The Ratchet & Clank series is a franchise of video games, comics, a movie and further merchandise based on a series of action platform video games about Ratchet and his companion Clank. The original Ratchet & Clank game was designed and developed by Insomniac Games for Sony; they then released a further three Ratchet & Clank games in consecutive years for the PlayStation 2. Developer High Impact Games then designed two PlayStation Portable Ratchet & Clank games (later ported onto PlayStation 2), one of which was based on Clank’s Secret Agent Clank persona.
With the release of the PlayStation 3, Insomniac Games soon released the first game of three entries to a new Ratchet & Clank Future saga, which was described as being the first game to deliver the experience of playing a Pixar movie. With the conclusion of the saga released in 2009, Insomniac Games' North Carolina studio produced Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. With the franchise strong various other merchandise was released such as a Ratchet & Clank comic series. In 2012, to celebrate ten years of Ratchet & Clank, a high-definition PlayStation 3 re-release of the first three Ratchet & Clank games in The Ratchet & Clank Collection was released to be followed by a high-definition remake of Ratchet: Deadlocked and a new game in Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault. In 2013 a Ratchet & Clank movie was announced for release in 2015 and a PlayStation 3 game, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, was announced for release later in the year.
The series is based around Ratchet, a Lombax mechanic, and Clank, his robotic companion. Ratchet is controlled by the player for the majority of the series, while Clank is also often playable. Captain Copernicus Leslie Qwark (better known as Captain Qwark) is an anti-hero character in the series also featuring as a major character. The series is known for its over-the-top weapons. The currency of the game’s worlds are bolts and the technology is usually based around futuristic Nanotech. While predominantly an action platform series, other genres have been included such as racing, space combat, shooter gameplay, tower defense, and puzzle.
Insomniac Games first started developing a concept called Girl with a Stick which was ended shortly in the early creative development stages. Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings suggested a game about an alien with a range of weapons and gadgets travelling around space, with Marvin the Martian as inspiration. Through the creative process the early concepts of Ratchet & Clank were formed which was successfully pitched to Sony. Before the release of Ratchet & Clank in 2002, work began on the sequel Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando which was released the following year. Following the success of the series Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal was released in a third consecutive year in 2004 which included local and online multiplayer for the first time in the series. The multiplayer element received high praise, with the game being awarded a "great" multiplayer factor by GameSpy, the highest multiplayer rating of the time.
2005's entry to the Ratchet & Clank series took a slightly different approach with Ratchet: Deadlocked which featured a competitive and cooperative multiplayer mode and, as the title suggests, downplayed Clank's role in the game and focused on more combat focused gameplay. Also in 2005 various other types of Ratchet & Clank merchandise was produced due to the popularity of the series, this included a mobile phone entry to the series in Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile developed by Handheld Games. A sequel for the mobile phone titled Ratchet & Clank: Clone Home was scheduled for release in 2006 but the game was cancelled.
Early into 2007 developer High Impact Games released the first PlayStation Portable Ratchet & Clank game, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters; the game featured a multiplayer mode and was ported onto the PlayStation 2 and released again the following year. 2007 also saw the release of the series' first entry into the "next-generation" of games consoles and the first game released in the Ratchet & Clank Future saga - Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, developed by Insomniac Games. High Impact Games released another PlayStation Portable Ratchet & Clank game in Secret Agent Clank, a game based on Clank's Secret Agent Clank persona while Ratchet had to survive wrongful imprisonment in 2008. A downloadable sequel to Tools of Destruction was also released in 2008 called Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty. In 2009 Secret Agent Clank was released for the PlayStation 2 and the Ratchet & Clank Future saga was concluded with the release of Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.
There were no Ratchet & Clank games released in 2010, however a variety of other merchandise was released including action figures and a comic series with monthly releases into 2011. In 2011 Insomniac Games' North Carolina studio, featuring many of the same developers who worked on the original Ratchet & Clank games, released Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One which had a greater multiplayer focus than previous games with up to four players cooperatively playing at the same time online or offline.
2012 celebrated ten years of Ratchet & Clank, starting with the high-definition re-release of Ratchet & Clank, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal for the PlayStation 3 in The Ratchet & Clank Collection. Later a high-definition re-release of Ratchet: Deadlocked for download on the PlayStation Store was announced to be released by the end of the year, along with new downloadable game Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, produced by Insomniac Games' North Carolina studio and featuring a competitive online and offline multiplayer in addition to single player.
