Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
|Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal|
North American PlayStation 2 box art
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Series||Ratchet & Clank|
|Engine||Insomniac Engine v.1.0|
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 2004 3D platform video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. 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. A demo of this game was included in Sly 2: Band of Thieves.
The gameplay is similar to previous games in the series but introduces new features such as a new control system and more levels in the upgrade system for weapons. 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 has many other differences compared to its predecessors such as higher quality graphics, larger worlds, and drivable vehicles. The voice cast from the previous game return as their respective characters, and new actors were hired to voice the new characters.
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". 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.
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 levels of strength, which is different to the previous game's four levels of strength. Five upgrades are available after a weapon's purchase and then three after that once the game has been completed, the player starts "challenge mode", and purchases the weapon's upgrade. 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, 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. Clank also features in "Giant Clank" scenarios where Clank transforms into a larger and more advanced form and can battle similar size enemies; in this form he gains increased firepower with rockets and 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"), which build upon the history of Captain Qwark and his previous conflicts with Dr. Nefarious.
The game offers a large range of enemies and different stages. 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). 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.
The player character and main protagonist is Ratchet, a Lombax from the planet Veldin (voiced by James Arnold Taylor). He wields a wrench as a melee weapon and can use a large arsenal of weapons. Clank, Ratchet's robotic sidekick and co-protagonist (voiced by David Kaye), is usually attached to Ratchet's back and uses attachments to help Ratchet's movements. Dr. Nefarious, the main antagonist of the game (voiced by Armin Shimerman), is a villainous robot hell bent on exterminating organic life. At the end of the game, Doctor Nefarious is left stranded on an asteroid, eventually making cameos and reappearances in later titles.
While playing chess in Clank's penthouse, Ratchet receives word that his home planet, Veldin, is under attack by an army of Tyhrranoids. Posing as an officer in the Galactic Rangers, he leads an assault that drives off the invaders, who appear to use very sophisticated weapons and equipment. At a post-victory briefing, the Galactic President informs the duo that a villain known as Dr. Nefarious is believed to be responsible for organizing the invasion. As very little is known about Nefarious, the Rangers decide to track down the only man to have ever beaten him: Captain Qwark. Ratchet discovers Qwark living with an indigenous tribe on planet Florana and takes him to the Starship Phoenix, where he meets Ranger Captain Sasha. Upon regaining his sanity, Qwark forms the "Q-Force", an "elite" squad that answers only to him, and orders Ratchet, Clank, and Q-Force operative Skidd McMarx to infiltrate Nefarious's base on planet Aquatos. Hacking his database, Clank obtains a map of Tyhrranosis, the Tyhrranoid home world. After Ratchet succeeds in killing the Tyhrranoid queen, Dr. Nefarious sends a transmission, mocking the Q-Force; Al, the technical expert of the team, traces it to a munitions factory on planet Daxx.
There, Ratchet and Clank learn that Nefarious has constructed a weapon called the Biobliterator, but are unable to find any information on it. They also find a music video produced by pop star Courtney Gears (a parody of Britney Spears), in which she instructs robots to destroy organic lifeforms. Clank sets up a meeting with Gears, but she renders him unconscious and turns him over to Dr. Nefarious. Aware of Clank's fame as the star of "Secret Agent Clank", Nefarious asks him to serve as the face of his plan to wipe out all organic races, but he refuses. In response, Nefarious creates an evil double named Klunk and has him take Clank's place. Unaware of the deception, Ratchet undertakes a mission with Skidd to investigate enemy activity on the Obani Moons. When Ratchet returns to the Phoenix, Gears abducts Skidd and turns him into a robot. Ratchet confronts and disables her in combat, then gets Skidd to safety. Meanwhile, Sasha locates Nefarious's ship, the Leviathan, at a remote spaceport, and sends him and Qwark to apprehend the doctor. Nefarious reveals that the whole encounter is a trap, and he activates the Leviathan's self-destruct system before escaping. Qwark refuses to leave, citing the need to gather intel, and seemingly perishes when the ship explodes.
