Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

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Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Ratchetandclank3box.jpg
Developer(s) Insomniac Games
Idol Minds (HD edition) Mass Media (Vita port)
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Composer(s) David Bergeaud
Series Ratchet & Clank
Engine Insomniac Engine v.1.0
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3 (HD) PlayStation Vita
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer (online)
Distribution DVD-ROM

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (known as Ratchet & Clank 3 in Europe and Japan and Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal in Australia) is a platform game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony. It is the third installment in the Ratchet & Clank series and was released in North America on November 3, 2004. Shortly after it was released in Japan on November 25, the first volume of the Ratchet & Clank manga, drawn by Shinbo Nomura, was released.

The gameplay is similar to previous games in the series but introduces new features such as a refined control system, a larger amount of weapons and a deeper upgrade system. It follows Ratchet and Clank's adventure through a fictional universe to defeat a robotic villain, Dr. Nefarious, who intends to destroy all organic life. Characters such as Dr. Nefarious and Sasha, a Cazar starship captain who helps Ratchet throughout the game, are introduced, and a number of characters return from the original Ratchet & Clank.

Up Your Arsenal is the first in the series to offer online multiplayer as well as single-player. The service was terminated in June 2012, however the PlayStation 3 HD version features the online mode. Multiplayer features three different modes of play available on all of the maps and has a selection of the weapons from the single-player game. As well as the multiplayer mode, it offers many other improvements over its predecessors such as higher quality graphics, larger worlds and a larger variety of weapons and gadgets also ships and dune buggies. The voice cast from the previous game return as their respective characters and new actors were hired to voice the new characters.[2][3] The game was met with critical acclaim, earning an average review score of 91% at Metacritic.[4]

A demo of this game was included in Sly 2: Band of Thieves.

Gameplay[edit]

Despite straying further from a classic platform game, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal still offers some of the basic features of a platform game but with a strong mix of action and shooting; PGNx Media has dubbed it a "combat-platformer".[5] It offers melee and long range combat and boasts a large, varied arsenal as one of its primary features as it has been in previous games.

Ratchet on a planet's surface. Visible are the weapon and bolt information, and a Gadgetron vendor.

Ratchet is initially armed with an Omniwrench 8000, his primary melee weapon, but as the player progresses through the game new weapons and upgrades can be obtained. As well as the 20 weapons available to the player, each weapon (apart from the RY3NO) has eight maximum levels of strength,[6] which enhances on the previous game's progress of only leveling up once, five are available after weapon purchase and then three after that once the game has been completed and the player starts "challenge mode". Alongside the weapons, which are primarily used in combat, there are ten gadgets that can be collected for use in other situations.

For most of the game the player will be in control of Ratchet but in some areas the player takes control of Clank,[7] Ratchet's ally. Clank can give commands to smaller robots called Gadgebots to perform tasks with the use of a command menu to solve puzzles and attack enemies.[8] Clank also features in "Giant Clank" scenarios where Clank transforms into a larger and more advanced form and can battle similar size enemies;[9] in this form he gains increased firepower (he can fire rockets and throw energy bombs) and a large amount of health. During the single-player game, the player can also play as Captain Qwark in 2D side-scrolling levels (called "Vid Comics"),[10] which build upon the history of Captain Qwark and his previous conflicts with Dr. Nefarious.

The game offers a huge range of enemies[5] and different stages.[11] It also features online multiplayer modes, such as Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, and Siege (in which the player storms the opponent's base and tries to destroy the power core inside).[12] It supports up to eight players at a time and supports voice chat through a PS2-compatible headset. Internet connection is needed if playing online against other players.[13]

Plot[edit]

While Ratchet and Clank are playing Galactic Chess and resting in Megapolis HeadQuarters, they see a news broadcast that Veldin, Ratchet's home world, is under attack by an army invasion referred to as the Tyrrahnoids which is orchestrated by the robotic genius named Dr Nefarious. Knowing that his home world is under attack, Ratchet reaches Veldin with Clank, to impede the massive onslaught. Upon landing on Veldin, the duo watch as the Galactic Rangers attempt to fend off the Tyrrahnoids, who appoint Ratchet as their new sergeant. After stopping the attack, they are then contracted by the President of Solona who asks the duo to search for someone, claimed to be "the only man who defeated Dr Nefarious". He is rumored to be within the Jamboo Forest on Planet Floranna.

