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Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

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Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
North American PlayStation 2 box art
Developer(s) Insomniac Games
Idol Minds (HD edition)
Mass Media Inc. (Vita port)
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Composer(s) David Bergeaud, Niels Bye Nielsen (additional music)
Series Ratchet & Clank
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 (HD), PlayStation Vita
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single-player

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (known as Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded in Europe and Australia, and Ratchet & Clank 2 in Japan) is a 2003 3D platform video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is the second game in the Ratchet & Clank series, following Ratchet & Clank and preceding Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal.

The game begins with an interview of Ratchet and Clank that is seen by Megacorp CEO Abercrombie Fizzwidget. Fizzwidget contacts Ratchet and Clank and explains that a top secret experiment was stolen from Megacorp. Ratchet and Clank are given the task of tracking down the experiment but run into difficulties as they journey across the galaxy.

The gameplay of Going Commando is similar to that of the original Ratchet & Clank. The player controlled protagonists are seen in a third-person perspective; the player uses various weapons and gadgets to defeat enemies and solve puzzles, while exploring planets, completing platforming sections and minigames, and progressing through the story. The game features many improvements over the original game, such as the aesthetics, and introduces many new gameplay aspects, such as weapon upgrading.

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was released roughly a year after its predecessor, and received critical acclaim, with some calling it one of the best PlayStation 2 games ever made. Critics noted the game's improved graphics, engaging gameplay, longer story, and overall sound as being major improvements over the original, but criticized the game for its high difficulty level, and certain minigames.

Gameplay[edit]

Ratchet uses the Blitz Gun in a combat arena. Also visible is the game's head-up display, which displays weapon and health information, the progress towards upgrades, and available Bolts.

The player controls Ratchet from a third-person perspective, and uses weapons to defeat enemies. The player can also use gadgets to explore new areas. The player travels to planets in the "Bogon" Galaxy and completes main objectives and optional side quests. "Bolts", the game world's currency, are primarily obtained by defeating enemies and breaking crates located throughout the game's levels.[2] Going Commando also includes four types of "maxi-games", or minigames. These games include arena battles, spherical world battles, hover bike races, and space races/battles.[2] After completing the game, the player may also enter "challenge mode" which is more difficult but the player starts with the weapons and health that they had when they finished the game the first time, additional weapon upgrades are also unlocked.[3]

Going Commando introduces eighteen new weapons, such as the Blitz Gun, Seeker and Lava Gun.[4] Each weapon has a "growth bar", which increases when the weapon is used to defeat enemies. The weapon is upgraded once the bar is filled, increasing its power and changing the design of it.[4] Certain devices from the original Ratchet & Clank make a return, such as the Swingshot, while others are new to Going Commando.[5] The player can use a save file from the original Ratchet & Clank to get "retro" weapons from the first game for free.[2]

As with weapons, Ratchet gains experience with each enemy destroyed. When Ratchet's experience bar fills, he gains a new level of "nanotech". This awards him with additional health bubbles, up to a maximum of 80.[6][7] Ratchet's health can also be increased by finding nanotech upgrades.[8] The game introduces armor vendors, which are able to provide up to four additional levels of protection.[8]

Plot[edit]

After defeating Drek in the previous game, Ratchet and Clank become celebrities, though their lives remain otherwise uneventful.[9] After giving an interview for the holovision show Behind the Hero, Ratchet and Clank are suddenly teleported to the Bogon galaxy by Abercrombie Fizzwidget, the founder and CEO of Megacorp, the galaxy's largest maker of consumer goods and electronics, who offers them a job recovering a stolen biological experiment.[10] Upon completing an extensive training regime, the duo is sent to a flying laboratory on planet Aranos where the experiment was last seen. Before they can retrieve it, however, a masked thief appears and swipes it for himself.[11] Escaping unharmed, Ratchet returns to his ship and contacts Fizzwidget, who provides him with coordinates to track the experiment.

The duo proceed to pursue the thief across several planets, eventually confronting him on planet Siberius. The thief escapes, but Ratchet manages to reclaim the experiment. Fizzwidget arranges a meeting to take custody, but "accidentally" maroons the duo in the desert afterwards. The thief arrives and reveals his true identity as Angela Cross, a former Megacorp scientist. Claiming that the experiment is a threat to the entire galaxy, she gives them the location of a testing facility on planet Dobbo where it was created.[12]

Following her lead, the duo infiltrate the facility and discover a video recording of the experiment on a violent rampage. Angela then contacts them with news that Megacorp is hosting an event on planet Boldan to promote the experiment as the "Protopet", with Fizzwidget in attendance. [13] Convinced that Fizzwidget is unaware of the Protopet's flaws, Ratchet goes to warn him, only to discover that the whole thing was a trap set by private mercenaries on Megacorp's payroll. Captured, they are then sent to a remote prison over Aranos, but manage to reunite and escape. Tracking the mercenaries to their hideout on planet Snivelak, they rescue a captive Angela and set out to confront Fizzwidget at Megacorp headquarters.

