In 2002, the first game in the Ratchet and Clank series was released for the PlayStation 2. Two decades later, the franchise has grown to become one of the PlayStation’s favorite video game series. The latest game in the series, Ratchet, and Clank: Rift Apart, delivers a true next-gen experience for the PlayStation 5, with expansive levels, haptic controls, amazing characters, thrilling combat, and, course, stunning graphics. Let’s see how this icon evolved over the years.
This is the Evolution of Ratchet and Clank! Before Ratchet and Clank, Insomniac Games developed games for the “Spyro the Dragon” series. However, after the third installment in the series, the team wanted to create something new. With the PlayStation 2 being recently announced in 2000,
Insomniac began to create concepts for games on this new console. One of the first concept games was called “Girl with a Stick” and aimed to be a mashup of The Legend of Zelda and Tomb Raider. However, after six months into development, Insomniac CEO, Ted Price, said a quote and canceled the game. Struggling to come up with new ideas Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings proposed the idea of “An alien that travels from planet to planet,
collecting weapons and gadgets.” This inspired the team to design new worlds and characters, including an alien species they called “Lombax.” They also created a character named Ratchet and gave him a robotic companion, Clank. Clank was developed as a childlike version of the Star Wars character C-3PO. Later they decided that Ratchet and Clank, with their different personalities,
should work together as partners. This was a bulb moment for Insomniac and how the Ratchet and Clank series was born. Ratchet and Clank was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. Although Insomniac wanted their new game to be available on the PlayStation 2 as a launch title, they missed the launch date by almost two years. In this time, the main protagonist Ratchet and his robot companion Clank were created. Ratchet is the playable character, whom the player controls from a third-person perspective.
Normally, Clank rides on Ratchet’s back, acting as a jet-pack or similar device. Occasionally, however, Clank becomes a playable character. As the player, you traverse through hugely diverse environments and complete missions across various planets. In the story, Clank escapes from a warbot factory on planet Quartu and crashes on Veldin,
the homeworld of mechanic Ratchet. Clank reveals he is on a mission to stop Chairman Drek, who is a corrupt business tycoon who wants to destroy planets to create a new one for his race. Ratchet and Clank join forces to take out Drek’s operations one by one and eventually fight Chairman Drek in a boss battle to save the planet from being destroyed.
Although Ratchet starts with the OmniWrench 8000 and the Bomb Glove, players acquire more sophisticated weapons and gadgets as they progress through the game. In fact, there are up to 36 weapons and gadgets that can be bought or found in the game. Ratchet and Clank were very well received. The game was praised for its varied gameplay, stunning graphics, and humor in the story. IGN said about the game quote, However,
there was also room for improvement. Eurogamer felt the camera angles were idiotic at times, and Allgame wasn’t impressed by the characters and calling Ratchet while calling Clank There was also some criticism to the story, which GameSpy called Nonetheless, the game received a very impressive score of 88 on Metacritic. In total, over 3.7 million copies of the game were sold worldwide. Fun Fact Ratchet and Clank were often compared to the game series Jak and Daxter, which was developed by Naughty Dog. What many people don’t know is that Naughty Dog and Insomniac have a close relationship and worked together while developing Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter. One year later, Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando was released.
Even though the sequel was in many ways similar to the first, it also had some improvements. The gameplay was improved with the introduction of 18 new weapons and the ability to upgrade weapons by defeating enemies. It also had improved graphics and sound effects. In the first Ratchet and Clank game, many people weren’t happy with the personality of Ratchet.
So game producer Ted Price said about the sequel that they made Ratchet quote, They also changed the character’s voice actor to give him a more mature voice. Most people loved Going Commando and felt it was superior to its predecessor. The game was highly praised for its excellent graphics, gameplay, story, and characterization. 1UP.com even said quote, However, the game was also significantly more difficult, and not everyone was a fan of that. Overall, Going Commando was considered one of the best PlayStation 2 games ever made.
The game received an impressive score of 90, and almost 3 million copies were sold. Fun Fact Clank has a very distinctive laugh, which sounds just like the laugh of Scooby-Doo. That’s why developers at Insomniac dubbed Clank’s laugh as the “Scooby Laugh.” In 2004, Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal was released. The game follows Ratchet and Clank’s adventure to defeat a new robotic villain, Dr. Nefarious, who wants to destroy all life. With a team of around 115 people,
the aim was to create a game that was significantly different from its predecessors. Insomniac wanted to create the best game possible, and to do so, they used rigorous testing, working closely with Sony and listening to fans. This led to a game that was improved in many ways compared to its predecessor. It has much better graphics, larger worlds, and drivable vehicles.
