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Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

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A4O Boxart
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
Publication information

Insomniac Games


Sony Computer Entertainment

Game engine

Insomniac Engine[1]

Release date

Flag of the United States October 18, 2011[2]
PAL: October 19, 2011[3]


Platformer, Shooter


Singleplayer, Multiplayer (Up to four player co-operative online/offline)


ESRB:ESRB E10- Everyone 10+
PEGI:New PEGI 12 12
USK:USK 12 12


PlayStation 3

Preceded by

Ratchet & Clank: Issue 6: Bros Before Foes

Followed by

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is a game for the PlayStation 3 developed by Insomniac Games.[1][4] It is the 9th installment in the Ratchet & Clank series. The game is a platformer shooter; however, it relies on a four player co-operative system where the players can choose to play as either Ratchet, Clank, Qwark or Dr. Nefarious. It is the first spin-off game in the series by Insomniac Games.[5]

This game takes place in the year 5362.


Clankexpansion This section needs expanding. You can help the Ratchet & Clank wiki by expanding it.
Creature Collector captures

The Creature Collector captures the heroes

All 4 One takes place two years after the events of A Crack in Time.[verification needed] The game begins when Galactic President Captain Qwark goes to the city of Luminopolis to receive an "Intergalactic Tool of Justice Award", and he asks Ratchet and Clank to escort him which, in reality, is Dr. Nefarious's latest plan.[6][7] During the "ceremony" he unleashes a Light-Eating Z'Grute on the city of Luminopolis, which is eventually defeated by Ratchet, Clank, Qwark and Nefarious.[8] However, this rare creature attracts the attention of Ephemeris the Creature Collector, and the foursome are kidnapped and dumped on planet Magnus, banding together as the Fearsome Foursome. Ephemeris was using Magnus as an open-air reserve for the universe's most dangerous creatures, terrorizing the locals. The team is rescued by a little girl. Although hesitantly, Ratchet and Clank postpone their vacation and set off to stop Ephemeris.[6][9] With no other way to get home, Qwark and Nefarious join the heroes—begrudgingly. The team found out that Ephemeris was guarded by Commander Spog after the team went to the Deadgrove. The team found N.E.S.T, a base of operations for Spog. After the team battled Commander Spog, Ephemeris had been controlled by Nevo Binklemeyer, a long-time friend of Frumpus Croid.

After fighting Commander Spog at the N.E.S.T, they find out that only the Architect knows how to defeat Ephemeris and head over to Terawatt Forest, beyond Octonok Cay. They also find Dr Croid's first holo-diary. It shows the happier times on Magnus. While in Octonok Cay, they find Dr. Croid's next two holo-diaries. They show that Dr Nevo Binkelmiyer, Dr Croid's colleague betrayed him, ravaged his laboratory, took Mr Dinkles, Dr Croid's companion and stole the plans to a protomorphic energy extracter and that Dr. Croid sent a smaller version of Ephemeris to rescue his companion, Mr. Dinkles. When they reach Dr Croid's research station, they find Dr Croid's fourth holo-dairy. It shows that Nevo seized control of Ephemeris and modified it into what it is now, and that Nevo is responsible for everything Ephemeris has done. When the team reaches the Hall of Paradoxology in Terawatt Forest, they find that Dr. Croid has moved his laboratory to the Phonica Moon, having expected Nevo to make an assassination attempt on him. When the team reaches Phonica Moon, they realize that Dr. Croid has seemingly gone insane. After accessing the lab's computers, Nefarious discovers that Ephemeris has a charging dock that recharges its power cells, the dock being stationed on the VilerogPlateau just outside Uzo City. The team takes Dr. Croid's escape pod to the Vilerog Plateau, but on the way, Ephemeris attacks them and they crash land into the Polar Sea, unable to contact Cronk and Zephyr. When they discover a railway station, they find that it is broken. Qwark fakes dying, attempting to make amends with Nefarious. Just then, the plumber appears and fixes the railway platform so the heroes can travel to Uzo City.