To their surprise, "Fizzwidget" turns out to be none other than disgraced hero Captain Qwark. In a bid to restore his reputation, Qwark intends to unleash the Protopet upon the galaxy, so he can use a device created by Angela to defeat the creatures and make himself famous again.[14] When he demonstrates the device, however, it malfunctions and transforms the original Protopet into a gigantic beast that devours him. While Angela goes to rescue the real Fizzwidget, Ratchet subdues the Protopet and saves Qwark's life. With Clank's help, Angela fixes the device and broadcasts a signal through Megacorp's TV transponders, neutralizing the Protopets and restoring peace to the Bogon galaxy. In the game's epilogue, Ratchet, Clank, Angela, and a female Infobot that Clank had met at several points in the game hang out at Clank's apartment, where Angela informs Ratchet that Qwark has been assigned to work as a test subject for Megacorp as punishment for his crimes.

Development and release[edit]

Going Commando was approved for development five months before the first game's release, after highly positive reviews from the original's playtesters.[15] In August 2002, Insomniac Games started designing the visual concepts for Going Commando, while still fixing bugs in the original game.[16] Brian Hastings, Insomniac's Vice President of Programming, said in a 2003 interview that the first step in the game's design was to "try to come up with a few 'Big Ideas'. These are the things we think will really grab people's attention and give the game that Wow-Factor. In the case of Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando the big ideas were RPG elements (like weapon upgrades and health upgrades), spherical planets and space combat."[16] Hastings said that the inspiration for the game's spherical worlds came in part from the cover of the 1943 novel The Little Prince.[17] Designing the spherical worlds required changing about 50,000 lines of the game's code, to account for the different handling of gravity.[17] Development took a total of ten months, during which time Insomniac's design team doubled from 40 to 80 members.[18]

One common criticism of the original Ratchet & Clank was the design and personality of Ratchet.[19] Ted Price, the game's producer, said that to fix this they made Ratchet "less cocky, he is much more friendly to Clank, and he's able to handle himself better in stressful situations without being impetuous, which is what he was in Ratchet 1."[19] The character of Captain Qwark was a late addition to the game.[15]

Going Commando was released in North America on November 11, 2003,[20] Europe on November 21, 2003,[21] and Japan on December 11, 2003.[22] In 2004, Sony added Going Commando to their Greatest Hits series of games for the PlayStation 2,[23] and it was similarly added to the Platinum Range used in the PAL region on August 13, 2004, and to the Japanese list of The Best games on July 8, 2004.[22]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 90.64%[24]
Metacritic 90/100[25]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[26]
Eurogamer 9/10[6]
Game Informer 9.5/10[7]
GamePro 4.5/5 stars[27]
GameSpot 8.8/10[28]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[29]
GameZone 9.4/10[30]
IGN 9.4/10[31]
Awards
Publication Award
IGN Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time (11th)[32]
IGN Game of the Month (November 2003)[33]

Going Commando received critical acclaim.[25] 1UP.com said that "Everything that Ratchet & Clank did, Going Commando does better, and the tweaks and additions just push it further over the top."[26] Game Informer's Andy McNamara said that the game has "the best and most compelling content [Insomniac] has put out to date."[7]

The game's arena combat and racing levels were praised by Andrew Reiner of Game Informer,[7] and Benjamin Turner of GameSpy similarly said that "it's surprising how fun it can be to play interstellar gladiator."[29] GamePro praised the game's pacing, saying that the first game felt like it didn't "really show its true colors until about halfway through", but that Going Commando had the same feeling by the end of the second level.[27] GameSpot mentioned that the "great sense of humor" of the original game is also noticeable in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando,[28] a statement echoed by GameZone when they said that the game's cut-scenes "represent some of the most thought-out and gut-wrenchingly funny sequences ever witnessed in a platforming game."[30]

Going Commando's graphics were praised by reviewers, who specifically mentioned Ratchet's improved character design.[26] Game Informer said that "the graphical details will leave you speechless..."[7] GameSpot considered the reuse of graphics for the menus and mission screens to be "a little lazy", but praised the graphics and sound effects of the game's weapons.[28] GameSpy mentioned that "Going Commando is easily the most graphically impressive platformer on the market".[29] GameZone reported that the game's sound was well-done, including the music, weapon effects, and dialogue.[30]

Criticism of the game was aimed at its level of difficulty, which is higher than that of its predecessor; 1UP.com mentioned that this was most noticeable near the end of the game, where "there are levels that consist of nothing but wave after wave of difficult enemies thrown at you to deplete your ammo, and then more waves of enemies after that."[26] GameSpy, however, praised this aspect of the game, saying that it made Going Commando more interesting than the original.[29] Some reviewers also felt that the game's space combat was poorly done in comparison to the rest of the game,[7] and that the "Giant Clank" levels were "brainless and boring".[29]