The game also features 20 different weapons; each weapon has 8 levels of strength compared to just 4 in the previous game. The game also introduces online multiplayer. There were 4 multiplayer modes that supported up to 8 players at a time. Insomniac delivered an amazing title, and fans all around the world loved it. The game was met with critical acclaim. Games Radar said in their review quote, With a score of 91, Up Your Arsenal became the highest-rated Ratchet and Clank game. Over 3.2 million copies of the game were sold. Fun Fact In 2012,
the first three Ratchet and Clank games were remastered for the Ratchet and Clank Collection. All three games run with HD graphics and have optional stereoscopic 3D support. If you want to be able to create incredible animations, check out the courses of Bloop Animations. These will help you to learn the basics of Adobe Animate and everything else you need to know to get your animation journey started. For me,
learning how to Animate was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I hope it will be the same for you. Click the links in the description to get Adobe Animate in the animation courses of Bloop Animations today. With these links, I get commissions from any purchase made. So thank you in advance for ordering by clicking the links in the description below. In 2005 the fourth title in the series was released known as Ratchet: Deadlocked. Even though Clank is not in the title, he was still in the game, though not as prominent as in other games. In fact, for the first time, Clank wasn’t a playable character.
Rather than being used as a jet-pack device, Clank acts in this game as mission control, giving the player advice during gameplay. Deadlocked was similar to previous games in the series but emphasized more combat. There were 10 weapons in the game, which was fewer than in previous titles. However, these weapons could be extensively modified with mods.
For the first time in the series, a cooperative mode was introduced, allowing 2 players to complete the story. Another first was the ability to have an adjustable difficulty level. The most difficult mode, “challenge mode,” was unlocked after completion of the game and allowed for weapons to be upgraded further with more mods. Deadlocked also featured an online multiplayer. Players could compete or fight cooperatively in Conquest, Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, and Juggernaut mode. Ratchet: Deadlocked wasn’t as well-received as the previous games.
The game received criticism for its darker tone, repetitive gameplay, and removal of Clank as a playable character. The game got a score of 81, which is 10 points less than its predecessor, and with 2.1 million copies sold, it became the worst-selling Ratchet and Clank title at the time. In 2007, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters was the first in the series that wasn’t developed by Insomniac and instead by High Impact Games for the PlayStation Portable. Clank returns as a playable character, and the game also had a multiplayer mode. Space combat also returns, this time with Giant Clank rather than a spaceship.
The game introduced a new system for acquiring armor. Rather than buying them, parts of armor can be found in levels, and they can be combined to make different suits with unique advantages. The game was well-received, with a score of 85. It even became one of the best-selling PSP games. Due to high fan demand, the game was ported to the PlayStation 2. However, it had very poor graphics, and GameSpot summed it up quite nicely in their review quote High Impact Games also made a second spin-off for the Ratchet and Clank series in 2008 called Secret Agent Clank.
This game was also released for the PlayStation Portable. The theme of the game is a humorous imitation of James Bond. To fit the theme, Clank has an array of gadgets and devices, such as a bow tie that could be used as a boomerang. For the first time in the series, Clank was the main character, while Ratchet and Captain Qwark were also playable in the game. It became the worst-rated game in the Ratchet and Clank series with a score of 72. Fun Fact High Impact Games, the studio that developed Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank, was formed in 2003 by members of Insomniac and Naughty Dog. Besides the two Ratchet and Clank titles, the studio also developed Jax and Daxter:
The Lost Frontier. In 2007, Insomniac released Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, the first installment in the Future series. This was also the first game in the series to be released for the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 3 allowed for much better graphics. Another new feature came with the new SIXAXIS controller that allowed players to use the tilt functionality to move Ratchet while flying or free-falling. The game introduced many new worlds and weapons. The game was praised by most critics. IGN even thought it was the best PlayStation 3 title when it was released. Tools of Destruction received a score of 89.