When the team reaches the core of Ephemeris, they discover that Nevo is not actually in charge of Ephemeris, having been betrayed by Mr. Dinkles, who is possessed by a Toranux Spirit. He reveals that Nevo did not betray Dr Croid. Mr Dinkles had done the things Dr Croid thought Nevo had done. Although Nevo tried to stop Mr Dinkles, Mr Dinkles captured Nevo and made him his "pet." He will also use the collected beasts as vessels for the Toranux Spirits so they can destroy the universe. After fighting the heroes, he extracts his spirit into a Rykan V Grivelnox. After a long and fierce final battle, Dr. Croid and Nevo manage to extract the spirit, which is promptly destroyed by Nefarious. Soon afterwards, Cronk and Zephyr arrive, revealing that they finally received help from Lawrence. Nefarious and Lawrence steal Cronk and Zephyr's ship and leave the heroes stranded on Magnus. Thankfully, Ratchet remembers that Ephemeris is still active, and everyone decides to use it so they can return to Luminopolis.

After the credits, Lawrence tells Nefarious of a secret route they can take past the barriers set by the Polaris Defense Force. During this, Nefarious looks at the picture he took with Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark.


Octonok Reef raft

Players must cooperate to pilot the raft by spinning the turbines with their Vac-Us.

Gameplay consists of firefights with a varied arsenal of weapons like previous games, but it is largely centered around cooperative gameplay mechanics. Players will often have to cooperate and rely on each other to progress though a level, but Insomniac has been careful to keep All 4 One enjoyable at the same time. "We had gameplay mechanics where one player would do something and the other three were waiting for them to do it. It was just intensely boring. Waiting around is not a lot of fun," said Mike McManus, a gameplay programmer at Insomniac.[10]

Examples of this co-op gameplay are sections where players must launch each other onto buttons with the Vac-U, or tilt their controllers in unison to move the team in order to escape a wind tunnel by creating the most air resistance. Some platforms act like a seesaw and will topple over if too much weight is applied to one side, so players must work together to balance the platform and prevent falling off. Teamwork is rewarded though a co-op points system. These points "are charging something up" and "make a very cool thing happen in the game."[11] Some points go to players' individual profiles "when you work together very well."[11] For example, co-op points are awarded when extra nanotech is passed onto a teammate who is low on nanotech.


Cinematic co-op. Players battle a huge robot Guardian

The "director's view" camera allows for more cinematic views than previous games, which Insomniac has named "cinematic co-op." These cinematic sequences occur in "almost every level."[10] In addition to providing cinematic views, the camera changes position to give the optimal view of points of interest, such as a 3/4 top view of a group of enemies or a side view of a platforming section.

While cooperative, gameplay can also be competitive. The bolt counter at the top right of the screen compares players' individual bolt counts, fueling friendly rivalries and races to become the first owner of a new weapon. The Vac-U can also be used to launch players into a bottomless pit in order to get a certain item first. The before-mentioned co-op points system is meant to discourage from players abusing these competitive mechanics and acting like total jerks by rewarding cooperation. According to an article by Joystiq, the competitive mechanics can be switched off if this becomes a problem, though there has been no mention of this since.[12] Players can also be kicked or banned from a session.[13] More casual competition exists in mechanics like Cluster Cannons, where the first player to activate the cannon gets a bonus.

Death is penalized only with a small bolt penalty (40 bolts in the Luminopolis demo)[14] and having to wait a few seconds to respawn. If you die in combat, you can be revived by other players. However, if the whole team dies, they have to go back to the last checkpoint.[13]

Multiplayer system

A4O Team

All 4 One adds co-op multiplayer to the classic Ratchet & Clank formula

All 4 One adds a four-player drop-in drop-out co-op system to the classic Ratchet & Clank formula. The four players can be local, through the use of multiple controllers; online players, through the use of PlayStation Network; or, in the case of a single player, one AI character controlled by the CPU. Voice chat is supported.[15] Players can drop in or out at any time during gameplay. If you play alone, you will have the choice of playing as Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, or Dr. Nefarious. If you choose Ratchet, Qwark, or Dr. Nefarious, an AI controlled Clank will ride on your back and hop off to fight enemies and help in sections that require two players. Any combination of characters can be used when playing single player, such as a miniaturised Qwark that hops onto Clank's back in singleplayer and jumps off in combat in full-size.[16] As players progress through the game, they build up a profile associated with their PSN ID. When players join an online game hosted by another player's profile, they get to keep "some things" associated with their profile, one of which is trophies.[17] Players can also login to their profile on another PS3 to keep those "things" when playing.[17]

