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Ratchet & Clank

12 April 2016
Ratchet & Clank - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.35 / 5.0
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505 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#1,380 All-time
#64 for 2016
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2016 Insomniac SIE  
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US 7 11719 50122 0 CUSA-01047
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CA 7 11719 50123 7 CUSA-01047
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2016 Insomniac SIE  
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XOC 7 11719 87783 0 CUSA-01073
Ratchet & Clank Хиты Playstation
2018 Insomniac SIE  
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RU 7 11719 42647 9 CUSA 01073/H/RSC
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Everybody take notes from Insomniac because this is how you reboot a franchise! The PS4 keeps delivering with it's exclusives and this game is no exception. Ratchet & Clank here is a remake/re-imagining/re-do of the first Ratchet & Clank from back on the PS2. The original game turned some heads with it's cartooney visuals, charming story, fun platforming, and of course it's insane gadgets. This new game essentially recaptures all of those elements but re-imagines them in a more.... Next gen sense. Insomniac is revisiting this world now with the mountain of experience they've gained perfecting the Ratchet & Clank formula, and playing this game I realise why this was such a smart move on their part!

First off the most noticeable upgrades are with the visuals, man does this thing pop. The lighting is great, the worlds are bursting with colours, and the animations (particularly in cutscenes) would have the likes of Pixar nodding their heads. Ratchet's new look in particular is adorable, and the designers bring out character's facial expressions wonderfully. The narrative of this game is based off of that from the first game but it does implement some key plot changes and differences. How Ratchet & Clank meet is effectively the same, as is the Galactic Rangers plot points and the hilarious captain Qwark revelations. Chairman Drek is still the established villain and he's still trying to destroy planets; only this time the menacing Dr. Nefarious plays an important role and there's a new and unexpected plot twist near the end that I won't spoil. Obviously the dialog is completely overhauled here, but the writing is just as humour driven as ever and the roles are performed with lots of passion and soul.

The level designs are where things get interesting. Roughly the first half of this game has you revisiting the same planets and locations from the first game, with virtually the exact same environmental layouts and objectives as before (just with up res'd visuals). They threw in some entertaining airship battles, and changed up the Clank sections to make way for some new cognitively challenging puzzles. The planet Gaspar in particular has been expanded upon greatly and you can now explore it fully with an awesome Jetpack upgrade! There are some new locations thrown in during the latter half of the game like the Warbot factory in Quartu and the giant Deplanetizer space station. There are many planets missing from the original game, where there were 18 or so locations in the first game there's only about 13 in this one. So yeah the game is quite a bit shorter in length, but it's certainly a more concise game than the original.

This game takes some pretty big game-play strides over the original game. First off, you can strafe now!!! And the addictive upgrade system from previous R&C game's has been carried over into this one. This game also refines the weapon roster and adds some fantastic new ones like the Pixilator (which turns enemies into 8-bit sprites) and the Groovitron (that makes enemies spontaneously break out into uncontrollable dance!!!). Plus classics return like the Glove of Doom (a glove that spawns evil minions!) and the Morph-O-Tr..... Erm, I mean, Sheepanator (a gun that turns foes into sheep... although it was chickens in the first game...). And who could possibly forget the massive and terrifying RYNO!!! :O The grind boot sections are back and are as fun as ever! Plus, the hoverboard racing mini-game has returned and there are two different courses to race in! This game is just constantly throwing new ideas at you and having you do different kinds of tasks!

The newly revamped Ratchet & Clank doesn't try to be anything but fun. It may be short in length, and it may stick a bit too closely to the original, but it's a very concise game from front to back. It's got a fun story with charming characters, and loads of imagination with it's combat, there's no going wrong here! I can't wait for the sequels! :3
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PaperbagWriter93 2016-06-13T22:11:03Z
2016-06-13T22:11:03Z
4.0
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I mean, it's fun... it's Ratchet and Clank. Not pushing any boundaries or introducing anything new at all, but it's solid and got me my fix. I hated the trespasser puzzle segments though - they were like a wall in a game with an otherwise good flow.
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jerseyscribe 2021-07-15T16:52:21Z
2021-07-15T16:52:21Z
3.5
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I can see how there are likely some very good games in this series. The shooting mechanics are a solid groundwork, and each level seems designed so that you have to manage your weapons and ammo for the right situation, constantly switching between weapons for the right situation. (Not unlike a survival horror.) A lot of the weapons in this game are fun to use, and while I couldn't get a handle on all of them, I still kept a consistent rotation of about 8 weapons, which is pretty good variety. And it's not like the weapons I didn't use were bad - I just didn't bother to learn them. I generally stuck to the basic stuff - a shotgun, a rocket launcher, things like that - but there's some fun, unique weapons, like the one that stops enemies from attacking by causing an instant dance party, or a drone that sends out a consistent pulse that attacks enemies in a large area. I only played the normal difficulty, but I imagine on harder difficulties, managing all those weapons can be a fun task. (To a certain point, anyway, since the checkpoints in this game are fairly generous.)

