Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

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Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Ratchet & Clank Future- A Crack in Time.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s) Insomniac Games
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Composer(s) Boris Salchow
Series Ratchet & Clank
Engine Insomniac Engine v.4.0
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) NA October 27, 2009[1]

AU November 5, 2009[2]
EU November 6, 2009[3]
JP 20091119November 19, 2009

Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Blu-ray Disc

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (known as Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time in most PAL countries) is a platform game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 video game console. It is the sequel to Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty.[4] The game was released for the PlayStation 3 in North America on October 27, 2009,[1] in Australia on November 5, 2009[2] and in Europe on November 6, 2009.[3]

A fourth and final installment, titled Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, was released in November 2013 for the PlayStation 3.

Gameplay[edit]

A Crack in Time game features gameplay mechanics new to the Ratchet & Clank series. One such mechanic involves the Chronosceptor: A staff that repairs broken objects when you hit a broken object with it. This device may also be used like Ratchet's wrench, to fight off enemies.[5] By using special "time pads", Clank can also record up to a minute of his actions and then a holographic Clank replays them, while the real Clank does something else. Up to four copies of Clank can be recorded at a time. These holographic Clanks can help to solve puzzles.[6] In addition to gadgets like the Swingshot and Gravity Boots from previous games,[7] Ratchet has a pair of Hoverboots, allowing him to move more quickly around planets and moons.[8]

In a noticeable departure from all previous games in the series, Ratchet can now fly his ship freely between planets on a two-dimensional ecliptic in various zones,[9] going to small moons and completing optional challenges, earning special items such as Zoni, gold bolts, and weapon mods in the process.[8] The ship's blasters, missiles, and armor can also be upgraded by obtaining additional Zoni. The game also has new weapons known as Constructo Weapons. These fall into three main categories; shotgun, bomb, and pistol. Each weapon can be modified with additional features and altered in appearance to make a weapon unique to the player.

Plot[edit]

Continuing from the end of Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty, Clank has been abducted by the Zoni and is being held in suspended animation at an unknown location. Dr. Nefarious has been summoned by the Zoni to repair Clank but is more intent on discovering the means of accessing something called the 'Orvus Chamber', which the Zoni are determined to keep him out of. Angry, Nefarious activates his Hypersonic Brainwave Scrambler which causes the Zoni to flee and damages the facility. During the ensuing blackout, Clank reactivates and attempts to escape, but is caught by Nefarious and his butler Lawrence, who immobilizes Clank.
Clank later wakes to find himself with a robot called Sigmund, who introduces himself as the Junior Caretaker of the Great Clock. Through the use of mnemonic stations that tap into his memory banks, Clank learns that the Clock was created by the Zoni leader Orvus as a means of healing time-space damage caused by excessive misuse of time travel. A computer simulation of Orvus resides in a secure part of Clank's memory banks, put there so that Orvus and the Zoni could train him to become the Senior Caretaker; while repairing damage caused by Nefarious' army, Clank learns from Sigmund that Orvus left for the Tombli Outpost on Planet Zanifar two years ago and never returned.

Meanwhile, Ratchet and Captain Qwark explore the Breegus System for information on Clank and Nefarious. After being shot down over Planet Quantos and rescuing the indigenous Fongoids from the mercenary Lord Vorselon, Ratchet learns there is a "exile" also fighting Nefarious, former Lombax leader General Alister Azimuth. Travelling to the Molonoth Fields of Planet Torren IV, Ratchet locates Azimuth who reveals he was friends with Ratchet's father Kaden and gives him Kaden's old Hoverboots. The pair then visit Pollyx Industries in Axiom City on Planet Terachnos to locate an Obsidian Eye telescope to contact Clank, and in the process destroy a VX-99 hoverdrone sent to kill them.
Arriving in Krell Canyon to find the Eye, Ratchet finally learns that Azimuth was exiled by the Lombaxes for granting Emperor Tachyon the means for him to rise to power; when the Lombaxes fled to another dimension, Azimuth was forced to stay as punishment for his crimes. Now sure that the Great Clock could reverse Tachyon's genocide, Azimuth and Ratchet locate the Eye after defeating an Agorian invasion and talk briefly with Clank.

