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Ratchet & Clank
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ratchet & Clank is a cartoonish action game set across numerous planets as the title characters attempt to save the galaxy. Though you mostly play as a cute, fuzzy alien, and the rest of the time as an equally adorable robot, you're still hitting some enemies with a metal wrench while killing others with a variety of guns and explosives, even though some of the weapons are humorous. But while there's a little alien blood spilled here and there, the game is never gory or gross.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In RATCHET & CLANK, we see how our heroes -- the fuzzy and somewhat reckless alien Ratchet and his more cautious robotic sidekick, Clank -- first teamed up to save the galaxy. An updated and upgraded remake of a game from 2002, this epic science-fiction adventure has our heroes traveling the galaxy, meeting new and interesting people, and getting into adventures as they try to stop the Blarg from taking over the galaxy.
Is it any good?
While most remakes of old games give the graphics some polish but leave the dated controls intact, this new and improved version of the PlayStation 2 classic features updated controls as well as visuals. As with the original, this version of Ratchet & Clank has you shooting, smacking, running, jumping, and solving physics problems as you try to save the galaxy. But while this is inspired in equal parts by the original 2002 game and the animated movie based on that game, this is less a straight remake and more of a revamp. Not only does it feature the more intuitive controls of latter installments, but it also has a deeper version of the story, new fun and entertaining guns, as well as weapons and gameplay elements -- such as weapon upgrading -- that were added in later games.
But where Ratchet & Clank really shines is how it mixes all of its elements together seamlessly with a story that's full of genuine humor. As a result, this is one cartoony game that really does appeal to all ages ... well, ages over 10, anyway (you're still shooting and smacking people, y'know). These improvements also don't make this title as good as later ones in the series, which had a greater variety of weapons, places to use them, and ways to get around. Still, this is one remake that mostly feels like a fresh new game for a new audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Does the fact of Ratchet and Clank being cute, and the world being cartoony, make you feel different about the game's violence?
Talk about working together. What can we learn from watching Ratchet and Clank collaborating, and how does it helps them achieve their goals?
Discuss logic. What does this game teach us about using the right tools for the right job and how we sometimes have to look at a problem logically to figure out how to solve it?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment America
- Release date: April 8, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.