenge mode, which is unlocked on completion of the main game.
As a starting point for anyone who's never played the original Ratchet & Clank games, this is perfect.
And for someone who has played every game in the franchise, but wants something more substantial than a hit of nostalgia after forking out £30+, this is again, faultless.
Save for a few minor quibbles with the games easier than expected bosses, this Ratchet & Clank reboot will easily be one of the best games released in 2016.
In short, it's a must buy for PS4 owners, kids and adults alike.
– Reviewed on PlayStation 4
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