That said, I don't get the sense this is anywhere near the best that the franchise has to offer. Like nearly every other 3D platformer to come after Super Mario 64, it's, uh, not actually very good at the platforming parts. For some reason, the two lessons from SM64 that never stuck were how good the movement was and how freely you could interact with literally everything in the environment. Even if you broke the game, you were still interacting with it. Without those things 3D platformers tend to feel inhibiting and, more importantly, kind of boring. Both of those things are a real problem here, and I think that having movement that integrated the platforming and the shooting together more would go a long way to making both sections more exciting. (And sure enough, it looks like that's a big improvement for the upcoming sequel Rift Apart.) That goes for the level design, too - the levels in this game by and large feel a little generic, choosing not to force the player into unique situations where they would be more forced to integrate new gameplay styles into the game. Everything just kind of blends together into mush.

The locations don't even hold much narrative weight, since this game's writing and plotting is abysmally dumb even by 3D platforming standards, having been written as a tie-in to a kids' movie with jokes that seem to insult even childrens' intelligence. (I've heard suggestions that other Ratchet & Clank game's aren't this bad, but the Miles Morales jokes also tended to fall pretty flat, so I'm wondering how much is just an Insomniac problem.) You don't even have interesting visuals to latch onto - these characters are all very generic mid-'00s DreamWorks shit, with Ratchet in particular being probably the worst looking of all the PlayStation platforming mascots.

Playing this game is just kinda... Going through the motions. Those motions had been fine-tuned for 15 years at that point, so that's not a completely bad thing, and the shooting is by-and-large fun. But it seems like there was an unnecessary reinvention to renew interest in the franchise (which, for what it's worth, seems to have worked from the buzz surrounding Rift Apart) that ironically feels very perfunctory, where a brand new game could have provided something interesting.
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Azdiff 2021-05-08T21:29:24Z
2021-05-08T21:29:24Z
3.0
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As someone who always thought the series worked best when it was balls to the wall action and thinks that the first's penchant for varied puzzling and shooting didn't quite work, I'm not offput by how unfaithful it is even if the story is absolutely worse for being a slapdash movie tie-in. Otherwise, considering how much visual flair plays a part in the series, this is in the upper echelon, with good setpieces and weapon selection, but still kinda feels like it just ticks all the boxes in places.
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Lowlander2 2017-08-12T20:41:31Z
2017-08-12T20:41:31Z
3.5
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Space Rodent With Magical Destiny Powers Tries to Enlist in Special Forces—Wait We've Seen This Before
Part I: Introduction & Overview

It's hard to believe that it's been fourteen years since the original Ratchet & Clank game was released. I remember it was around that time I was lobbying my parents to buy a PS2; they finally conceded because it had a DVD player, and we didn't own one at that point. Looking back it's interesting how much technology has changed in such a short period of time. I was also able to glean some interesting insights on how the Ratchet and Clank" franchise has changed over time. I was given pause for reflection particularly because Ratchet & Clank is a remake of Ratchet & Clank, as well as a reboot of the franchise generally speaking. It also has a movie tie-in and is openly self-referential about the multiplicity of roles it fills. It also functions as both a no-nonsense back-to-basics approach, as well as (yet another) new beginning for the increasingly critically embattled franchise.

Prior to the 2016 film and game release, we last left Ratchet & Clank with 2013's Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, a game that I felt was one of the weakest (canonical) entries in the series. That being said, it was a step in the right direction away from Insomniac's attempts to exploit then-trendy genres with the series' branding. Following from Into the Nexus (which came across as a market test for the board room), Ratchet & Clank (2016) continues to make moves in the right direction for the franchise.

The first thing that should be cleared up about Ratchet & Clank (2016) is its status as a remake. Some of the marketing has referred to it as a "re-imagining" of the original 2002 game, and this might be a more accurate statement than considering it a strict remake. The narrative is completely self-aware as a reboot, with some clever (and some very clumsy) fourth wall-breaking moments, and with references to the universe. It is inevitable that as a franchise grows and develops, certain plot points, gameplay choices and even characters. This is especially relevant to the original Ratchet & Clank; in fourteen years of releases a lot has been altered, refined, or discraded outright. Most of these changes were easily for the better, but some felt a bit remiss.

