Ratchet & Clank (sometimes referred to as Ratchet & Clank 12 (to differentiate it from other parts of the series)), referred to as Ratchet & Clank (PS4) on Insomniac Games's official website, and occasionally called Ratchet & Clank: The Game, Based on the Movie, Based on the Game) is a third-person platformer shooter developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. It is a "re-imagining" of the original Ratchet & Clank, serving as a "new beginning" for the franchise as a whole. Its release was tied to the Ratchet & Clank movie, which came out in theaters the same month, and several scenes from the film were also used in the game.
Planets mainly similar to those found in the original Ratchet & Clank return with only a few changes and some completely new or expanded levels. Previously unnamed characters and locations from the PS2 game are also given names and updated appearances for the PS4 game, while some characters and planets are combined into one. Despite this, the original character and planet names are repeatedly referenced along with other characters and stories from previously released games in the series. The game is meant to be an updated retelling of the original from Qwark's perspective, also matching the script of the film, maintaining the continuity of the previously released games.
Prisoner Shiv Helix is being moved to a joint cell with the newly imprisoned Captain Qwark. As he is a huge fan of Qwark's, he reveals that a game is being made based on his last adventure. Eager for attention, Qwark agrees to tell Shiv his side of the story.
On planet Veldin, Ratchet, a young Lombax who works as a mechanic for his adopted father Grim, dreams of joining the Galactic Rangers. While he easily passes the physical exam, his criminal past convinces Qwark to personally reject him. (One of his citations references A Crack In Time) Meanwhile, in a factory on planet Quartu, Chairman Alonzo Drek oversees the construction of a mechanical army built by Dr. Nefarious, a former Galactic Ranger himself. After the factory's mainframe locates a defective warbot trying to escape, Drek sends his lieutenant Victor Von Ion to destroy him. The defect escapes in a stolen ship, but Victor shoots out the engine, causing the ship to crash on Veldin. Ratchet rescues the defect seconds before the wreckage explodes. The defect explains that he needs to warn the Galactic Rangers of Drek's plans. Ratchet names him "Clank" and offers to take him to the Ranger Headquarters on planet Kerwan.
While flying over planet Novalis, the duo is shot down by Blarg forces. They rescue the mayor, who asks them to rescue his nephew Skid McMarx on Aridia, and a plumber who fixes their ship. Traveling to Kerwan, they discover that Drek's invasion is already in progress. Using their ship's arsenal, they destroy the Blargian transports and mothership, but narrowly survive a bomb planted on the ship's hull by Victor's men. With help from Big Al, an electronics engineer, they foil an attempt by the invaders to destroy the Hall of Heroes with a train loaded with explosives. As a reward for their assistance, Qwark reluctantly allows them to join the Rangers and provides them with a new ship. Before undertaking their first mission, the two travel to Aridia and rescue Skid and his agent from the Blarg. Skid gives them his hoverboard, as well as an invitation to a racing tournament on planet Rilgar. Ratchet wants to participate, but learns that the race has been cancelled due to an outbreak of Blargian Ameboids. After he manages to wipe them out, the race is reopened and Ratchet wins the grand prize.
Qwark contacts the duo with an assignment to investigate reports of activity at a remote Blarg bio-lab. They destroy several mutant specimens created by the Blarg, including a large Snagglebeast. Using intelligence retrieved from the Snagglebeast's handler, they head to a research facility run by Nefarious on planet Gaspar. A Blargian scientist hires them to collect brain samples from Nefarious's experiments, exchanging them for a jetpack and news that Drek is moving to attack a Ranger outpost on planet Batalia. The two arrive just in time to destroy the Blargian fleet with an energy cannon. They receive word from Grim that the Blarg are draining planet Pokitaru of its fresh water, threatening a nearby resort run by Grim's brother. Big Al, who happens to be staying at the resort, provides them with rockets to destroy the extraction equipment.