The next installment in the future series was Quest for Booty, released in 2008. The game continues where Tools of Destruction left off. However, the game only had a length of approximately 4 hours and didn’t add much, except more puzzles and the ability to pick things up and move objects with the Omniwrench Millennium 12. Quest for Booty became the lowest-rated Ratchet and Clank game with a score of 76. Next came Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time. A Crack in Time features both returning and new gameplay mechanics, such as the ability for Ratchet to fly his ship freely between planets, and he has a pair of overboots, allowing him to move more quickly.
Compared to its predecessor, A Crack in Time was much better received. The game was praised for its story, gameplay, and stunning graphics, but many fans were disappointed that the game had no multiplayer. Nonetheless, the game received a very impressive score of 89. The Future Saga was concluded in 2013 with Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus. This installment introduced gravity-based platforming, new weapons, and 2D puzzle sequences.
Even though most people loved the game for the characters, story, humor, and fantastic gameplay, many fans thought the game was way too short. That’s why the game only got a score of 76. In 2011 and 2012, Insomniac created two spin-off games for the series. The first was All 4 One and focused on a four-player cooperative multiplayer mode.
Players could choose between one of the four main characters, Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and Doctor Nefarious. The game wasn’t as well-received as the games in the main series. Nevertheless, it was a commercial success with over 1.5 million copies sold. The second game was Full Front Assault. It was made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ratchet and Clank series. A new feature in the game was tower defense, with five-level sets on three different planets.
While you would expect something amazing for the 10th anniversary of the series, this game definitely wasn’t it. With a score of 64, it became the worst-rated Ratchet and Clank game by far. After a three-year gap, which was the longest gap since the series began, Insomniac released a re-imagining of the first Ratchet and Clank game. In 2016 Ratchet and Clank was released exclusively for the PlayStation 4. The game featured many levels, characters, and planets from the first game. However, these have been extensively upgraded, both graphically and in terms of gameplay.
It also had many gameplay elements from other entries in the series, such as weapons and health upgrades. Together with Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, and new characters, you could battle evil Chairman Drek to save the Solana Galaxy. The game had hours of cinematics and featured new planets, gameplay, bosses, and weapons, including the Pixelizer, which transforms enemies into 8-bit characters. Ratchet and Clank were praised for their gameplay, amazing graphics, weapons, and world. Digital Spy said in their review quote, The game received a score of 85.
Fun Fact In 2016, Rainmaker Entertainment made an animated movie of Ratchet and Clank. The film featured an original story that was based on the first Ratchet and Clank game. Both the 2016 movie and game were in parallel development and shared the same character models, animation, and environments. Some cinematics of the movie was also in the game. The movie turned out to be a disaster. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a rating of only 21%, and Rainmaker lost around $5 million on the film. And finally, in 2021, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was released for the next-generation PlayStation 5. Insomniac knew that Rift Apart would be a PlayStation 5 exclusive and wanted to take full advantage of it by showcasing the new possibilities on the next-gen console.
The PlayStation 5 has a custom SSD that allows for faster loading times than ever before. It allowed game developers to build worlds that players could travel to at near-instantaneous speeds. It was a real game-changer for the series as, for the first time ever, Ratchet and Clank are able to jump from world to world without any loading screens. The SSD also allowed for a greater variety of NPCs, visual effects, and enemies.
The game also takes advantage of the PlayStation 5’s DuelSense controller with haptic feedback, 3D spatial audio, and ray-tracing. The game features a 4K-resolution mode at 30 frames per second or two 60 frames per second modes, dubbed “Performance” and “Performance Ray-Tracing,” running at a lower base resolution. There is also a new character in the game, a female named Rivet. Now the player controls Ratchet and Rivet by completing different missions by defeating enemies with a wide selection of weapons and gadgets and traversing through the different worlds. The game features a full stand-alone storyline that is intended to appeal to both newcomers and veterans of the series.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was very well received and praised for its stunning graphics, gameplay, animations, sounds, characters, and worlds. Dornbush from IGN even felt the game’s narrative reached the standard set by animated movies, comparing it to Pixar due to its emotional story and the use of comedy. Rift Apart received a score of 88. It is also a commercial success, and over 1.1 million copies have already been sold. In 2002, the first Ratchet and Clank game was released for the PlayStation 2.
Two decades, 15 Ratchet and Clank games and 3 new console generations later, we’ve Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart which takes advantage of the capabilities of the next-gen PlayStation 5. It is truly incredible how Insomniac Games keeps improving and innovating the series, and I can’t wait to see how they’ll continue to do so in the future! Thanks for watching,