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Let's just say it's all in the past.
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About the Game
Minor Spoilers
Character
Time and Space.
Giving the box art for A Crack in Time a quick glance, you may of mistaken it for a movie. There are no review scores, and on the back cover none of your usual bullet-point list of things the game includes.

All is included is a statement, a paragraph explaining the basic story and a few images, just like a DVD/Blu-Ray. There is a reason for that, as the whole game feels like your playing a movie of sorts. All the main Ratchet & Clank games have had the luxury of having the same developer: Insomniac Games. With Tools of Destruction having a similar feeling to the originals, they decided to go down a different route with A Crack in Time. How so? Let’s explore.
Quote The original R&C wasn't short of story, so A Crack in Time follows in its footsteps and has more than any other R&C title. The story flows from two separate on-going events, which either never gets lost in the mix. It’s the same story that has been building since Tools of Destruction, and it's great to see how it unfolds. It answers a lot of questions… but doesn't answer them all.

The quantity and quality of cinematics has been beefed up, which look fantastic using all the power available from the PS3. No “movie” is good without well written dialogue, and sure enough, R&C's dialogue is back and there’s more than ever before. Dialogue isn’t just in the cinematics, it’s used throughout. Whether you are exploring on foot, in space, flying your ship and in the actual cinematics, it adds more to the story, giving direction to the player or just for comical purposes. It may take a few viewings, sorry... playthroughs to fully appreciate the genius of all the story points, characters and dialogue as you progress through the game.

So at this point, are you thinking that Insomniac Games have done the trick of radically changing the formula, meaning that it almost doesn't feel like a Ratchet & Clank game? (Like what happened to Crash of the Titans) Well your fears can be put to rest. They have made an effort to make this entry quite a different experience than previous games, but not alienating the loyal fan-base while doing it. A Crack in Time has not lost that R&C wackyness that the series is known for. That R&C magic is not gone, rather it's back and much improved!

I like the original R&C because of the larger focus on platforming. It looks like they were listening (even though I wrote that article after this game was released, go figure...), as it has a good focus of platforming, exploring and puzzles, while not skimping on the combat aspect of R&C.
[Montage]Captain Qwark: "You know the thrusters you asked me to fix? Well erm... I didn't get round to it..."
Ratchet: "Oh brother. Looks like we are falling..."
Speaking of which, the reason why the series has endured for many years is the “kids” style of weapons and combat. While there isn’t a military focus like Ratchet & Clank 3 and others, it is still plentiful in all the alien worlds you explore. Some fan-favourite weapons make a comeback, like Mr. Zurkon and the Negotiator, whereas there are new weapons to try out. What about the Buzz Blades Mag-Net Launcher has dozens of blades flying through the air to your enemies. The Mag-Net Launcher has a easy lock on system, which can target multiple targets at once. Weapon upgrades make them even better, which is great as all the weapons are as fun to use as they have always been!

While Ratchet’s gameplay has a lot of upgrades over the years, Clank hasn't quite had as much improvement. A Crack in Time has a significant upgrade to Clank, both on him as a character and his gameplay. His basic moveset has been improved, which he can now jump further and longer with his jet pack and he can now use a sceptre to fight enemies. The platforming segments with Clank are just as fun as there has always been, but that's not the biggest change.

The biggest change is Clank now has puzzles to solve. These time puzzles are a little tricky to explain (I'll let Sigmund do the talking in-game), but do involve a lot of thinking, and can get tough towards the end. These puzzles are quite unique, and are one of the better additions from the R&C series.

So Clank has been upgraded, so what else has? Ratchet's ship that's what. Considering that the series was around seven years old at this point, R&C fans can finally explore the galaxy. Inspired by Super Mario Galaxy, you can fly your ship around the different sectors or galaxies, and then land on small planets to collect Zoni (to upgrade your ship) or constructo mods (to upgrade your gadgets).

While the main story involves you having space battles, fighting bosses and flying between planets, there is a lot more to explore and collect. Although you don't need to visit all the small planets to complete the story, collecting everything that the game has to offer unlocks the Insomniac museum, filled with juicy secrets, so it's worth trying to hunt down everything.


Closing Thoughts
Excellent Excellent
After seven Ratchet & Clank Games, you'd think Insomniac games would have burned out and lost focus. I’m delighted to report this isn’t the case. In fact, I'd go as further to say that this is worthy of being the best Ratchet & Clank. Its bigger, better, and with more story, platforming and the combat sections the series is known for, it's sure to draw in newcomers to the series and fans alike. A pleasure from start to finish.

My One Big Highlight
Spiderman Picking one particular favourite moment is tricky, but I really like the new Hoverboots gadget, especially when you first use them. How can one simple gadget make a world of difference (see what I did there?) and transform Ratchet's platforming segments into something so fun and different. Good thing they work well and easy to use.
Elephant In the Room
elephantThere is very little I can complain about. About the only thing that I can say is it can get a bit confusing on occasion what planets you need to visit and what you still have to collect. But that’s nickpicking!