After exploration in the forest, Ratchet and Clank meet a tribe like-leader, who is irate due to the duo trespassing his "sacred" ground, demanding the duo venture into the "Path of Death". Once they complete the "Path of Death", the tribe leader reveals himself, much to the dismay of Ratchet and Clank, as Captain Qwark. With no choice left, they engage in battle. Afterwards Captain Qwark, acting like a monkey, seems to have lost his memory. Sasha, who is the captain of the Starship Phoenix, contacts Ratchet and requests him bring Qwark to his new Rest Quarters aboard.

Once Qwark is in his Rest Quarters, Sasha asks the duo to meet her on the bridge. Ratchet and Clank see that Sasha is trying to converse with the President who has sent a transmission asking for help because his home planet is under attack by the Tyrrahnoids. Sasha inadvertly refers the President as "dad". The transmission is cut off by a broadcast of Dr. Nefarious saying robots will become the ruling force in the galaxy, all organics will be disposed of, and that he has also started another Tyrrahnoid attack on Marcadia. Ratchet and Clank fly to Marcadia where they meet up with the Galactic Rangers and make their way to the Presidential Palace. Upon winning the battle, the President greets the two and requests them to repair the Laser Defence System. Ratchet receives the Refractor and repairs the system. However, much to their amazement of the duo, they find Big Al (who first appeared in Ratchet & Clank) using the network to play a Qwark "vid-comic" video game. Clank asks if he and Ratchet could borrow the video game, to which Al agrees. After they leave, Clank tells Ratchet that he believes the Vid-Comic could restore Qwark's memory.

The duo return to the Starship Phoenix to play the Vid-Comic. Upon completion of the game, it does indeed restore Qwark's memory. Sasha appears to tell Ratchet and Clank she has another mission for them, to retrieve a device called "The Tyrrahguise", capable of disguising its user as a Tyrrahnoid and also allowing them to speak to real Tyrrahnoids in their own language, which is the grand prize on the reality TV show named Annihilation Nation. Ratchet and Clank complete an obstacle course, and in the process they also obtain the second edition of the Qwark vid-comic. Ratchet then competes in the battle arena and wins the Tyrrahguise. Ratchet and Clank learn from Sasha that her father, the President, had placed Qwark in direct command of the war, and that Qwark had created a squad in their absence.

The "Q-Force" consists of Big Al, Clank, Helga, Qwark, Ratchet, Sasha, Skidd McMarx, and Skrunch. Ratchet and Clank are assigned a new mission to infiltrate Nefarious' underwater base on Aquatos to acquire as much information on the villain's plans as possible. In addition to discovering that Nefarious is a huge "Secret Agent Clank" fan, Clank found and downloaded an encrypted star-map to the Tyhrranoids' home planet, Tyhrranosis. Nefarious is angry to learn from his butler, who is named Lawrence, that his base had been infiltrated and gets even more outraged to hear that Qwark was behind it. After Al decrypted the star-map, Ratchet and Clank, with some help from the Rangers, lead an assault on the Tyhrrhanoid's home planet that includes infiltrating the base and killing what seemed to be the "Momma Tyhrranoid". Dr. Nefarious then sends a transmission to Ratchet, Clank, Skidd and Sasha, that Al soon traces from Planet Daxx.