Part II: Gameplay, Narrative, Setting & Design

In keeping with Into the Nexus, Ratchet & Clank features a bevy of quirky weapons that balance wanton destruction with cartoonish humour. Some weapons are outright destructive, while others serve more tactical purposes. Toward the end of the game you can use a few weapons in combination to greatly alleviate the pressure of some of the more intense fire fights. My personal favourite combination was to trap enemies with the Groovitron (which, when upgraded, makes enemies under its spell take additional damage), and then fire a Proto Drum in the same area. Combine that with Mr. Zurkon and Agents of Doom (and another gun of your own) and even the hardest fights become much easier to handle. That's just one example of how the game rewards you for using multiple weapons in combination, and such rotation is possible nearly from the outset of the game.

One of the most successful elements of Ratchet & Clank is the diversity of the weapons, and the balanced succession in which they become available. The weapons provided in the game also reflects the best and most seamless combination of old and new. On one hand players are reintroduced to some weapons that only featured in the 2002 Ratchet & Clank, such as the Pyrocitor flamethrower, and to later weapons, such as the sniper crossbow Plasma Striker. The earlier weapons have all been given upgrades to match the power and utility of later instalments, and the weapons brought back are on the whole not solely focused on destruction. It was a bit nostalgia-inducing, as it recalled (until later, more aggressive stages) a simpler time with the series. The available upgrades and advancements (using both collectible resources and experience from overall use) were quite naturally implemented; there was never a time when I didn't have something to upgrade, and there was never a time when I felt I needed to try to farm resources.

As usual there is a challenge mode where you can carry over all your weapons and story-unrelated items to continue upgrading them and playing against harder enemies. Like all the other entries in the series, Ratchet & Clank handles it well. It's fun to spend further playthroughs focusing on collecting items and maxing out stats.

Going into Ratchet & Clank I was most interested in how Insomniac's writers would handle the narrative. In retrospect the original Ratchet & Clank is quite out of sync with the tone, pacing and arc of the other games in the franchise. On one hand it served as an origin story, showing where Ratchet and Clank came from, and the beginning of their development as two young and naive characters into more mature, responsible ones. Insomniac modified the origin content (or expanded on, depending on your interpretation) with the "Ratchet and Clank Future" games on the PS3. Ratchet & Clank (2016) goes ahead with the understanding that you already know the previous stories, and have at least some basic familiarity with the characters in question. There are some new characters who haven't been seen before, and there are other prominent characters who are given a mention as part of the universe building; some are given even more than a mention.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't really feel that any of the new cast added all that much to the game. There are a few new Galactic Rangers who have been added, and while it makes sense, they are completely flat and one-dimensional. Likewise, Ratchet's mentor/father figure/boss Grim is also just there. It helps better establish Ratchet's work as a mechanic, and it's implied that Grim took in a young, exposed Ratchet, but ultimately it serves no purpose in the story.

Even Ratchet and Clank, who (prior to Into the Nexus) had at least some degree of character arcs are basically flat. They're heroic by (vague) virtue of destiny, and their motivations are ill-defined at best. There's something about a generic call to duty, and "destiny" (a horribly lazy narrative device in nearly every possible instantiation), but really the plot is only ever used to take you from one location to the next. Even Drek, the main villain, has all of his original motivations removed in order to shoehorn in Dr. Nefarious yet again as a principle villain. Early on in the game when it seemed like Dr. Nefarious would only serve a secondary role I was quite pleased by his addition; unfortunately this was not to be.

A possible reply to this complaint is that Ratchet & Clank games have never been about strong narrative, and has always been more about the running-jumping-shooting with humorous and cartoonish moments interspersed throughout. This is true, and I don't mean to claim that past games were narrative masterpieces (or that they should have been). However, in those games (Into the Nexus aside) the narrative never really detracted all that much from my experience with the game. It set the context nicely enough and never got in the way. Ratchet & Clank seemed to have been written for a much younger, or at least much stupider audience in mind.

Part of my problem with the narrative in Ratchet & Clank had to do with the effects it had on the gameplay. This is most noticeable in regards to the setting, which differs a fair amount from the 2002 original. In the original Ratchet & Clank there were eighteen planets, nineteen if you include the two Veldin levels separately. In the new Ratchet & Clank there are only thirteen, fourteen if you include one that's exclusively a small set of Clank puzzles. Puzzle level aside, there is only one new planet, and the others are remakes. This is disappointing, as the new planet is probably the least interesting or memorable, and it takes the place of some of the best levels from the original game.

