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Insomniac Games send off the PS3 in style.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 1.04.18 PM Since its debut on the PS2, the Ratchet & Clank series has been a staple of quality for the PlayStation brand. It’s one of the first games of the modern era that could truly be called all-ages. As an adult you can enjoy the slapstick comedy and over the top action each game provided. But it was also one of the few games you could feel confident was suitable for young children. While the game’s developer, Insomniac Games, hasn’t teased much of their future PS4 offering; they leave the PS3 with a perfect Ratchet & Clank bridge to the future called Into The Nexus. Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 1.04.33 PM Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus feels and plays like a celebration of the series. In this installment Ratchet must track down escaped prisoner Vendra Prog, who’s attempting to use the Dimensionator to open a portal for what she believes is her family from another dimension, the Nethers. We get many of the themes touched upon in previous games like Up Your Arsenal and Future Tools of Destruction. Does Ratchet have regrets about not using the Dimensionator to find the Lombax people and what does it truly mean for a hero to sacrifice. It’s a witty story laced with appearances from many of the series favorite characters like Captain Qwark, Cronk & Zephyr, and everyones favorite bird carrying arms dealer. Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 1.07.21 PM The gameplay doesn’t offer much in the way of anything new, but there was never anything wrong with it in the first place. Ratchet & Clank have always been quality games in terms of –how they play– and the visuals. Animations are crisp and fun to watch over-and-over; meanwhile the loading pauses of previous games, in level, are almost non existent. There are a fair amount of new weapons to obliterate enemies (like the winterizer) with along with a new upgrade chain system that unlocks weapon abilities. One of the best armaments Ratchet has in the series, Mr. Zurkon, gets a fun upgrade that brings the entire Zurkon family into the battle. Both Zurkon’s son and wife have the same homicidal humor that add even more welcomed levity to the major wars you’ll use them in during the game. There’s also new Clank only missions that let you manipulate gravity in fun ways as he traverses the realm of the Nethers.

Overall, Into The Nexus feels like an anniversary game for the series. Especially when you take the Meridian City museum tour which catches you up on the entire series history. No doubt the game is short, the story clocks in at about three hours. But there’s several post quest you can go back to if you skipped them and a new battle arena to play with upgraded weapons. This game feels like a perfect bridge that leaves the PS3 celebrating the past while paving the way for the beginning of future stories on the PS4.

9.5 out of 10! If you haven’t made the next-gen leap then this is a must have during the holidays.

Follow David on Twitter as he gets ready to run down the best of 2013 in comics and gaming, maybe even giving away some sodas and download codes later this month.