Having rescued Qwark from the Agorians' Battleplex area, Ratchet flies to Zanifar and uses a time portal to find out what happened to Orvus. Nefarious had captured Orvus; after Orvus dissipated, Pollyx managed to pull an image of Clank up. Ratchet makes his escape but damages Nefarious; two years later, Nefarious suddenly remembers what happened as the damage inflicted in the past suddenly appears. Having returned to the present day, Ratchet frees Azimuth from Vorselon and flies to Planet Vapedia to rescue Clank from the Valkyries, a race of female mercenaries.
Clank reveals that the Clock isn't capable of shifting time, causing Azimuth to leave, the reunited heroes travel to Nefarious' space station and infiltrate the station with Qwark to destroy Nefarious' fleet. Nefarious manages to capture the heroes and reveals his plans to use the Clock to reverse time and launches Ratchet and Clank on an asteroid into deep space. The asteroid lands in Gimlick Valley on Planet Morklon; the Zoni protect Ratchet and Clank from the impact and tell them Nefarious cannot be allowed to alter time.

Exploring the swamps, the duo meet a Fongoid named Yurik who reveals that the valley was flooded ten years before by the Agorians during the Battle of Gimlick Valley. Using a time portal, Ratchet and Clank travel back to the battle and free Fongoid leader Zahn Gribnak before confronting and defeating Agorian leader Commander Argos on top of the nearby dam. Returning to the tenth-anniversary celebrations of the battle in the altered present, the duo borrow Argos' vessel which had been retrieved from the dam and restored, and return to the Nefarious Space Station.
After fighting through the station's defences, the duo confront Nefarious and defeat him aboard his ship. Lawrence slips away using the escape pod as the ship veers towards the station; Azimuth suddenly arrives to rescue them and Ratchet jumps off the ship onto Azimuth's just before Nefarious' ship crashes into the space station, mirroring the damage Ratchet inflicted on Nefarious two years earlier shortly before it explodes.

The group return to the Great Clock, where Clank prepares to resume his duties. Furious at being unable to use the Clock to reverse time, Azimuth snaps and kills Ratchet before attempting to reach the Orvus Chamber. Clank reaches the chamber and seals it while Sigmund holds Azimuth off; recalling an earlier conversation with the Plumber in his memory banks, Clank reverses time by six minutes - the largest amount the Clock can safely rewind - and saves Ratchet.
Ratchet pursues Azimuth along a grind rail into the Chamber where he defeats Sigmund and uses the Clock to start reversing time. The duo begin to fight Azimuth as the Clock, unable to take the strain of such a major temporal reversal, begins to break apart. Defeating Azimuth, Ratchet attempts to correct the situation but the Clock's operating handle snaps off; realising his mistake, Azimuth apologises to Ratchet and substitutes his wrench as a handle to reverse the damage just as the Clock unleashes a lethal energy blast, killing him.

After the Zoni repair the chamber, Ratchet bids Clank farewell, wishing him well as he walks away. Hearing the recorded words of Orvus again, Clank realizes he cannot stay because he cannot leave Ratchet until he finds his family since Ratchet's actions helped find Clank's home. Clank promotes Sigmund to Senior Caretaker and, as Orvus says in the background that his son can do whatever makes him feel whole, rejoins Ratchet just as he's about to leave. Together, they soar into the stars for another adventure.

In a post-credits scene, Captain Qwark and his 'pet' war grok Snowball are shown to have survived the destruction of the Nefarious Space Station only to have been left on a floating rock in the middle of nowhere. Qwark misinterprets Snowball's angry growl, and the game ends with Snowball chasing Qwark around the rock.

