A few truisms came to me spontaneously while playing Clive ’N’ Wrench came to mind: “What takes a long time will finally be good” but unfortunately does not apply to it, “well meant is not well done” on the other hand all the more. Because the work, intended as a “love letter to 3D hoppers”, which main developer Rob Wass has been working on since 2011, turns out to be a hodgepodge of quirks and pitfalls that you no longer want to do to yourself in modern gaming times and that decades ago were hardly for would have sufficed for a place in the midfield of the densely populated subgenre.
As inspiration for Clive ’N’ Wrench become primary Spyro and Jak and Daxter mentioned – with the latter in particular already looking better in its original version – but unmistakably rares crowds in Banjo-Kazooie as the main comparison. Instead of bears and birds, rabbits and monkeys hop through brightly colored scenarios and spend most of their time on collecting tasks. That wouldn’t be original so far, but still okay, but the execution would be somewhat convincing. But the graphics already leave a lot to be desired (the halfway acceptable performance mode with 60 fps, bizarrely enough, has to be activated via the preferences in the PS5 system menu instead of in the game itself) and the dilemma continues: series of trivial and unimaginative mini-missions to each other, the story is hardly worth mentioning, boss fights are meager, the controls lack precision and the camera likes to be rebellious.