Is it just me, or is Insomniac just not "with it" anymore? This thought comes after Insomniac's latest game announcement, Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus. You can
check out the trailer below.
The game is set to be an epilogue to the Future ark that has composed the R&C games on PS3. But unlike the other Future titles, Into the Nexus is not a full length game. Instead, it's yet another smaller R&C title, like the acceptable R&C: Quest for Booty, and the underwhelming R&C:Full Frontal Assault. No word yet on how it'll actually compare in terms of size to previous games, but we're told it'll be priced at $30, and will be available both digitally on PSN and physically at retail. Yippe.
I've been a fan of Insomniac's work for ages, but that only makes it harder for me to admit that I just can't get excited for this latest announcement. A new R&C game promising "new weapons" and "crazy enemies" was interesting at the beginning of this generation, when it was exciting to think about the places the franchise could go on a new set of hardware. But this is the fifth R&C game to come out this generation (not counting the PSP games), and the excitment has kind've worn thin. If only there were new platforms on the way for them to take advantage of, to actually do something interesting with the franchise and push it in a fresh direction. And I mean, it's not like if there were new consoles on the way they would leave fans of the R&C games with a quick, under-sized conclusion on old hardware, so that they could focus development on a new exclusive IP for a different companies' platform. Oh wait.
That doesn't sound bitter, does it? Ok, it sounds really bitter. But seriously, what the hell Insomniac? Into the Nexus is the second pint-sized R&C we've gotten in a row. There hasn't been a proper game in the series since 2009's excellent R&C:A Crack in Time, and for what? Fuse? Resistance 3? Yeah, not worth it.
But it's not just an issue of Insomniac not focussing on what I want them to. It would be only slightly irritating if they didn't do what I wanted them to, yet still made awesome games, because even if I didn't get my way I would still get awesome games. But their games as of late have not been awesome. R3 was a disaster (in my opinion the worst in the series, but I think I'm in a minority on that one), and the less said about Fuse the better. Even their last R&C game was nothing to write home about, and that's supposed to be their bread and butter. And this trailer for the new game doesn't do anything to assuage my worries. New "gravity" gameplay? Big, scripted set pieces ? A gun that shoots green blobs? You're gonna have to do better than that.
This move to stuff the franchise with smaller, less high profile games seems odd to me in the light of the recent announcement of a full-sized R&C movie. Not that I know anything about what Insomniacshould be doing with its franchises, but wouldn't you want to focus more of your efforts on the one that you plan to go multi-media with?
I don't know, I'm just kind've disappointed with the trajectory Insomniac seems to be on. First they wanted prove that they could be all grown up and stuff and make "gritty" games, then they split themselves up into two studios (a move to which I attribute their recent drop in quality), and now it seems like they're just milking their best franchise for all it's worth, without even bothering to invest much effort in the act.
Maybe I'm just being cynical. I mean the new game does look really good, presentation wise, and while Full Frontal Assault was a bit disappointing it still wasn't as bad a Fuse *shudder*. I just remember back in the day when I would eagerly await the release of a new episode of Insomniac's now defunct "Full Moon Podcast", hungry for more details on their next game, enamored by the charm of their games and their people. I miss those days.