When Ratchet and Clank land on Daxx, they explore the weapons facility, eventually coming across classified plans of a new super-weapon, capable of turning organics into robot version of them selves, known as the Biobliterator. Clank also learns that a transport ship had just left for the Obani Moon System the day before. Ratchet and Clank make their way through the first two moons, with Skidd meeting up with then. The three then see that the third is protected by a "Omega Class Disintegration Shield". The group then receive an urgent call from the Galactic Rangers begging for assistance against a third Tyhrranoid invasion in Blackwater City on Planet Rilgar (a planet also from the first game). Ratchet and Clank decide to leave to help them, but Skidd tells them he will stay and attempt to break into the generator with a crowbar. Ratchet and Clank arrive on Rilgar and help the Galactic Rangers defeat the Tyyrahnoids. The pair return to Daxx where they find a terminal that shows a music video of Courtney Gears, a robot pop-star who they believe is working with Nefarious. They decide that they should find Courtney. Ratchet and Clank return to Annihilation Nation to enter the show's new challenge. They are able to complete the challenge and meet Courtney Gears. She reveals she would tell Clank if he gets her a part on Clank's show "Secret Agent Clank" (Ratchet also appears in the show as Agent Clank's driver). Clank agrees to oblige if she would tell him willingly Nefarious' location. She seemingly agrees, and Clank tells her to meet him at Holostar Studios. Ratchet is fired from the show after a mishap on set, and then he tells Clank that he will see him at the trailer. After filming the episode, Clank asks Courtney Gears if she could tell him about Nefarious' plans. Courtney however goes back on her word and knocks Clank out, then takes Clank directly to Nefarious. Nefarious gives Clank two choices: to either join him in conquering and ruling a galaxy full of robots, or be a traitor to his own kind and die with the organics (or "Squishies" as Nefarious calls them). At Clank's trailer, Ratchet is ambushed by the Tyhrranoids. After fighting his way back to the ship alone, he finds "Clank". Ratchet asks him about the whereabouts of Nefarious, and "Clank" reveals that Nefarious is on a star cruiser called the Leviathan.

The two land on Obani Draco, the third moon, after Skidd reveals that he able to bring the shield down, but got captured. Obani Draco is being used as Courtney's base of operations. The two also discover that Courtney has a laboratory for the Biobliterator. She has used a laser in the laboratory to turn Skidd into a robot. Courtney teleports Ratchet to fight her, intending to make him into a robot, but he defeats her. Ratchet and "Clank" receive a transmission from Sasha, who has located the Leviathan,which is at the Zeldrin Starport. Ratchet and "Clank" leave Skidd, intending to come back to get him later, and head for the starport to meet up with Qwark and Skrunch.

They reach the Leviathan and Ratchet fights his way through hordes of enemies until he finds Nefarious waiting. Nefarious reveals that he lured him and his allies so he could watch them die before he activates the self-destruct system and teleports away with Lawrence. Ratchet, "Clank", and Skrunch escape to the Phoenix, but Qwark stays behind, claiming he saw something important. The others fly off just as the Leviathan explodes, after Ratchet and "Clank" argue about whether or not to leave Qwark behind.

After an funeral for Qwark on the Phoenix, Al gives Ratchet a Vid-Comic that came in the mail for Qwark, telling him that Qwark would want Ratchet to have it. After he plays it, Ratchet finds a hint in it that Nefarious will strike the city of Metropolis and heads there with "Clank". When they arrive, Metropolis is already being attacked by the Tyhrranoids. It is then revealed that Nefarious has Clank imprisoned on a hovering train and that the "Clank" that is with Ratchet is a copy named Klunk. As Ratchet and Klunk travel though the city and fight the Tyhrranoids, Nefarious uses the Biobliterator to turn the Tyhrranoids into robots. When Ratchet finally makes his way to the train, Klunk turns on him. When Nefarious, along with Lawrence teleports away, Klunk transforms into a giant robot version of himself which Ratchet then fights. After defeating Klunk, Ratchet frees Clank and the two return to the Starship. At the ship, the two and Sasha see a news broadcast of the Biobliterator attacking Metropolis. Sasha then remembers Qwark saying he needed to find something on the Leviathan that has crashed landed on Planet Zeldrin. Ratchet then tells her that he and Clank will investigate, so the two head to Zeldrin to try and find what Qwark was looking for.

