Insomniac hasn’t released a Ratchet and Clank game proper since A Crack in Time back in 2009. Since then, we’ve gotten the spin off games All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault. While not bad games, they were definitely not the true experience we have come to known from our fuzzy Lombax and his robotic backpack. With Into the Nexus, we get back to the tried and true platforming insane gun bolt collecting action we’ve come to love from the series in this great, albeit short, send off for the “Future” series of the Ratchet and Clank games.
Into the Nexus takes place after the events of A Crack in Time. Ratchet and Clank are transporting the criminal Vendra Prog when her twin brother Neftin Prog attacks and sets her free. It’s up to the heroes to capture her again and stop her plot to unleash the Nethers into their dimension. The emotional impact isn’t as large as the other “Future” games but the writing is as funny and witty as ever, it does, however, suffer a bit from pacing as this is a short game. There is a huge nostalgic factoring into the story as there are many callbacks to past events and characters. Long time fans will appreciate this but new comers may not. It’s truly a game for the fans, for the newcomers; check out the older PS3 Ratchet and Clank games before diving into this game. Yet if you can’t wait, you can still enjoy this game without prior knowledge of the lore.
Each world looks beautiful in its own unique way; whether it be the jungle or a deserted city, this might be the best looking Insomniac game to date. The colors really pop and the character animation is spot on. Even with a ton of explosions and enemies on screen the game ran smoothly. And you have some very unique and fun ways to dispatch those enemies. The crazy assortment of guns makes a return in high-powered fashioned. With new twist on some old favorites (The Zurkon Family) and some new ones such as the Nightmare Box and the Winterizer provides fresh gunplay that doesn’t get old. The more you use your weapons, the stronger they become until you turn into a walking destructive force. But with a short game, the weapon selection is noticeably slim compared to previous games.
There’s also a fare amount of side quest to keep you busy, a lots of collectibles, and a decent amount of replay value. Once you complete the game you can restart with all your weapons and power them up even further. There is enough here for the game to actually feel longer than it really is. And that seems to be the only thing I can really point out, the one real negative for Into the Nexus is that it’s pretty short. Being short meant fewer worlds, fewer weapons, and less character development from the villains.
However, that shouldn’t turn you off from this game. For those wanting a change from the doom and gloom gray colored games, Ratchet and Clank provide vibrantly fun filled worlds without being a kiddy game. There’s still a ton to be had and for long time fans, it felt like a great epilogue to the future series. For newcomers, check out the previous titles before checking out this one to get the best experience.