Qwark calls a meeting of the Rangers on Kerwan, where he proposes an assault on Quartu. The Rangers agree to the plan. They access Drek's files and discover his real plan: using the Deplanetizer, a weaponized space station created by Nefarious, Drek intends to destroy several planets so that he can combine their remains into an artificial world for his people. Learning that his first target is Novalis, Qwark goes to negotiate with Drek while the other Rangers battle his forces outside the station. During the fighting, Victor slips aboard the Ranger support ship Phoenix and inflicts severe internal damage before Clank disables him with the ship's sprinkler system. Ratchet enters the Deplanetizer and tries to shut it down, but Drek incapacitates him. Qwark reveals that he has been spying for Drek out of spite for Ratchet stealing his thunder. Drek then seals Ratchet in an escape pod and ejects him into space as the Rangers witness the destruction of Novalis.
For several weeks, the loss of Qwark's leadership cripples the Rangers, and Drek quickly destroys five more planets. When Ratchet returns to Veldin, he decides to take the blame and quit. Clank urges him to reconsider, as the Blarg are preparing to destroy their final target: planet Umbris, whose destruction will destroy countless other worlds due to a rare orbital convergence. Ratchet deduces the truth: Nefarious, angered by his defeat at the hands of the Rangers, has been manipulating Drek, using his resources to destroy the galaxy so that he can discredit them. With his confidence restored, Ratchet heads to planet Kalebo III, where the Blarg have staged an attack on the headquarters of Gadgetron to acquire its stockpile of advanced weaponry. The company chairman asks him to drive off the attackers in time for an upcoming race championship, with a Holo-Guise as the prize. After winning the device, Ratchet confers with the Rangers before heading to the Deplanetizer.
An increasingly disillusioned Qwark confronts Drek for breaking his promise not to attack the Rangers any further. Nefarious arrives and mocks Qwark for his treason before sending him away. As Drek comments on how well their alliance has worked out, Nefarious turns him into a sheep and ejects him in a ship headed to the artificial planet. Meanwhile, Ratchet, disguised as Qwark, removes the Deplanetizer's power core, shutting off its firing capabilities. Before they can escape, the real Qwark shows up and tries to kill them until his jetpack malfunctions. Realizing the error of his ways, Qwark appoints Ratchet as the new leader of the Rangers so that he can take Nefarious into custody. Instead, Nefarious dons a mech suit and maneuvers the Deplanetizer to crash directly into Umbris. The duo lure Nefarious into the gravitational pull of a dwarf star, causing him and his suit to spontaneously combust.
With the Deplanetizer disintegrating from the heat of Umbris' atmosphere, Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark use a teleporter to escape seconds before the Deplanetizer explodes.
In the present, Qwark and Helix are picking trash near the Hall of Heroes. Ratchet and Clank stop by and greet Qwark. Seizing the opportunity, Helix steals Ratchet's ship and escapes. As the duo prepare to go after him, they ask Qwark if he would like to come along, which Qwark accepts.
The reboot shares many gameplay similarities with the other games in the series. The main playable character, who is used for most of the game, is Ratchet; however, Clank is playable in several portions of the game. As Ratchet, the player navigates diverse environments, defeating enemies with an array of different weapons and gadgets, and traversing obstacles. Clank is attached to Ratchet like a backpack, performing several functions, such as allowing diving in water, gliding through the use of propellers, and on occasion, acting as a jetpack to allow flight. Clank's gameplay sections are drastically different, even though the premise of navigating environments and the controls remain the same. Clank is not equipped with weapons, instead, he utilizes punches to defeat enemies. Clank's gameplay sections mostly revolve around solving environmental puzzles with Gadge-bots.
The game has a variety of gameplay elements from different past entries in the series, such as strafing, automatic weapon and health upgrades, manual Raritanium weapon upgrading, and the inclusion of weapons that appeared after the first game.It also features brand new weapons, such as the Pixelizer, which, as the name suggests, gives enemies an 8-bit appearance. Environments are presented in a somewhat linear manner, although multiple paths are available for the player. The player progresses through the story by travelling from planet to planet. New planets are unlocked once story objectives on previous planets have been completed. Aside from battling enemies, the player will utilize a Swingshot to cross gaps, ride grindrails to travel through levels, walk on magnetic surfaces, activate switches to open new paths, and solve the occasional hacking mini-game.