On Zeldrin, they discover an escape pod, an encrypted data disc, and a recording that shows Qwark (disguised as a lady) calling a taxi. They decide that it is best not to tell the others that Qwark is alive until they find out why he has faked his death. When they return to the Starship, Ratchet plays a Vid-Comic that contains possible information as to the whereabouts of Qwark's hideout. Ratchet and Clank fly to the Thran Asteroid Belt and battle past security robots and hostile Megacorp Lawn Ninjas until they find Captain Qwark himself, who has abandoned his fight against Nefarious in favor of the comfort and safety of his hideout. Ratchet criticizes Qwark and leaves in disgust, but Clank makes one last appeal to Qwark, claiming that he has the chance "to become the hero he[Qwark] had always wanted to be."

When they return to their ship, they receive a garbled transmission from Sasha, warning them that the Phoenix is under attack. Ratchet and Clank reach the Starship and help the Galactic Rangers regain control of the ship, then rejoin the Q-Force. Al tells Ratchet that he has finally cracked the encryption on the data disc, which contains a complete copy of Nefarious' battle plans: The Doctor plans to attack numerous planets, intending to leave entire populations as robots. Sasha then warns Ratchet that Nefarious' current target is Veldin. Ratchet and Clank then fly to the planet Koros to destroy the Biobliterator.

After Ratchet battles many hordes of Nefarious' troops, he and Clank reach the center. Clank then uses the Ion Cannon there to destroy the Biobliterator. However, Sasha soon reports that a second Biobliterator is housed at a command center on planet Mylon, guarded by an entire army of robots and robotic Tyhrranoids. Ratchet and Clank fly to Mylon, fight through the legion of robots, and reach the Biobliterator, just in time for Dr. Nefarious and Lawrence to escape. Luckily, a Galactic Ranger dropship arrives for Ratchet and Clank to pursue Nefarious to his launch site.

At the launch site, Ratchet battles Dr. Nefarious. After a short duel, he falls down to his knees and begs for mercy, fooling Ratchet into a false sense of victory before escaping. Ratchet chases after Nefarious, and defeats him. Nefarious and Lawrence (dressed as a guitar player) then warp into the Biobliterator, which transforms into a giant mech. Ratchet is powerless to fight the giant mech although Captain Qwark flies in to help fight alongside him. Ratchet and Captain Qwark engage in aerial combat against Nefarious in the Biobliterator and eventually defeat the Doctor. The Biobliterator enters self-destruct mode and sends Nefarious and Lawrence into the depths of space.

The ending shows the premiere of the latest Secret Agent Clank holofilm, where Clank and Skrunch face off against arch-enemy Maximillian's forces on a snowy world.

The last scene depicts of Dr. Nefarious and Lawrence sitting on an isolated asteroid with no escape in sight.

Development[edit]

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal was the main focus of the Insomniac Team during development.[14] The team of around 115 people were aiming to create a new Ratchet and Clank game that would differ significantly from its predecessors and almost end up being two games in one.[14] Insomniac believed that one of the key processes in the development process was the rigorous testing. Working closely with Sony and listening to fans of the Ratchet and Clank series, they gathered feedback and made improvements to the game. They felt that they had created a game that would appeal to a number of genres with the inclusion of elements of platform, action and side-scrolling gameplay.[14]

At the same time, Jak 3 was being developed by Naughty Dog, a company closely tied with Insomniac. Naughty Dog's Jak & Daxter series and the Ratchet & Clank series are in similar genres; each game in both series' has been released at a similar time and both contain references to each other. Ryan Schneider, an employee of Insomniac, said, "The analogy that I like to use is that at Insomniac we like to look at it as how Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant act when it comes to their professions. We don't really look at it as how we compare to other athletes or other games, we just try to do the best that we can and elevate the sport."[14]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 91.41%[15]
Metacritic 91/100[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 10/10[16]
GameSpot 8.7/10[17]
GameSpy 5/5[9]
IGN 9.6/10[18]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 5/5[19]