The PlayStation Vita version of Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault and the high-definition re-release of Ratchet: Deadlocked was released in Spring 2013. On 23 April, 2013 it was announced that a Ratchet & Clank movie was to be made for release in 2015. On 11 July 2013 Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus was announced as an epilogue to the Ratchet & Clank Future saga story, for release in late 2013. A mobile application to promote Into the Nexus, Ratchet & Clank: Before the Nexus, was revealed close to the game’s release.
The first three entries into the series were created for the PlayStation 2 with a focus towards action platform gameplay with elements of racing, space combat and puzzle gameplay, while Ratchet: Deadlocked deviated slightly from the original format with a much greater focus on combat gameplay. To keep up the impressive rate of annual releases the game engine, initially borrowed from Naughty Dog, was optimized between games. High Impact Games' Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters offered a traditional Ratchet & Clank experience on the PlayStation Portable followed by a Clank-focused adventure in Secret Agent Clank also on the PlayStation Portable - both were later ported onto the PlayStation 2 despite the release of PlayStation 3, opening the games to a wider audience. The teaser trailer for Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction made the game highly anticipated as an early showcase of the PlayStation 3’s full potential as games console. Tools of Destruction was also one of the few games at the time of release to support SIXAXIS controls for some game elements.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty was the first downloadable game produced by Insomniac Games and while it was relatively short it filled the gap between Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time with a few hours of gameplay, despite not having the depth of previous games. The release of A Crack in Time featured trophies for the first time in the series' history and continued to push the graphics forward while also introducing some more open-world sections.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One was developed by the North Carolina studio consisting of many original creators of Ratchet & Clank. The studio worked with a slightly different art style for All 4 One and this continues into Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault and Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. Full Frontal Assault goes back to more traditional controls while adding new elements such as tower defense style game mechanics and a greater focus on hoverboots first introduced in A Crack in Time.
All of the first three games in the Ratchet & Clank series were well received, with Up Your Arsenal receiving special praise for its multiplayer gameplay. While Ratchet: Deadlocked was criticized for losing most of its platforming elements, it was still generally well received with the game another addition to the "over-achieving" series.
The two entries onto the PlayStation Portable also received average to good critical response. The Ratchet & Clank Future saga was very well received, with Quest for Booty's replayability being criticized while Tools of Destruction was given the praise of delivering an experience of "playing a Pixar movie". Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One received slightly lower reviews and more average scores, however it was praised in filling a somewhat empty gap of story orientated family games.
Ratchet & Clank was the first Western game to be bundled in with the PlayStation 2 in Japan after breaking into the top 100 charts - a first for any Western game. As of the release of A Crack in Time, and not counting Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile, combined sales are over 23 million copies worldwide.
Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank was released on November 4, 2002 in North America and Europe on the PlayStation 2. In the game, Chairman Drek plans to take pieces of different planets across the Solana Galaxy and create one planet for his people, the Blarg. Aside from the two protagonists, the game also introduces Captain Qwark.
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
The sequel, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (Ratchet & Clank: Locked and Loaded or Ratchet & Clank 2 in the UK and Europe), was released on November 11, 2003 in North America on the PlayStation 2. The game features Ratchet, and later Clank, trying to stop the Protopet from being unleashed on the galaxy. A variety of improvements were added in that weapons can be upgraded and Ratchet's spaceship can be modified. Going Commando also introduced strafing to gameplay. The game takes place in a different setting than the first game, this time in the Bogon Galaxy. Ratchet's personality is drastically different in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, with Insomniac Games deciding to make him a more caring character.
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
The third game in the series, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (Ratchet & Clank 3 in the UK and Europe) was released on November 2, 2004 in North America on the PlayStation 2. The game improves on Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando by adding more weapons and upgrades. In Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet and Clank take on Dr. Nefarious in his plan to turn all of the Solana Galaxy population into robots.
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is also the first game in the series to offer multiplayer - an offline splitscreen and online competitive mode.
Released on October 25, 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Ratchet: Deadlocked (Ratchet: Gladiator in the UK and Europe) features Ratchet and Clank being captured and forced to compete in an underground sport called "DreadZone" in a remote section of the Solana Galaxy known as the Shadow Sector. The show is run by the media mogul Gleeman Vox. Ratchet: Deadlocked supports online play and a cooperative mode. In Ratchet: Deadlocked Clank is reduced to an unplayable, supporting character reflected in the game's title.
Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile
Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile was released in November 2005 only for mobile phones. A 2D platformer, it was developed by Handheld Games. Ratchet & Clank are transported into your mobile phone and have to fight their way back out. There are seven weapons available, and twelve levels (including an Arena). Finally, they have to defeat Maxmillian, Secret Agent Clank's nemesis, in the games’s ambiguously canon original plot taking place shortly after Up Your Arsenal.
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters was ported to the PlayStation 2 on March 11, 2008 after initial release on the PlayStation Portable on February 13, 2007. It was developed by High Impact Games. In this ambiguously canon game set shortly after Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet and Clank are having a well-earned vacation on Pokitaru when a little girl named Luna is kidnapped and the duo are lured into a scheme plotted out by an ancient race of Technomites.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the first game in the Future trilogy and the first Ratchet & Clank game for the PlayStation 3. It was released October 23, 2007. Developed once again by Insomniac Games it is also the first game to be set in the Polaris Galaxy. Ratchet learns about the Lombax Secret, and that he is the only Lombax that remains in the universe. Meanwhile, Emperor Percival Tachyon tries to bring back the Cragmites from exile, which involves finding the Lombax Secret.
Secret Agent Clank
Secret Agent Clank, created by High Impact Games for the PlayStation Portable on June 17, 2008 and later ported onto PlayStation 2 on May 26, 2009, is the first game focused on Clank who goes on a mission to rescue Ratchet after he is found guilty for a crime he didn't commit. It is then up to Clank to prove his innocence. The game is ambiguously canon and takes place after Deadlocked, also heavily referencing the events of Size Matters.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is the second game in the Future trilogy. It is the first game to be downloadable from the PlayStation Network and in Europe, it was also released on Blu-ray disc as well - both for the PlayStation 3. Taking place after Tools of Destruction. It sees Ratchet trying to track down Clank with the help of Talwyn. It was released on the PlayStation Network on August 21, 2008.
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is the final game in the Future trilogy. It was released for the PlayStation 3 on October 27, 2009. The game takes place after the events of Quest for Booty and focuses on Dr. Nefarious returning with another master plan. Ratchet and Clank are still separated, but nevertheless co-operate remotely. Ratchet meets another Lombax named Alister Azimuth on his journey who serves as a mentor.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One includes co-operative multiplayer and it allows up to four players to play as either Ratchet, Clank, Qwark and Nefarious. After Nefarious' evil plan backfires and the four are trapped in the Creature Collector, they have to co-operate to get back home.
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault was released as part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations of Ratchet & Clank in 2012. It is a smaller game released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita that features the duo in a downloadable adventure (also on Blu-ray in Europe) that can be experienced in single player or with friends through online and offline co-op and online competitive multiplayer.
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus was announced on the 10th of July, 2013. The game is a "traditional" Ratchet & Clank experience similar to A Crack in Time, the last game to abide the typical Ratchet and Clank gameplay structure and is an epilogue to the Ratchet & Clank Future saga. It was released on November 12, 2013 for the PlayStation 3.
Ratchet & Clank: Before the Nexus
Ratchet & Clank: Before the Nexus is a mobile application released to promote Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. It allows players to earn Raritanium for upgrading weapons in Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus and collecting bolts by using grindrails.
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
- Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet is the main protagonist of the series, with Clank as his sidekick and secondary protagonist. The two go on many intergalactic adventures throughout the series, saving the Solana Galaxy at least two times, the Bogon Galaxy once, the Polaris Galaxy around five times, and stopping two threats to the universe, one of which threatened all of time and space.
- Captain Qwark and the Q-Force
The cowardly fraudulent superhero Captain Qwark appeared in almost every game in the series, originally a villain, he became a major ally to Ratchet and Clank from the third game onwards.
The Q-Force members Big Al, Helga, Skid McMarx, and Skrunch appear as important recurring characters in the series, usually alongside Qwark. Big Al has a larger role than the other members, including being one of the most major characters in the fourth game.
- Nefarious and Lawrence
Dr. Nefarious acts as the most recurring and primary antagonist of the Ratchet & Clank series and the leader of his own army, originally attempting to turn everyone in Solana into robots, later taking on the grander plan of gaining control of all of time and space. However due to being forced to ally with Ratchet, Clank and Qwark on Magnus, he started to develop a nicer side, becoming friends with them. Lawrence was Nefarious’s butler, and almost always appeared alongside the mad doctor.
- The Plumber
The Plumber was a mysterious being who appeared in nearly every game in the series, almost always appearing to give Ratchet and Clank cryptic advice thanks to his all-knowing nature.