The player unlocks weapons and gadgets as the story progresses, but some are bought through vendors. Bolts, which are found in crates, dropped by defeated enemies, and given as rewards, act as currency. Crates also contain health and ammunition. Items are used in several different ways. Gadgets are automatically equipped at certain points in levels, weapons must be equipped manually, and lastly, the OmniWrench, which acts as a melee weapon, is always equipped as it has a dedicated button. Several collectibles, are present, such as Holocards, which provide information about the world, and gold bolts, which unlock aesthetical extras. Skill points, which were prominent features in the previous games in the series, do not return, instead entirely substituted by the PlayStation trophies system.
Racing, in the form of hoverboard races, and aerial combat missions, in which the player controls a spaceship, also appear in the game.Bosses, which are a mainstay in the series, are featured in some levels. After completing the game, the player may choose to enter "challenge mode," in which the game's difficulty level rises considerably, but most items, including all weapons, are carried through.
The game released on April 12, 2016(April 20 in the EU), around the same time as the theatrical adaptation released. It was said to be a re-imagining of the first Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) title, featuring the same vision as the film adaptation. Insomniac also confirmed that both the California and North Carolina studios would be co-developing the game. Many of the original developers responsible for the first Ratchet & Clank game developed it. Long-time design director Brian Allgeier, North Carolina Studio Director Chad Dezern and Game Director Shaun McCabe have took the responsibility to lead the project.
Michael Bross has confirmed that, while he was not working on the Ratchet & Clank movie, he was recording music for the game.
An Insomniac employee said he made a program to turn black and white pictures into dots of different sizes to make little splashes in the water, and apparently if we look closely, we can somewhat recognize pictures of his wife and children.
The game was announced June 10, 2014 in Sony's E3 conference, along with a trailer for the movie.
On February 12, 2015, two screenshots were leaked of the game on Tumblr. The author soon after removed it, and several administrators on the Insomniac Games forum have begun to remove evidence of the leak.
On June 10, 2015, the same day as the trailer's release, an 8-minute video was uploaded to YouTube from a Direct Feed from Sony. The Levels shown in the Video are the Train Segment in Aleero City and the boss fight with the Blargian Snagglebeast.
Notes and references
- ↑ http://www.crossmap.com/news/ratchet-clank-latest-updates-and-reviews-game-developers-explained-the-latest-changes-in-ratchet-clank-and-its-connection-with-ratchet-clank-the-movie-20886
- ↑ Gaspar was completly reworked and expanded as seen in this Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJEa6TnA824
- ↑ The start of the game on Veldin was completly reworked. Some elements stayed the same, but it has been greatly expanded as seen in this gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqlD_TnX0-k
- ↑ A lot of planets stayed exactly the same with only minor changes as seen in this comparision (skip to the second half of the video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqlD_TnX0-k
- ↑ The Hoverboard girl was named Starlene, Skidd's Agent was named Don Wonderstar, Drek was given a first name (Alonzo Drek), etc.
- ↑ Darla Gratch and Juanita Alvaro were combined, as were Slim Cognito and the Shady salesman, while the planets Orxon and Quartu were also combined.
- ↑ http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2016/05/interview_insomniac_games_discusses_the_past_present_and_future_of_ratchet_and_clank
- ↑ https://twitter.com/insomniacgames/status/712836399318208512
- ↑ http://www.insomniacgames.com/community/showthread.php?56280-The-series-as-a-whole-is-probably-NOT-being-rebooted&p=1421365#post1421365
- ↑ http://www.insomniacgames.com/community/showthread.php?56280-The-series-as-a-whole-is-probably-NOT-being-rebooted/page3
- ↑ https://twitter.com/TJ_Fixman/status/559525309167333376
- ↑ http://www.insomniacgames.com/community/showthread.php?56680-How-soon-before-we-see-something&p=1444251#post1444251