Before its release, IGN was highly anticipating the final version of the game as they had played two previous versions of the game already.[18] Concentrating on the multiplayer aspect of the game, they praised the developers for moving a solely platform game into the multiplayer genre so well. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal was featured at the E3 games festival in 2004, where there was a playable demo. Only the multiplayer Siege mode and a single-player demo were available but they were enough to get 1UP.com's award for best action game at E3.[20]

Soon after its release Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal received critical acclaim. GameSpy awarded it 5 stars out of 5,[9] and IGN said that "You MUST buy this immediately" due to its extensive line-up of weaponry, high quality graphics and polished sound effects.[21] IGN did, however, believe it was easier than the previous game, Going Commando, while GameSpot thought that the gameplay was too similar to the previous title, but both reviewers considered these as minor issues and they made little difference to the overall score. Gaming magazines GamesTM and Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine both mentioned that the offbeat comedy that was apparent throughout the majority of the game was one of the points that made it unique.[19][22] X-Play said "A mixture of excellent gameplay tweaks and new activities make the third one easily the strongest game in the series and one of the best games of this year" and giving it a full five star rating.[23] According to Metacritic's collection of reviews, 12 separate reviewers gave the game the highest possible score.[4] In 2006, Edge Magazine featured a "Time Extend" article on Ratchet & Clank: Up your Arsenal and among other points, focused on the amount and variety of weapons available to the player.[24] In August 2005 Up Your Arsenal entered the Greatest Hits line-up. Since its release, it has sold over 2.15 million copies in the US alone.[25] IGN listed the game 18th on their list of "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time".[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevenson, James (May 29, 2014). "Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy hits PS Vita in July". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal Info". GameFAQs. Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Info". GameFAQs. Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ratchet and Clank: Up your Arsenal (ps2: 2004): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Liz, Jose. "PGNX Ratchet and Clank: UYA Review". PGNX Media. Archived from the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  6. ^ Weapon Upgrades - Ratchet and Clank: UYA Game Manual. Insomniac Games. 2004. p. 14. 
  7. ^ Clank's in control! - Ratchet and Clank: UYA Game Manual. Insomniac Games. 2004. p. 11. 
  8. ^ Stevenson, James. "Mania Games Ratchet and Clank: UYA Review". Mania Games. Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c Turner, Benjamin. "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal GameSpy Review". GameSpy. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  10. ^ Vid Comic Gameplay - Ratchet and Clank: UYA Game Manual. Insomniac Games. 2004. p. 19. 
  11. ^ Dunham, Jeremy. "IGN Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal Review Page 3". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2007. 
  12. ^ Multiplayer Modes - Ratchet and Clank: UYA Game Manual. Insomniac Games. 2004. pp. 26–27. 
  13. ^ Offline Multiplayer - Ratchet and Clank: UYA Game Manual. Insomniac Games. 2004. p. 30. 
  14. ^ a b c d Moreaux, Wellington. "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal interview". Gaming Age. Retrieved April 13, 2007. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Game Rankings Collected Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  16. ^ Game Informer. November 2004. p. 150. 
  17. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (November 3, 2004). "GameSpot Review". GameSpot. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  18. ^ a b Lewis, Ed (August 9, 2004). "Ratchet & Clank: Up your Arsenal IGN Preview". IGN. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  19. ^ a b "OPM Review". 1UP.com. November 1, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  20. ^ 1UP Staff (2004). "Best of E3 2004". Retrieved October 17, 2007. [dead link]
  21. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (October 28, 2004). "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal IGN Review". IGN. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  22. ^ Games TM Staff (2004). Games TM - Review - Ratchet & Clank 3. Highbury Entertainment. p. 106. 
  23. ^ "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal G4 Review". G4TV. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  24. ^ Edge Staff (2006). Time Extend - Ratchet & Clank 3. pp. 90–93. 
  25. ^ "US Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  26. ^ IGN PlayStation Team (August 10, 2009). "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time - PS2 Feature at IGN". IGN. 

External links[edit]