To accommodate inexperienced players, All 4 One uses alerts to keep online players on the same page and avoid the frustration of trying to tell your clueless team members what to do.[18] In addition, each character has an appropriate color which is used to associate items and objects in the HUD with that player. To keep players aware of where their characters are, character-colored trails appear during longer jumps, and colored rings appear underneath characters in darker areas like Terawatt Forest. This is also used in more specific situations, for example, characters wakeboard in one gameplay sequence, connected to the boat with colored ropes. This allows players to quickly locate their relatively small characters on screen by looking for their character's color.

At the end of each level or section of a level, bonus bolts are awarded, players' bolt counts are compared, and players are given "awards" reflecting their approach on the level. Example awards are "Bolt Master" for collecting the most bolts and "Noob" for dying the most.

Weapons and gadgets

Thundersmack Gameplay

The Thundersmack's storm clouds are more powerful when "powered up" by other player's Thundersmacks.

Weapons are more powerful when used cooperatively. The Combuster, for example, adapts to All 4 One's cooperative nature by multiplying damage as more players fire at an enemy. New weapons like the Darkstar Fission Tether and Thundersmack are made for multiplayer. Electric energy beams connect player's Darkstar tethers together, creating a web of electricity which can be moved around of slice through groups of enemies or damage a larger enemy. Weapon upgrades can be purchased with bolts.[19]

Each character uses their own unique melee attack, which are all aptly named. Ratchet uses his wrench, Clank uses Clank Fu, Qwark punches enemies with his "Fists of Justice," and Nefarious uses his claws, named "Annihilator Blades."[20] In addition, each player can perform a slam move that acts like an OmniWrench Hyper-strike. Each character also has a boomerang-like weapon which acts like an OmniWrench Comet-strike.[8]


Players make a "Hookshot chain" in order to grasp a versa-target

A new gadget called Hookshot replaces the Swingshot from previous games and adds some new features for co-op. Players can latch onto each other with the Hookshot's grapple. Versa-targets are placed with a lot of space between them, so players must latch onto each other to reach the next vera-target. The Hookshot can also be used to pull a player falling to their death back up, or to pull the rest of the team over a gap after one player has gotten across.

Each character also has an appropriate special weapon. Ratchet has the Doppelbanger, a decoy; Clank has the Zoni Ray, which slows down enemies; Qwark has the Quantum Deflector shield, highlighting his "not a fighter" personality; and Nefarious has the Cloaker, highlighting his sneakiness and treachery. These weapons can be used cooperatively to help other team members. For example, you can draw enemy fire with a Doppelbanger decoy, taking the pressure off other team members.



The control layout. Click for a bigger image

PlayStationTriangle is used as an action button in All 4 One. Some objects have a PlayStationTriangle icon floating over them whenever the characters are close. Whenever a player holds PlayStationTriangle, their character performs the action related to it. If there is no object such object near, PlayStationTriangle is used for the Hookshot. The Quick Select can be accessed by moving the right stick.[9] Melee attacks can be performed with PlayStationSquare.[8] L3 is used for sprinting.[21] PlayStationCircle is no longer used for firing weapons, but for the Vac-U. Holding L1 is locks onto the target in the aiming reticule, and makes your character strafe. L2 is used to show bolt total, how much bolts remain in your bank or to call your companion in single player. The D-Pad is used for two things, toggling between the last weapon used (if you currently have a gadget equipped) and the last gadget used (if you have a weapon equipped) and 3 quickslots. To assign a weapon to a quickslot, hold L2 + R2 and press the direction on the D-Pad you want to assign the weapon to, up left or right.

