Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Can Learn A Lot from Going Commando

In a couple of months, Insomniac Games and Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Leveraging the power of the PlayStation 5’s SSD and added horsepower, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will propel the 3D platforming franchise into the next-generation of consoles, offering gameplay features that were simply not possible on older hardware. While it’s too early to say if Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will live up to the hype, chances seem good that it will be yet another great entry in the long-running Ratchet & Clank franchise.

If Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart needs to look to any of the previous games in the Ratchet & Clank series for inspiration, one game it might want to take a look at is Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Originally released in 2003, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is the sequel to the original Ratchet & Clank game on the PlayStation 2, and it also happens to be quite easily one of the best games in the series.

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Simply put, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is the blueprint on how to do a proper video game sequel. It keeps the spirit of the original game while making major strides forward, and that’s something that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart should strive for as well. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PS5 should take a look at what has and hasn’t worked in previous Ratchet & Clank games, address those criticisms, and then add new features to the mix, just as Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando did before it.

Something fans will notice when going straight from the original Ratchet & Clank to Going Commando is just how many quality of life improvements are made from one game to the next. These may seem like small improvements on the surface, but these quality of life changes go a long way in making the game an overall more enjoyable experience than its predecessor. For example, in the original Ratchet & Clank, players have to swap to hardly-used gadgets at certain points to do things like solve a hacking mini-game to open a door. In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, players are able to swap to that gadget automatically, meaning less time fiddling around in menus.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart would do well to make major changes and move the franchise forward into the next-generation, but it must also be respectful of its past. Canonically speaking, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is set after the events of Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, but it will also serve as a soft reboot of the series. Considering this, it may not spend much time directly mentioning events from previous games, but it should have something there for longtime fans to get excited about.

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was clever with how it embraced the original game. The story starts off immediately where the original game’s post-credits scene ended, and it also incorporates various characters and references from that game as well. Not only that, but the progress players made in the original Ratchet & Clank is actually reflected in Going Commando in some ways.

If players have a save file for the original Ratchet & Clank on their console, they can pick up some of their old weapons and gadgets for free in Going Commando. The Ratchet & Clank series has all kinds of unique weapons, and it’s nice to be able to use them again in the second game. Clank’s various upgrades are retained in the sequel as well, as are tools like Ratchet’s grind boots and the Swing-Shot.

With Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart launching as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, it is highly unlikely that it will have this kind of connectivity with past games. However, it can still make references and nods to the various Ratchet & Clank games that came before it.

The Ratchet & Clank games are generally well-received games that have earned acclaim from critics, but they are not without their flaws. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart should acknowledge the issues that people had with previous games in the Ratchet & Clank series and make an effort to rectify them. This wouldn’t be unlike what Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando did, addressing many of the criticism aimed at the original Ratchet & Clank game head-on.

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For instance, the first Ratchet & Clank game is notorious for its low number of hit points and poor checkpoint system. Conversely, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando gives players numerous hit points throughout the course of the adventure (though, granted, there’s also a lot more enemies to deal with as well) and it also has far more forgiving checkpoints. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is still just as challenging as the original game, and in some cases is even more difficult, but this way the challenge feels like something fun to overcome instead of simply frustrating.

The PlayStation 5 is going to make it possible for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart to do things that were never possible in any previous Ratchet & Clank games. The game could utilize the PS5’s DualSense controller for unique interactivity, plus it has already made it clear that it will be using the PS5’s power to do things like instantly load from level to the next. All things considered, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart should be a huge leap forward for the franchise.

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, similarly, was a major step forward. It expanded on what the first game built by adding new features like an XP system for both Ratchet as well as his arsenal of weapons. This XP system was a major new feature that encouraged players to experiment with all the different weapons in the game if nothing else than to see what they would evolve into after leveling up.

It’s unclear if Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be able to deliver something that is quite as groundbreaking as the XP and leveling system in Going Commando, but fans will find out in a couple of months time.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is set to be the best-looking Ratchet & Clank game ever made and by a significant margin. It’s clear by the Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart PS5 gameplay footage that the game is actually shaping up to be one of the best-looking video games period, and so there’s no question that it’s moving the series forward from a visual and performance standpoint. This was true of Going Commando as well, offering sharper graphics, generally smoother gameplay, and filling up the screen with a ton more enemies at any given time.

The Ratchet & Clank games aren’t exactly known for being narrative masterpieces, but Insomniac Games has proven it can tell truly great stories with interesting characters, as evidenced by Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles MoralesRatchet & Clank: Rift Apart doesn’t need to be some Shakespearean-level story, but it would do well to offer something with a bit more substance than some of the previous games in the series.

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was a huge step forward, story-wise, when compared to the first Ratchet & Clank game. One major thing it did was make the titular character Ratchet far more likeable, whereas he was mostly insufferable and mean-spirited in the original game. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando helped to better establish Ratchet and Clank as a proper team, and hopefully their bond is explored more thoroughly in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will also have the mysterious female Lombax for players to meet as well, and that should open the door for some interesting story twists and turns.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart launches June 11, exclusively for the PlayStation 5.

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