IN April, the first of the year’s four video game inspired films will arrive in the form of Ratchet & Clank – an animated feature based on Insomniac Games much loved platforming series that debuted on PlayStation 2 back in 2002. Set in a rich, bustling galaxy of alien lifeforms, clanking automatons and devious space corporations, the game introduced two unlikely heroes in the form of Ratchet, a feline-like Lombaxian mechanic, along with his wise-cracking, pint-sized robot partner Clank.
Since their inception, the pair have starred in thirteen games to date, with somewhat of a soft reboot for the franchise scheduled to appear on PlayStation 4 consoles later this year. What makes this dynamic duo so popular? In terms of gameplay, addictive platforming and puzzle-solving quests keep players interested in each title, but it’s the quirky, off-beat humour that keeps the fans coming back for more. Think Guardians of the Galaxy meets Futurama and you’re on the right lines.
The film is directed Jericca Cleland and Kevin Munroe, the latter of which was responsible for the CGI TMNT film from 2007, long before Michael Bay got his grubby mitts on the beloved heroes-in-a-half shell. James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye return from the games to voice Ratchet & Clank respectively, and joining them are the few familiar names. John Goodman, Rosario Dawson and even Sylvester Stallone also providing vocal talents, giving some much needed star power to a series.
While it’s unlikely to set the box office on fire, fans both young and old will probably enjoy this relatively safe animated feature and if it keeps the signature humour of the game series in tact, then we could see Ratchet & Clank get the ball rolling in what might be the year that games took over cinema.