Development[edit]

The title and logo of the game, along with a trailer were revealed at the 2009 Game Developers Conference.[10][11]

Updates[edit]

Version 1.20[edit]

On Wednesday, December 2, 2009, Version 1.20 update was released. This patch addresses bugs and issues concerning game-play and trophy collection.[12]

  1. Valkyrie battle crash bug: The problem seems to be that the player is getting shot and dying at the moment the boss is defeated, or while the Valkyrie ship is still blowing up. This is causing the freeze. Most people are able to replay the fight and get through this hang-up after a few tries, but if the player still can't pass it there is a patch to fix this problem.
  2. Challenge Mode save bug: This bug occurs if the player backs out of the auto-save which appears when initiating Challenge Mode. It can happen one of two ways:
    • The player selects "Go back in time…" instead of "Enter Challenge Mode" after beating the game. If the player goes back in time, and then selects Challenge Mode from the pause menu, a Save game screen will pop up. If the player backs out of this screen by pressing the Circle Button before the save completes, the save file will be corrupted. The player will launch into Challenge Mode, but will find certain doors or paths won’t open, leaving them stuck.
    • The player selects "Enter Challenge Mode" after the credits and backs out of the auto-save by pressing the Circle Button before it completes.
    • There were plans for a patch that will prevent this from happening to future users. For folks that have already hit the bug, instructions are available on how to restart your Challenge mode playthrough.
  3. Good Samaritan Trophy bug: If the player acquires the RYNO V from the Smuggler before finishing all of the Smuggler side-missions, the Smuggler will sometimes disappear, making it impossible to finish his quests. The patch will auto-complete any quests the player missed once you equip the RYNO V – unlocking the trophy.
    • This is not to be confused with the Good Samaritan Skill Point which is unlocked by finishing all of the Space Quests in the Korthos sector.

Marketing[edit]

In March 2009, the PlayStation Blog later announced that a design contest for a weapon would be run until April 10, with the winning design being featured as a usable weapon in the game, as well as a real-life replica being made for the winner and a trip to Comic-Con for the weapon's unveiling to the public.[13] The winning design was the "Spiral Of Death", a weapon that shoots glowing sawblades that after a certain range, return to the user, somewhat like a yo-yo.

In July 2009, Sony announced that players who pre-ordered the game from selected retailers in North America would be able to unlock one of four additional in-game content packs. It was confirmed however, that the package will simply unlock the items earlier in the game—the player can still earn these items while playing.[14] A collector's edition of the game was released in the UK, featuring a 3D-cover, artwork book, and a voucher for use on the PlayStation Network which unlocks the Insomniac Moon, an ingame area which showcased content cut from the game.[15]

A Ratchet & Clank-themed game space was released for PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service. The "Ratchet & Clank: Time Travelers" space has several casual mini-games, like the Firing Range (past, present, and future) that have rewards like a model of Ratchet's ship for the users personal spaces. Users can also purchase a costume of Ratchet and a Clank back pack from the space's shop. In addition to the game space, there is a themed apartment, the "Ratchet & Clank: Home Sweet Home", that users can purchase. Both the game space and apartment were released on October 15, 2009 in the European and North American versions of Home.[16] Both the Game Space and apartment were released to the Asian and Japanese version on November 19, 2009.

Ratchet & Clank-themed action figures were released in January 2010.[17]

Soundtrack[edit]

David Bergeaud did not return to score the music for the game but was replaced by Boris Salchow who, according to Hookedgamers.com delivered the most "film-like" score for the series to date and that his work added a great sense of emotion to the story.[citation needed]

Sequel[edit]

On July 10, 2013, a fourth installment has been announced. Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus was released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 on November 12, 2013.[18] This is an epilogue to the Future sub-series.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87.88%[19]
Metacritic 87/100[20]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[21]
Computer and Video Games 8.0/10[5]
Eurogamer 7/10[8]
G4 5/5[22]
Game Informer 9.25/10[7]
GamePro 4.5/5 stars[23]
GameSpot 8.5/10[24]
GameSpy 4.5/5 stars[25]
GameTrailers 8.9/10[26]
IGN 9/10[9]
PlayStation 3 Magazine 90/100[20]
Giant Bomb 5/5 stars[27]
Play 9.5/10[28]

