Ratchet and Clank's Next Big Adventure
It’s been four years since the world has gotten a straight-up Ratchet & Clank game, and although series spin-offs like the multiplayer-based All 4 One or the more competitive, tower-defense-imbued Full Frontal Assault have managed to keep them entertained, fans are hungry for a return to form. They won’t have to wait long.
Soon, that hunger will be satisfied, as Insomniac Games is looking to bring gaming’s top lombax/robot duo back to their roots with this year’s Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. An epilogue to the series’ Future trilogy, the game will bring back the core formula of platforming, shooting, and comedy-adventure storytelling. At the same time, it will take said formula down paths it has never before traversed.
That sense of change will even carry into the story, which will begin with the escape of two criminals from under Ratchet and Clank’s watch. The ensuing attempt to track them down will lead the pair to a deserted sector of the galaxy believed to be haunted, and into a conflict revolving around Nethers, creatures breaking their way into Ratchet’s dimension through dimensional rifts.
This is in line with Insomniac’s desire to give Into the Nexus a spookier feel than previous R&C games, to take Ratchet and his robot buddy to darker places than ever before. Worry not, though, the series’ trademark sense of humor isn’t going anywhere.
As the developer has shown in trailers of the game in recent months, ITN will see Ratchet arming himself with a new slew of imaginative (and, in some cases, downright silly) gadgets and weapons. A few examples include the Nightmare Box, a device that can scare and distract enemies, and the Winterizer, which turns enemies into snowmen (also, Jingle Bells plays in the background while it’s in use, which is pretty hilarious).
This time around, gravity will play an important role in gameplay. Aside from more gravity-based weapons –the Vortex Grenade, for example, creates black holes to suspend enemies in midair– there are tools designed to help players navigate the environment. Among these is the Grav Tether, a tool that can create tractor beams between two set points and allow Ratchet to travel up tall ledges and over bottomless chasms.
Gravity will also come into play at certain points where Clank journeys into the Nethers’ dimension, using the ability to change the direction he falls in to solve puzzles and open up new areas to explore. In addition, the game looks like it will feature greater emphasis on anti-gravity sequences and the use of Gravity Boots for zero-gravity exploration.
Fans won’t only have to look forward to new features, but a number of returning R&C staples as well. Skill Points, Golden Bolts, currency bolts, and weapon upgrades will be showing up during Ratchet and Clank’s journey, along with familiar faces such as Captain Qwark, Cronk, Zephyr, and Talwyn. Longtime fans may even be pleasantly surprised to see that the Thugs-4-less mercenaries from Going Commando will be making an appearance.
As things stand right now, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus looks primed to give fans everything they’ve been asking for from Insomniac, a continuation of Ratchet and Clank’s core adventures, when it comes out for PlayStation 3 this holiday season (in both disc and digital form) for the cheap price of $29.99.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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