Ultimately this seems to be because the narrative this time around is a lot shorter. Much like Into the Nexus, Ratchet & Clank features a much shorter campaign, one that veteran players will run through without too much trouble in very little time. Insomniac has offset this by featuring a much lower price point than what is currently standard. Personally, I resent this. I would have rather been given a full product at a higher price than one that feels cut off.

All this being said, it is worth noting that the game is utterly gorgeous, and the art style reflects the best of contemporary Ratchet and Clank games, while also being consistent (for the most part) with the original Ratchet & Clank's colour scheme and visual aesthetics. This can also be noted in the enemy design, and it was great to see some familiar designs.

Part III: Summary & Conclusion

On the whole Ratchet & Clank has been an enjoyable game. I have certainly enjoyed my time with it from a gameplay standpoint. Unfortunately not every change and addition was an advancement for the best, but on the whole Ratchet & Clank was a step in the right direction from Into the Nexus and a good move back to what the series should be about after the missteps that were All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault. Ratchet & Clank gave me quite a bit of nostalgia-induced entertainment, but I'm pleased to report that it stands up on its own well enough. Nostalgia factors can only take a game so far, and it's not something I'm often moved by. As such, I think that Ratchet & Clank will appeal to both new and old fans.
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IshmaelBlack 2017-01-17T17:15:10Z
2017-01-17T17:15:10Z
2.5
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What a surprise!

3D platformers have been among my favorite genres for video games since, literally, the day I started playing video games. The first game I got, on my first console, was Crash Bandicoot: Warped. I was instantly hooked and, more than a decade later, I still cherish so many games in this genre. These games tend to be so intuitive, so instantly likeable in a way that other genres just aren't.

And Ratchet & Clank may be the best that the genre has to offer. It does everything I could want out of a 3D platformer and it does them so immaculately.
I haven't played the original Ratchet & Clank in a while but, as far as I can tell, this new game is a "re-imagining" of that entry and a reboot for the series. A lot of familiar sights from that first game and familiar mechanics and characters from later entries make appearances here. It becomes sort of a "Greatest Hits" of that original trilogy, making it really rewarding for longtime fans.

Mechanically speaking, this game is unbelievably addictive; the platforming is tight and intuitive, ensuring that any player will have very few cheap deaths. The platforming is fun, but it isn't necessarily where the bulk of this game shines.
The game is at its best in the combat sections. The player will start out pretty humbly, with just the little gun and the grenade launcher, but, as the player upgrades everything and buys new weapons and levels up, the combat can become so incredibly chaotic and absurd that I was actually laughing, out loud, as I was scrambling around trying to deal with 20+ enemies at a time during the final few encounters. There's so many weapons to use and little chance to upgrade all of them completely during one playthrough, so this game almost begs to be played more than once. Just thinking about some of my favorite weapons right now, like the pulse grenade, the "Peacemaker" missile, and the fully-upgraded grenade launcher, makes me want to go pick the game back up and play again. The combat in this game is such a blast.

The level design in this game is pretty immaculate, and was the biggest shock for me. The worlds are big and semi-open, but there's no chance that the player will get lost; they're built with a direction in mind and the player will understand where to go most of the time without problem. The stages are gorgeous, diverse and full of life and there's not one moment in this game that feels out of place or pointless. The game is short, yes, but that just means that there is not a wasted moment.

The dialogue and cutscenes can be a little goofy (and there's weird little interludes that are literally clips from the critical darling film that came out early this year) but none of this overstays its welcome and never crosses over into actually being bad. I actually laughed at a couple of the jokes. The characters are likeable and fun, and that's what matters in a game like this.

Like all platforming games to come out of that early-mid 2000s gaming culture, there are some gimmick levels in this game and I am ecstatic to say that the ones in this game are not bad at all. In fact, they're kinda fun. The rail-shooting can be really great (just turn off the voice acting, because your companions never stop talking) and the hoverboarding is exhilarating and addictive. There's even special trophies for the latter, so, to platinum this game, one will spend a lot of time on those courses and it'll be a blast. There are some Sonic Adventure-style rail-grinding areas and, though they're not bad by any means, I do wish they were a little faster. That sense of momentum is missing here, when these should be some of the fastest and most exciting segments of the game. On the other hand, the jetpack areas are an absolute blast and work exactly as intended; they give the player a sense of scale in what are actually massive stages and a sense of excitement as you whip yourself around through the air. These areas are some of the most exciting in the game and my only wish is that there were more of them.