A Crack in Time has received highly positive reviews. IGN's Ryan Clements called it "One of the best Ratchet games ever made" and also noted that it plays like the other Ratchet installments and that players who are not yet tired of the series formula will enjoy it.[9] Eurogamer scored the game 7/10 criticizing the game's lack of innovation and describing it as "more of the same".[8] Reviewer Ellie Gibson did however praise the game as a "quality platformer" commenting specifically on its "superb combat system, decent puzzles, fun weapons, pretty visuals and [...] variation".[8] GameTrailers said that "If A Crack in Time is indeed the final Ratchet & Clank game, then the series has been finished the right way".[26] PSM3 scored the game 90/100 calling it as "Massive, rewarding, funny - all you'd expect, plus some cute new twists".[20]

GamePro reviewer Will Herring felt that the game's camera angles were problematic at times, a statement echoed by Joe Rybicki of GameSpy,[25] but praised its new innovations, calling the hoverboots one of the game's "most enjoyable additions [to the series]".[23] Rybicki found the game's weapon selection "lackluster", especially early in the game, while praising some of the time-based Clank levels.[25] Dan Ryckert, of Game Informer, said that "the Clank sections are the best puzzles seen in the series to date".[7]

GameDaily's Robert Workman found that the game's audio was "superb".[29]

A Crack in Time was nominated for the "Outstanding Achievement in Animation", "Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering", "Outstanding Achievement in Original Story", and "Adventure Game of the Year" Interactive Achievement Awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gibson, Ellie (August 27, 2009). "New Ratchet & Clank gets US release date". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Gibson, Ellie (October 22, 2009). "New Ratchet & Clank Gets UK Date". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time out next Month". Game Guru. September 4, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Jackson, Mike (October 22, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time Review". Computer and Video Games. Future plc. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ Spensor (June 4, 2009). "Ratchet And Clank Take A Cue From Cursor*10". Siliconera. Retrieved October 23, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c Reiner, Andrew; Ryckert, Dan (October 27, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time". Game Informer (Game Informer Magazine). Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Gibson, Ellie (October 22, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c Clements, Ryan (October 20, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time". GameTrailers. March 28, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009. 
  11. ^ Roper, Chris (March 26, 2009). "GDC 09: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Announced". IGN. Retrieved April 7, 2009. 
  12. ^ "IG_Featherstone" (November 14, 2009). "Are you having progression problems with A Crack in Time? *Patch info*". Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  13. ^ Stevenson, James (March 27, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Weapons Contest Opens Today!". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  14. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (July 2, 2009). "'Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time' pre-order bonuses vary per retailer". Joystiq. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  15. ^ Gibson, Ellie (October 7, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Special Edition unveiled". Eurogamer. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Locust_Star" (October 14, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Come to PlayStation Home + Deadquarters Personal Space". Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  17. ^ Oxford, David (April 21, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Action Figure Lineup Revealed". Kombo. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  18. ^ Moriarty, Colin (2013-07-10). "Traditional Ratchet and Clank Is Back With Into the Nexus". IGN. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  19. ^ "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  20. ^ a b c "Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time PS3". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  21. ^ Kennedy, Sam (October 23, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank A Crack in Time (PS3)". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment. Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  22. ^ Sessler, Adam (October 22, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Review". g4tv.com. G4 Media. Retrieved October 30, 2009. 
  23. ^ a b Herring, Will (October 26, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time". GamePro. GamePro Media. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  24. ^ Mc Shea, Tom (October 27, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  25. ^ a b c Rybicki, Joe (October 26, 2009). "The Consenus: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Review". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  26. ^ a b "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time". GameTrailers. GameTrailers.com. October 22, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  27. ^ Caravella, Vinny (October 23, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time". Giant Bomb. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  28. ^ Halverson, Dave (October 28, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time". Play. Fusion Publishing. Retrieved October 30, 2009. 
  29. ^ Workman, Robert (October 29, 2009). "Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time Review". GameDaily. AOL. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  30. ^ "13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards Finalists" (PDF). Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-01-24. [dead link]

External links[edit]