The game was awarded 11th place on IGN's 2007 list of "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time".[32] IGN also awarded both Going Commando and Final Fantasy X-2 their Game of the Month award for November 2003 in their first "Game of the Month" feature to cover two games.[33]

While the first Ratchet and Clank suffered, in my opinion, because of its immensely generic homogenization of character and because of its relative ease, Ratchet and Clank Going Commando tries to solve these problems in typical Insomniac fashion. Ratchet too annoying? Let him grow up and take charge. Game too easy? Increase the quantity and kinds of weapons for Ratchet and for the enemies. But Insomniac didn't just fix problems. It looked at every detail of the first game and from the ground up improved everything wholesale. It upgraded everything, and then it added new stuff. [...] Throughout its core fabric, Going Commando is improved in every way.

— Douglass C. Perry[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevenson, James (May 29, 2014). "Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy hits PS Vita in July". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Off, Greg (2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 
  3. ^ Bracken, Mike (December 24, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando". GameCritics.com. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (November 10, 2003). "Ratchet and Clank's Arsenal of Weapons". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ Insomniac Games (2003). Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. 
  6. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (November 12, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked & Loaded". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Reiner, Andrew; McNamara, Andy (December 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando". Game Informer (Game Informer Magazine). Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Sony, Insomniac Games. "Ratchet & Clank : Going Commando". Gameinfowire.com. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  9. ^ Insomniac Games (November 11, 2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sony Computer Entertainment. Ratchet: Well, as you can imagine we've been pretty busy. After Drek's defeat, there were parades, press conferences, fancy dress balls... / Clank: ...and the weiner roast at Al's. / Ratchet: Oh yeah – that. And then things started to slow down a bit. 
  10. ^ Insomniac Games (November 11, 2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sony Computer Entertainment. Fizzwidget: Welcome! / Ratchet: What the...? / Fizzwidget: I'm Abercrombie Fizzwidget, founder of the Megacorp company in the Bogon Galaxy. [...] I'm sorry to incapacitate you but our entire galaxy is in a very precocious situation. I must humbly request your sustenance on a mission of dire urgitude [...] A few days ago this, top secret, biological Experiment was stolen from our testing lavatory, by this dupliferous criminal mastermind and I need you to get The Experiment back. 
  11. ^ Insomniac Games (November 11, 2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sony Computer Entertainment. Ratchet: Woah woah, hey now! I'm just here to fix the... 'Transfluxer Coil' 
  12. ^ Insomniac Games (November 11, 2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sony Computer Entertainment. Angela: This changes nothing! Where is the experiment? / Clank: We have returned it to Mr. Fizzwidget. / Angela: Ugh. You've just put the whole galaxy in imminent danger. 
  13. ^ Insomniac Games (November 11, 2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sony Computer Entertainment. Ratchet: Mr. Fizzwidget, do you copy? Anyone handling the experiment must exercise the utmost caution. 
  14. ^ Insomniac Games (November 11, 2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sony Computer Entertainment. Qwark: Allow me to explain, I'm about to save the galaxy from the Protopets and you are about to be come public enemy number one! 
  15. ^ a b McLaughlin, Rus (October 30, 2007). "IGN Presents The History of Ratchet and Clank". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.  Additional pages archived on June 24, 2009: 2, 3, 4.
  16. ^ a b Drifter, Tokyo (May 6, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009. 
  17. ^ a b "Music of the Spheres". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  18. ^ Berghammer, Billy (September 2003). "Ratchet & Clank Interview: Ted Price, president of Insomniac Games". Game Informer. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  19. ^ a b Turner, Benjamin (May 8, 2003). "Ted Price on Going Commando". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009.  Additional pages archived on June 24, 2009: 2, 3, 4.
  20. ^ "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Ratchet & Clank 2 Locked and Loaded". PlayStation Games & Media. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  22. ^ a b "Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded Related Games". GameSpot UK. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  23. ^ Adams, David (September 8, 2004). "Sony Adds Five More to "Greatest Hits"". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  25. ^ a b "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando PS2". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  26. ^ a b c d 1UP Staff (May 9, 2004). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  27. ^ a b Dingo, Star (November 11, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  28. ^ a b c Gerstmann, Jeff (November 11, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  29. ^ a b c d e Turner, Benjamin (November 12, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando ". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009.  Additional pages archived on June 24, 2009: 2.
  30. ^ a b c McElfish, Carlos (November 21, 2003). "Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Review". GameZone. GameZone Online. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  31. ^ a b Perry, Douglass C. (November 11, 2003). "Ratchet and Clank Going Commando". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009.  Additional pages archived on June 24, 2009: 2, 3, 4, 5.
  32. ^ a b IGN PlayStation Team (March 16, 2007). "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009.  Additional pages archived on June 24, 2009: 2, 3.
  33. ^ a b IGNPS2 (November 26, 2003). "Game of the Month: November 2003". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 

External links[edit]