Art style

A4ORatchet and Clank

Clank has grown, and Ratchet's fur is shorter

All 4 One uses a different art style than previous PlayStation 3 titles. Objects and scenery take on a cartooned appearance, and the sizes of characters have been distorted. Clank for example, was the size of a backpack in previous titles, but is now taller and closer to Ratchet's height. In addition, Ratchet lacks visible fur and Qwark's head has shrunk considerably. The HUD uses even more cartooned versions of the characters. In the HUD, Qwark's chin is exaggerated, and Nefarious's head is taller.

Surprisingly, cel-shading does not return in aspects such as explosions unlike in its predecessor, A Crack in Time.


The soundtrack for All 4 One was produced by Michael Bross.[22] It was later released as an official soundtrack for purchase on iTunes.[23]








Planets and locations

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Mentioned only



Behind the scenes


Ratchet & Clank: 4 Play cover concept art

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One was not the only title that was considered for the final product.[25] Insomniac Games mentioned there was a spreadsheet that contained manypotential titles. The three most popular unused titles were 4 Play,[26] Multiple Organisms, and Bros b4 Foes.

Michael Bross first Ratchet & Clank composition, composed the music for Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One.[27]

All co-op gameplay mechanics had to pass a test which Insomniac has dubbed "CAKE." This stands for "Co-op, Active for all players, Kinetic, and Easy to understand."[19]

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One was originally released with a PEGI 12 rating after reclassification before the release.[28] This was later reclassified back to a 7 rating.[28]

PlayStation Plus

In November 2012 Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One was added to the PlayStation Plus instant game collection, making it available to download for free to PlayStation Plus members.[29]


Various members of Insomniac Games had wanted to have co-operative play with both Ratchet and Clank at the same time. Brian Allgeier soon suggested adding Qwark and Chad Dezern then decided Nefarious could also be added to turn it into a four player game.[30]

Critical reception

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One received mixed-average reviews. It achieved a score of 70 out of 100 at Metacritic and 70.63% at GameRankings.[31][32] The game overall sold 1.5 million copies.[verification needed]

It was given a "Great" 8 out of 10 rating by IGN who praised the fun multiplayer gameplay and puzzle sections. However, they did say that the story and graphics were not as good as the previous Ratchet & Clank game, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.[33] GameInformer also praised the game's co-operative gameplay, giving it a 8.75 out of 10.[34]

Official PlayStation Magazine UK gave Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One a 6 out of 10 rating. They praised the co-operative fun with a range of gadgets and weaponry and the humorous story but criticized the lack of interaction concluding that it would be better as a "half-price kid's game" or released as a shorter title on the PlayStation Network.[35] Destructoid stated the game was "below average" and gave the game 4 out of 10. They criticized it for jumping on the "co-op bandwagon" and having poor camera angles but did praise amusing cutscenes.[36]


See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1
  6. 6.0 6.1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2
  9. 9.0 9.1
  10. 10.0 10.1
  11. 11.0 11.1 at 30:36
  13. 13.0 13.1
  17. 17.0 17.1 at 33:23
  19. 19.0 19.1
  24. 24.0 24.1 Online Public Beta
  28. 28.0 28.1
  31. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, PlayStation 3 on metacritic
  32. "Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One for PlayStation 3" - GameRankings.
  33. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One Review by Ryhan Clements October 19, 2011 on IGN
  34. "This Is One For All The Fans Of Co-op Platforming - Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One - PlayStation 3 -
  35. "Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One PS3 review - Official PlayStation Magazine UK"
  36. "Review: Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One" - 10.19.2011 on Destructoid by Jim Sterling
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

Game | Official Guide | Soundtrack

Game help
Walkthrough | Monsterpedia | Visual monsterpedia

Hero bolt locations | Critters | Skill points | PlayStation trophies

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Ratchet & Clank series

Original series
Ratchet & Clank (PS2) | Going Commando | Up Your Arsenal |The Adventures of Captain Starshield | Deadlocked
Tools of Destruction | Quest for Booty | A Crack in Time
Ratchet & Clank comic series | All 4 One | Full Frontal Assault | | Into the Nexus

Re-imagined series
Ratchet & Clank (movie)/Ratchet & Clank (PS4)

Going Mobile| Before the Nexus| Size Matters | Secret Agent Clank

PlayStation Home | PlayStation Move Heroes | PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Clone Home | NEXUS

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