Played on: PlayStation 3
Released on: PlayStation 3
Genre: Action, Platformer
Posted: 16th May 2021
In 2012, the original trilogy of games in the Ratchet & Clank series received a HD re-release on the PlayStation 3. The HD Collection was developed by Idol Minds.
An all-in-one collection is excellent, as it brings the fantastic trilogy to more modern hardware (at least, modern for the original release). The textures and models were all cleaned up for the HD system and each of the three games in the trilogy was given full trophy support to add extra playtime to each game.
For Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal, the game was given full online support for the multiplayer mode, as well as the traditional couch co-op way to play. Unfortunately, the servers for the online multiplayer have since been taken down. While it’s sad to give this mode a go for the sake of this review, it’s great that Idol Minds made the effort to bring this support back in the first place.
The Collection gave a polished look to the games that simultaneously made the games look the best they ever had, but unfortunately in some instances the worst. The Collection is far from perfect in terms of fidelity to the original versions of the games.
As a result, there are several issues that can be identified on these versions of the games that didn’t appear in the original releases.
Something that is consistent across all three titles in the collection is that the character models are not as tightly animated as they once were. For instance, there are moments that characters’ pupil can disappear, or their eyes clip through their eyelids.
In Ratchet & Clank 2 and 3, there is a strange graphically issue that’s extremely minor, but still a bit weird. Ratchet’s helmet seems a little over-sized from what it was originally.
In the first Ratchet & Clank many problems that be identified simply by visiting a Gadgetron Vendor. The Vendor’s model has been squished, and so have the models for each of the weapons.
Another issue that occurs throughout the collection is due to the change in aspect ratio. Because the original games were not in widescreen, Insomniac Games rigged their models according to the aspect ratio at the time. However, with the HD Collection making the jump to widescreen, certain graphics or models that were normally offscreen can now be seen.
Most prominently is the side gauge used to portray Ratchet’s oxygen when underwater, or the ammo capacity of the Suck Cannon. They do not quite disappear from the edge and will linger until either the player dies or leaves the planet.
Something else that the HD Collection suffers from is slow-down. When there is a lot going on at once onscreen, particularly in Ratchet & Clank 3, the game can slow down to almost a crawl. It’s strange, as this wasn’t really a problem on the original hardware of the PlayStation 2. This may have something to do with the models and graphics being given a greater resolution.
Lastly, in terms of issues with this Collection, is this obscure glitch I came across in Ratchet & Clank 3 – I made note of this in my review.
Entering Multiplayer Mode before creating a save file in the main game will automatically turn off the Quick-Select Wheel pause feature and permanently lock it so it cannot be turned back on. The save file that you make will also completely remove your ability to change your camera controls.
The only way to fix this is to close the game completely and start a new file without entering Multiplayer Mode – as most normal people would do.
When the games run the way they should, they’re absolutely fantastic. The higher resolution models and graphics look great. The issues that I had were minor overall. Perhaps the worst aspect is the dip to the performance at times.
Should the HD Collection be your only means of playing the original Ratchet & Clank trilogy, then you’re still going to have a brilliant time.
Ultimately, however, the HD Collection is far from perfect.
If you have access to the original versions of the games on the PlayStation 2, then that is, in my opinion, the preferable way to experience these games.
Time Logged by Point of Review: 34 Hours
Reviewed by: Sam
Images of the Trilogy for this review were taken from ‘Full Playthroughs’ Youtube videos:
Find the full video of Ratchet & Clank (2002) HERE.
Find the full video of Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando HERE.
Find the full video of Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal HERE.
Thank you for reading my review of the Ratchet & Clank Trilogy. As much as I was fairly negative in this review, it’s great that the original trilogy received this port to keep the classic titles relevant.
I hope that with the release of Rift Apart, we could look forward to another Collection – perhaps the Future trilogy?
Let me know your thoughts of the HD Collection, or if you’d like to see another Collection come to the PlayStation 5.
Click the links below to read our individual reviews of the games in the Ratchet & Clank Trilogy:
If you’d like to read more of the reviews that we’ve posted on BlackDiscGaming, you can a link to all of the reviews we’ve done so far below: