Politico, Gamer, Sports crazed Fanatic, and mashed potato enthusiast.  I say lots of things and occasionally have good ideas.

The problem with Ratchet's ending.

I loved Ratchet and Clank, particularly how fun the game was to play and how it never got itself bogged down by any sections too hard or not enjoyable.  That is, except for the games ending.

Ratchet and Clank this thrilling, fun, game about always moving, jumping, and exploring ends with two straight boss fights.  This decision just seems so far removed from what the rest of the game was and left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

The first boss fight is against Captain Qwark.  Far harder and more difficult then any prior boss fight in the game it serves as a fitting final boss fight, forcing you to use everything you've learned to advance and finish the story.  While difficult it still operates largely within the bounds of the games established rules.  Then you finally beat Qwark and await whats next and it was at this point that I suddenly realized that after finishing one fight I was immediately going to get thrown into a second, far more complex, one.

The boss fight against Dr. Nefarious, is everything that is wrong about video game endings.  Seemingly out of nowhere and operating totally different from what the rest of the game did.  The final battle bears an eerie likeness to the awful Joker battle to end Arkham Asylum.  Yet, at least that was good enough to end with just one final battle instead of two back-to-back ones that took so much out of what made the game special. 

This was such a terrible way to end the game and sucked so much out of the joy and fun of the previous hours.  It was a grind it out fight, that rested on a large portion of luck, not exactly how I wished the game would have ended.  What's more is that there was simply no reason for the game to have ended this way.  Video games and its not just Ratchet and Clank here, need to understand that they don't always need to end with some final epic, long boss fight.  We have advanced enough as an industry to understand that sometimes these huge battles take away from everything that came before it.  Arkham Asylum did not need to have a fight against a hulking Joker, Uncharted 2 did not need it's infamous blue sap fight, and Ratchet did not need to finish it's story with a jarring back to back boss battle.  Games are no longer the same thing that they were 20 years ago, yet for some reason game creators seem bound to force in these usually bad boss fights, even when it doesn't make sense in the larger context of the game.

What comforts me is the fact that games are getting better, this can be seen just in the examples I gave above.  As bad as Arkham Asylum's ending was, Arkham City and even Arkham Knight delivered far better and intelligent conclusions that did not feel the need to shove an in out-of place fight.  In the same way, each Uncharted's ending grew in leaps and bounds compared to its predecessor.  For as awful as Uncharted 1 and 2's endings were and they were truly terrible. Uncharted 3 and 4 produced incredible endings that added to instead of took away from the games excellent stories.  Ending any kind of story is a difficult thing, yet hopefully we are finally reaching the time when a forced and supremely unfun boss fight no longer becomes a requirement of games endings and instead can be used when necessary but otherwise games can conclude with smart, complex, endings more compatible with the stories games are telling today.  That's the future I can't wait for.

Goodbye Muhammad.  A remembrance of the Greatest.

Goodbye Muhammad. A remembrance of the Greatest.

Ratchet and Clank Review