After a brief memorial for Qwark on the Phoenix, Ratchet goes to assist Ranger forces battling a Tyhrranoid invasion in the city of Metropolis. Unveiling his newly-completed Biobliterator, Nefarious uses it to turn both Metropolis's citizens and his Tyhrranoid soldiers into robots. Making yet another escape, he orders Klunk to kill Ratchet. After besting the clone, Ratchet and Clank are reunited and vow to stop Nefarious. While searching the remains of the Leviathan, they find evidence that Qwark faked his death. A secret message hidden onboard the Phoenix reveals the location of a secret hideout, where Qwark, overcome with cowardice, refuses to fight any longer. After fighting off an attack on the Phoenix, the duo intercept the Biobliterator and Clank destroys it with an ion cannon. However, Sasha informs them that a second, more advanced, Biobliterator is being prepped for launch at Nefarious's main command center on planet Mylon, Ratchet and Clank locate Nefarious and defeat him, but he activates the Biobliterator, which transforms into a giant, heavily armed robot. Before he can crush Ratchet, a reinvigorated Qwark flies in to distract him, giving the duo an opening to destroy the Biobliterator. Nefarious's teleporter malfunctions, stranding him and his butler Lawrence on a distant asteroid. With the galaxy safe once again, the Q-Force and their allies attend a private screening of the latest Secret Agent Clank holofilm.
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal was the main focus of the Insomniac Team during development. 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. 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.
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."
Before its release, IGN was highly anticipating the final version of the game as they had played two previous versions of the game already. 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.
Soon after its release, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal received critical acclaim. GameSpy awarded it 5 stars out of 5, and IGN said that "You MUST buy this immediately" due to its extensive line-up of weaponry, high quality graphics and polished sound effects. 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. 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. According to Metacritic's collection of reviews, 12 separate reviewers gave the game the highest possible score. 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. 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. IGN listed the game 18th on their list of "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time".
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- Nefarious: Greetings, robots. Too long have we suffered under the squishiness and foul stench of organic life forms. Soon, you will have the pleasure of my benevolent, iron-fisted rule. And as for you filthy organic life forms, you can look forward to being ANNIHILATED! (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Darla Gratch: Just hours ago, [Veldin] was invaded by a race known as the Tyhrranoids. [...] This reporter believes that Veldin will be destroyed in a matter of hours. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Sasha: This is Captain Sasha of the Starship Phoenix speaking. I see you have located Captain Qwark. [...] Bring him to the Phoenix. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Qwark: Ladies, gentlemen, oh, and Helga, you have been assembled here because of your skills [...] Each of you has proven worthy to wear the Q! Our first mission will be to infiltrate Nefarious' top secret base on planet Aquatos. Impossible, you say? Perhaps for a lesser strategist. Behold, my brilliant plan! (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Ratchet: Look, [Nefarious] has the entire Secret Agent Clank holo-vid collection! Clank: That's, disturbing. I have downloaded an encrypted star map. Ratchet: Maybe Al can decode it. Let's go. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Ratchet: Someone just transmitted a message onto the ship. I need you to find out where it came from. Al: Let's see [...] I've found something suspicious. Beaming it over now. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Ratchet: Biobliterator? I see what you mean. What exactly does it do? Clank: That information has been deleted. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Nefarious: Then I will give you a reason. Join me, and together we will rule an army of robots! Or refuse, and follow your beloved squishies into the black hole of oblivion!(Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Ratchet: What! They turned Skidd into a robot! That's impossible!(Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Sasha: We've located the Leviathan. It's refueling at the Zeldrin Starport now. Qwark and the monkey are already there.(Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Nefarious: I lured you here so I could witness your demise! Speaker: Auto-Destruct sequence initiated. Bye bye. Nefarious: Lawrence, teleport us out of here. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Ratchet: What are you doing? This ship could explode any second! Qwark: I think I've spotted something important. I can't leave without it! I'll meet you back at the shuttle! (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Qwark: Oh! How did you find me here? Ratchet: We found your secret vid-comic, Qwark. Qwark: Oh, that. Listen, when I escaped from that star cruiser missing death by mere nano-seconds, I thought something. I COULD HAVE DIED! Me! (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Sasha: Well done, boys. There's no telling how many lives you just saved. But we're not done yet. Al just finished decoding the disk. Nefarious secretly built a second Biobliterator, more deadly than the first. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
- Nefarious: Lawrence, engage the teleporter. Lawrence: Would you care to specify a destination? Nefarious: Who cares? Just get us out of here. (Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal) Insomniac Games, 2004
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