Akimbot has the potential to be a great Ratchet and Clank style game | Hands-on preview

by on June 11, 2024

While there are plenty of games that other developers are inspired by when making their own, some successful and beloved games never really have that happen. I’ve played loads of games that were clearly inspired by everything from Dark Souls to Slay the Spire, but for some reason never the Insomniac classic Ratchet and Clank. As far as platforming with guns goes, very few games have ever tried to do what the Lombax and his robot buddy do so well, at least until Akimbot.

The preview build of Akimbot opened with the robot protagonist Exe and his soon to be sidekick Shipset captured by space gangsters. The loud mouthed drone Shipset uses his own personal brand of charm to cause the car driving you to certain doom to crash, and both set off hopping around the planet’s surface looking for an escape vessel. It’s an opening that introduces the main players and gets you into the game, which you’ll feel right at home with if you’ve played a Ratchet game before.


The first part of Eve’s arsenal you’ll gain access to is a melee attack, which you’ll use to smash boxes to collect glowing orbs that function as currency. The first five minutes of the preview gameplay then involved jumping from island to island and getting used to your dash and double jump to avoid the water. The controls felt perfectly fine, and the environment was rather lovely too.

What you really want from a game inspired by Ratchet and Clank though is all manner of powerful and wacky space weaponry, which I must admit this portion of Akimbot was slightly lacking. You get to choose your first gun from a selection of four, and the two I tried (dual pistols and a laser gun) just felt a bit vanilla. Later in the preview you’re given a machine gun that’s a tad on the dull side as well, but they feel fine to use at least.


A few different types of robot baddies tried to stop me from finding my escape ship, but with a combination of melee slaps and gun blasts they all got scrapped with relative ease. The final section of the preview featured a boss fight against a big ole helicopter armed to the teeth with explosives. This fight was the closest I came to dying, thanks to waves of grunts shooting at me while I tried to dodge the rain of rockets falling from the sky. If later sections of Akimbot all feel that bombastic and frantic then I’d be excited to play more.

Outside of the fighting and jumping, I was shown a little of Exe’s hacking powers in the thirty minute demo of Akimbot. There are a variety of little minigames that pop up when hacking a machine to do your bidding, from quick time events to keeping track of a specific card as it’s swapped around with others. It’s nothing revolutionary, but is a nice way to break up the action.


One aspect of Akimbot that I think is likely to split opinion is in the personality of the main characters. The constant edgy quips of Exe were grating even in this short demo, and although less annoying I can imagine the sassy nature of Shipset getting a bit old too. Some will likely really enjoy the chatter between this duo, but they didn’t leave a great first impression with me.

Akimbot has the potential to be a great Ratchet and Clank style platformer with guns, but some aspects of the demo were unfortunately a little underwhelming. If the guns get more interesting later in the game then there’s a chance it’ll start to really shine though, and hopefully that’s the case.

Akimbot is coming to PC via Steam on August 29th. Check out the demo, here.