Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

The original Ratchet & Clank trilogy is often thought to have improved with each release, but to me, the second game presents a hiccup in that narrative. The first game succeeded at balancing a platformer and a shooter by foregoing precision aiming and basically operating like a platformer that happened to feature guns. Going Commando raises the intensity as befitting a sequel, so it needed a different approach to compensate. Its solution was an arsenal of weapons that find increasingly elaborate ways to target enemies for you. It’s theoretically sound design, but in practice, it’s noticeably less engaging than before.

Don’t get me wrong; this installment is still worth playing. Its gameplay combines two of the most reliable forms of interactive entertainment – collecting shiny things and blowing up not-shiny things – with high-calibre production values that ensure maximum gratification. The choice to focus on wacky firearms was a turning point for the series for good reason, and there’s a surprising number of new ideas present considering this was the franchise’s second game in as many years. It just has a duller impact than the first title. Insomniac’s penchant for stuffing its products with gameplay tangents returns, and while the old ones are in fine form, the new ones are even more unpolished than usual, to the point of tedium. Similarly, while the plot is once again more in-depth than usual for a platformer, its attempts at twists are a lot dumber than before.

6.5/10
6.5/10

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