The boss fights are, shockingly enough, pretty awesome. I might just be bad at games, but I actually struggled with some of these. They require you to fully utilize your arsenal of weapons and, especially the final boss, require you to think quickly and cleverly in order to clear what is usually a pretty obscene health pool. These are probably the best and most consistent boss fights in any platforming game I've ever played.

To conclude, Ratchet & Clank is a genuine triumph. It's a game that, culturally, is 20 years in the making, being a culmination of everything I've loved about platforming games for as long as I've been playing video games. It's a beautiful, fun, hilarious and exciting adventure that doesn't let up even after the credits role. Here's to hoping that this is a step in the right direction for a genre that has long been in decline.
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Catalog

MadScientist8 Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-12T00:56:07Z
2022-08-12T00:56:07Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
IrritatedPizzaNoises Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-11T17:11:48Z
2022-08-11T17:11:48Z
82 /100
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TheHonorableMinisterBBG Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-11T04:47:37Z
2022-08-11T04:47:37Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Rodrigo_Conroy Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-08T23:18:02Z
2022-08-08T23:18:02Z
3.5
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
medusa_blood Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-04T19:34:10Z
2022-08-04T19:34:10Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
schell777 Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-04T18:41:24Z
PS4
2022-08-04T18:41:24Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PS4 PS+
agentfluffy Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-04T17:57:16Z
2022-08-04T17:57:16Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BigCat727 Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-04T02:16:54Z
2022-08-04T02:16:54Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
parminder89 Ratchet & Clank 2022-08-04T01:15:54Z
2022-08-04T01:15:54Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Vila35 Ratchet & Clank 2022-07-26T16:24:09Z
2022-07-26T16:24:09Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CiaoWatanabe Ratchet & Clank 2022-07-20T02:59:20Z
2022-07-20T02:59:20Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
The_Vars_Molta Ratchet & Clank 2022-07-19T23:27:47Z
2022-07-19T23:27:47Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: E10+
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Blu-ray
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  • Previous comments (5) Loading...
  • Kittehgod 2021-04-29 06:10:00.297101+00
    fun gameplay, but the writing is so fucking awful, what the fuck happened insomniac
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  • ho7mes 2021-07-07 20:43:41.008153+00
    I encourage anyone who thinks the original is better to go back and play it again. The controls have aged horribly - there’s no strafe button!
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  • DoctorDumbo 2021-07-09 11:00:21.995507+00
    I marathoned the PS2 games alongside this one and still this is by far the weakest. Very disappointing to see what happened to the R&C franchise.
    reply
    • tphillips 2021-07-09 16:34:04.182173+00
      That's a pretty broad and dramatic statement. I fully understand hating the writing and hell, the framework of RC1 has just aged in general, but this certainly plays better than the OG RC1. Strafe, weapon upgrade system, challenge mode, etc. The one thing the OG had over this gameplay-wise was framerate and now it's 60fps so that's gone too. And aside from the shitty movie cutscenes, it looks excellent too. Besides, judging the modern franchise based solely on this one is unfair. Rift Apart and A Crack in Time are right up there with Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal.
    • ThrashingFairy 2021-08-06 09:01:39.925559+00
      OG R&C also had more variety...
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  • SpiffyJUNIOR 2021-09-17 20:41:52.692175+00
    great gameplay but the writing and cutscenes are painful
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  • Helio_etc 2021-12-30 07:23:21.356603+00
    Wow, I just finished this game for the first time but skipped every cutscene and thought it was insanely fun. I was a little shocked to see the rating.
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  • Jackranderson 2022-01-22 16:33:14.764531+00
    Score keeps dropping :(
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  • ottorene07 2022-03-15 09:07:46.095134+00
    fun, but almost every good thing about this game can be better.
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  • SedrickWilhelm 2022-07-08 14:00:23.733574+00
    "I encourage anyone who thinks the original is better to go back and play it again. The controls have aged horribly - there’s no strafe button!"

    I just played the original for the first time in 2020, and played this back in 2021, and it is DRAMATICALLY better than this game. Just because the controls are more refined in this much newer entry does not automatically make it better. The original has twice the amount of levels, the levels are all fantastic, the characters/writing/story is so much better in the original, and what this game does with it is insulting even. Sure this is an enjoyable game to play through but if you honestly think it is better than the original then you literally only care about the controls being improved and think everything else is meaningless, which is just absurd and wrongful of you.
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