Culture, Gaming

Replay: Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank (PS2, 2002), 600x463Publisher: SCE  Developer: Insomniac Games  Format: PS2  Release: 2002

On planet Rilgar, one of two game areas available in the demo for Ratchet & Clank, there is a seemingly impassable tunnel. This tunnel, a platforming gauntlet made all the more desperate by the pressure of a rising water level, can only be passed with a combination of gadgetry, mechanical understanding and flawless timing. Most first-timers aren’t capable of making it through this treacherous challenge with anything approaching casual decorum. But once you attain the skill and understanding to master it, you appreciate this formative sci-fi character action game more keenly than when you first took a chance on its fuzzy-eared protagonist and his robotic sidekick.


Future Perfect

One fantasy that never ceases to permeate my mind is imagining what the distant future will be like. There’s the desolate vision of future London, something which I relish the thought of exploring – although the reality may turn out to be less bearable thanks to mutated savages and barely enough electricity for warm showers.

The more optimistic vision, and many more moons away, is a world transformed into a jigsaw of urban sprawl. Masses of skyscrapers squeezed amongst one another making up towering mega-cities that engulf whole continents. Thousands of hovercars speed through the airways like lines of tiny ants. And cruising space is as commonplace as dropping by the high street for doughnuts.
It’s this vision that Insomniac Games’ GDC 2006 trailer for Ratchet & Clank conjures so excellently in my mind. Metropolis, the setting for this futurescape, is alive like never before. This particular setting holds strong sentimental value for me, as a complex urban city is the height of sci-fi and part of why the original game captured my heart. So to see it all re-imagined back then in such crystalline detail, with the hectic activity of Fifth Element and a cavalcade of environmental sounds, was a privilege.


Intergalactic Vinyl Heroes

Here’s something for all you collectors out there: one-of-a-kind Ratchet & Clank vinyl sculpts created by Jason Freeny and approved by Insomniac Games themselves.

The superlative sculpts have a vivid uncanny look to them, a sense of heightened comic friendliness that’s also been employed in the recent Ratchet & Clank comics (which I plan to discuss here on JTTE soon) and the upcoming game Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One.

They were recently sold on eBay for $1,075.00 with $200 of the proceeds donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Ratchet & Clank hit back!

O’ My Lucky Stars! I’ve finally got my internet back, here in halls, and what’s this I hear? A new Ratchet & Clank adventure is on the way?

Well, hot damn. Sign me up quick and mail me to Bogon.

Going to have to do some reminiscing about when I first saw the GDC 2006 announcement trailer for Ratchet & Clank’s PS3 debut. In good time thought, for now check out the press release for the all-new Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time. Yeah!