- Angela, Sasha and Talwyn
Ratchet has had three important love interests over the series, all of whom have played major roles, especially in their debut games. Angela Cross was one of the main characters in the second game, and became a larger part of later stories behind the scenes. Sasha Phyronix was a main character in the third game, and had important roles later on (most notably in the comic series). Talwyn Apogee was the most recurring of the three, being a major character in the Future series and some of the games after that, she is Ratchet’s current girlfriend.
- Cronk and Zephyr
Ratchet’s primary ship throughout the series is the Aphelion, a Lombax ship who possess an advanced AI.
- The Smuggler
An outlaw who aided Ratchet several times throughout the series, almost always for a favor or a fee. He was usually accompanied by his parrot.
- Mr. Zurkon
The Mr. Zurkon robots are a advanced Synthenoids with a special personality. From the Future series onwards, Ratchet would use a Mr. Zurkon in almost all of his adventures.
- Space Pirates
The Space Pirates are the most recurring enemy organization throughout the series, most notably appearing as major villains in the first two games of the Future series. The most notable of the Space Pirates being Rusty Pete.
Race Through Time
On 23 April, 2013 it was announced that a Ratchet & Clank movie was to be made for release in 2015. The movie will be based on the origin of Ratchet and Clank covering a similar story to the original Ratchet & Clank video game but in greater detail and with deeper meaning.
Books, comics and manga
Ratchet & Clank manga
The Adventures of Captain Starshield
Ratchet & Clank comic series
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 1: Ears of War
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 2: Friends with Benefits
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 3: Lost and Spaced
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 4: Thanks for the Armories
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 5: Multiple Organisms
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 6: Bros Before Foes
Ratchet & Clank: Clone Home
Ratchet & Clank: Clone Home was to be released only for mobile phones. Ratchet & Clank: Clone Home would have continued where Going Mobile ends, although the storyline of Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters may have interfered.
Ratchet & Clank: NEXUS
- Original series
- Ratchet & Clank
- Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
- Ratchet: Deadlocked
- Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
- Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
- Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
- Ratchet & Clank comic series
- Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
- Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
- Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
- New series
Insomniac Games Chief Executive Officer, Ted Price, mentioned in an interview that the team would love to continue experimenting with Ratchet & Clank and that they would like to take it in new directions.
Connections with other games
PlayStation Move Heroes
PlayStation Move Heroes is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Nihilistic Software for the PlayStation 3. It utilizes PlayStation Move. The game features Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly and Bentley to form a total of six main characters.
PlayStation All-Stars series
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a 2012 fighting-action video game developed by SuperBot Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. It features a plethora of Sony characters, including Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and Nefarious.
PlayStation All-Stars Island
Sky Nexus - Ratchet & Clank Version
Sky Nexus - Ratchet and Clank Version is a third party IoS game based on the Flappy Bird type games, but with a Ratchet & Clank theme to it, it was released in 2015.
References in other games
Insomniac Games created both of the series, and there are some similarities between the franchises.
With Spyro coming before the development of Ratchet & Clank when color testing for Ratchet several of the designers loathed the idea of using purple or blue.
Jak and Daxter
With the Resistance developed by Insomniac Games there are some crossover references.
- After earning enough trophies, you can give a soldier a Clank Backpack.
- They both have skill points.
- Resistance 3 had an Easter egg in the form of a toy Hydra tank that a child was playing with in a cut-scene.
- David Kaye (the voice of Clank and Klunk) is well known for being the role of Nathan Hale in the series.
Super Mario Bros.
- “Plumbers don't just go jumping down strange pipes all willy-nilly - that would be ridiculous!”
- ―The Plumber[src]
- When the Plumber was in Clank's memory banks, he references the Super Mario Bros. series, specifically the recurring use of pipes.
- Orvus is voiced by Charles Martinet who is commonly known for voicing Mario in most of the games.
Hot Shots Golf Fore!
Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time
In Sanzaru Game's "Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time", Clank can be found as a hidden treasure. The treasure is called "Medieval Metal Man" and can be found in the episode "Of Mice and Mechs". The treasure can be found on the left side, front wall, of the castle where you need your Samurai Costume to access the door.
A Ratchet & Clank Minecraft mod showcase was shown and featured in TheDiamondMinecart channel. It featured weapons and gadgets from the original game, with some are working and some are still in working-progress. It featured most of the things in the actual series, such as a vendor, Bolt Crate, Minecraft versions of Ratchet, Clank and Captain Qwark and others.
- The game series or individual games are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Ratchet and Clank.”