Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
|Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time|
North American PlayStation 3 box art
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Series||Ratchet & Clank|
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (known as Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time in most PAL countries) is a 2009 platformer video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. It is the sequel to Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty. The game was released for the PlayStation 3 in North America on October 27, 2009, in Australia on November 5, 2009 and in Europe on November 6, 2009.
Upon release, the game received positive reviews from critics, with praise particularly aimed at the story, visuals, and gameplay. A fourth and final installment for the future series, titled Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, was released in November 2013 for the PlayStation 3.
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. 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. In addition to gadgets like the Swingshot and Gravity Boots from previous games, Ratchet has a pair of Hoverboots, allowing him to move more quickly around planets and moons.
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, going to small moons and completing optional challenges, earning special items such as Zoni, gold bolts, and weapon mods in the process. 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.
Dr. Nefarious has been assigned by the Zoni to fix Clank, but in reality, he is after a room called the "Orvus Chamber", which the Zoni deny him access. In retaliation, Nefarious attempts to kill them, inadvertently allowing Clank to escape, only for the latter to be immobilized by Lawrence moments later. Nefarious tells Lawrence to spare Clank, saying that he has more for him in mind. Meanwhile in the Phylax Sector, Ratchet and Captain Qwark are struck by a time anomaly and crash-land on the planet Quantos in their search for Clank. Lord Vorselon, Nefarious' personal assassin, launches an attack on the planet in search of someone named "Alister Azimuth" and captures both the Fongoids and Qwark for more information. With his ship repaired by the Zoni, Ratchet journeys to Vorselon's warship and rescues the hostages. Clank is revived by Sigmund, the Senior Caretaker of the Great Clock, a machine that keeps time together. Sigmund helps Clank learn more about the Clock, with the help of his father Orvus in his subconsciousness, unaware that they are being spied on by Lawrence under Nefarious' orders.
On Torren IV, Ratchet is on the hunt for Alister, who is also a Lombax after initially mistaking Ratchet for an assassin and recognizes him as the son of Kaden. The Lombaxes team up and head to Terachnos to uncover the location of the Obsidian Eye, which allows the user to communicate with the inhabitants of the Great Clock, specifically Clank. Meanwhile, Clank learns about the Clock and eavesdrops on Sigmund, indirectly learning that the real Orvus disappeared two years ago. Whilst searching for the Eye on Lumos, Alister hesistantly reveals that he was indirectly responsible for the near-extinction of the Lombaxes but he plans to change that by using the Clock to rewrite history. The Lombaxes find the Eye and use it to communicate with Clank, who brings them up to speed about his father's plight and implores them to go to Zanifar to save him.
On Zanifar, Ratchet uses a time portal created by Sigmund to travel back in time two years earlier and rescue Orvus, who is being tortured by Nefarious. Orvus vanishes into thin air, but not before warning Nefarious that the Clock is not to be used as a time machine. Shortly after returning to the present, Ratchet learns that Alister has been kidnapped by Vorselon, who forces Ratchet to come and save him. Although initially angry that Ratchet chose to save him rather than the Clock, Alister assures Ratchet that using the Clock is worth the risk. Clank and Sigmund both open the door to the Orvus Chamber, but are immobilized by Lawrence, who kidnaps Clank and brings him to Nefarious. Ratchet and Alister fly to Vapedia, where they defeat the local Valkyries and rescue Clank. Despite wanting to stop Nefarious with the help of the Lombaxes, Ratchet gives up on finding them after Clank warns that using the Clock as a time machine is too risky, even for the universe. An upset Alister then leaves shortly afterwards.
Ratchet, Clank and a disguised Qwark infiltrate the Nefarious Space Station and destroy the armada so that Nefarious doesn't reach the Clock, only to be cornered by Nefarious himself, who reveals that he plans on making a perfect universe where villains rule supreme. Nefarious launches Ratchet and Clank to the barren planet Morklon so that they don't interfere with his plans. With help from Sigmund, Ratchet and Clank use a time portal to secure a working ship that helps them return to the Nefarious Space Station. Ratchet and Clank fight and seemingly kill Nefarious, before escaping with the help of Alister just as his malfunctioning ship destroys the space station. Regrouping at the Great Clock, Clank reveals that he intends to stay there to fufill his purpose. Furious that Ratchet no longer wants to do what he wants of him, Alister murders him in cold blood and races to the Orvus Chamber, but is locked out by Clank. Breaking every single rule that he was told to follow, Clank reverses time just six minutes before Ratchet's death, saving his life in the process. Alister eventually manages to reach the chamber and pulls the time-controlling lever backwards despite the efforts of Sigmund to stop him. After a brutal fight, Ratchet injures Alister and inadvertently breaks off the lever while trying to place it back into position. Feeling remorse for the consequences of his single-minded goal, Alister sacrifices himself to stop the Clock from completely breaking apart. In the aftermath, Clank, realizing that Ratchet means more to him as family rather than just his duties at the Clock, promotes Sigmund to Senior Caretaker and reunites with Ratchet just as he is about to leave.
In a post-credits scene, Qwark is stranded on a piece of rock desperately calling for help with his pet War Grok.
The title and logo of the game, along with a trailer were revealed at the 2009 Game Developers Conference.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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. Both the Game Space and apartment were released to the Asian and Japanese version on November 19, 2009.
On July 10, 2013, a fourth installment was announced. Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus was released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 on November 12, 2013. This is an epilogue to the Future sub-series.
A Crack in Time received positive reviews from critics. 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. Eurogamer scored the game 7/10 criticizing the game's lack of innovation and describing it as "more of the same". 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". GameTrailers said that "If A Crack in Time is indeed the final Ratchet & Clank game, then the series has been finished the right way". PSM3 scored the game 90/100 calling it as "Massive, rewarding, funny - all you'd expect, plus some cute new twists".
GamePro reviewer Will Herring felt that the game's camera angles were problematic at times, a statement echoed by Joe Rybicki of GameSpy, but praised its new innovations, calling the hoverboots one of the game's "most enjoyable additions [to the series]". Rybicki found the game's weapon selection "lackluster", especially early in the game, while praising some of the time-based Clank levels. Dan Ryckert, of Game Informer, said that "the Clank sections are the best puzzles seen in the series to date".
GameDaily's Robert Workman found that the game's audio was "superb".
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.
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