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September 15, 2009
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
29/10/2009SonySonyInsomniac Games
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$109.95
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Visuals in Crack In Time are sensational.
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Wait, how many Clanks are there?

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The rather mysterious newcomer, Alister Azimuth.
I, probably like so many Playstation gamers, have always had a love for Insomniac Games as a developer. Their titles are always among the best on any console on both an artistic, and technical, level. The PSOne was host to the magnificent Spyro series, the PS2 saw the creation of the Ratchet & Clank franchise and the PS3 is home to Resistance. Unlike Spyro though which remained and PSOne title for the developer (other developers now create that franchise), Ratchet & Clank has made the jump from PS2 to PS3, and this release is the third in the franchise on Sony's latest console.

The first game in this franchise was Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction which was a stunning title. A year later and the developers released Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty a large stand-alone title which was predominantly sold through the Playstation Store, with a very limited Blu-Ray release in some territories including Australia. Now we have the third game Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time which will be another major retail release, and a game which finishes off the current three game story arc on the PS3. Fortunately you needn't have played previous games to get up to speed with this game.

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Ratchet & Clank are back in Crack in Time.
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time puts players into the role of both Ratchet and Clank as they attempt to reunite and save the universe. Along the way, both will finally uncover the hidden truth behind their origins and discover their ultimate destinies. As the duo come closer to reuniting, they’ll have to ask themselves the biggest question of all: Do Ratchet and Clank's destinies lie with each other? Or is it finally time for the universe’s greatest duo to separate for good?

In terms of actual gameplay this latest title offers a much more open, free roaming universe then previous games. It's now possible to select where you want to travel to next within the star system and in doing so possibly enter some side missions quite separate to the main storyline.

Of course you will be able to control both Ratchet and Clank in the different missions, each of which comes with new abilities at their disposal such as Ratchet’s Hoverboots, which allow him to travel at high speeds and and jump off ramps to get to distant locations in search of Zoni and other rare collectables. Clank isn't just the same either as he now has the ability to manipulate time in an effort to thwart Dr. Nefarious, one of the franchise’s best-known villains who is attempting to control time itself.

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Level design is impressive.
Weapons have always been a key component to this franchise and this latest release introduces new weapons including the Cryo-Bomb Glove, Plasma Striker and Sonic Eruptor, along with classics such as the Negotiator and Buzz Blades.

Insomniac Games has confirmed that that, while the easiest difficulty will be easier then the first game, the normal and hard difficulty levels are going to be ramped up a little harder which will overcome complaints over a low difficulty level in the first title.

In America Crack in Time will be released in four different variations. The Discovery Package unlocks an additional level that resembles the Insomniac Games studios; the Bolt Package unlocks two additional weapons and gives the player 5,000 bolts; the Space Package unlocks a new spaceship skin, a PlayStation Home costume and 5,000 bolts while the Power Package unlocks extra health, the Cryo-Mine Glove and weapon skin. The good news for European, and we assume Australian gamers, is that we get the additional level from the Discovery Package and an art book.

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Oh yar, here's a screen with Ratchet!
As you would have seen from the surrounding screenshots this is a gorgeous game visually. We have commented in the past how Insomniac and Naughty Dog (Jak & Daxter) push games to a very artistic, almost Disney, level in their animation and we expect no less from this title. It also just been confirmed that the game will run at 60fps with a 720p resolution.

Unlike the last release, Quest for Booty this is a full game and not a 4-5 hour add-on. Expect this game to have a pretty lengthy runtime on par with, or in excess of, the first game on the PS3. With a release targeted towards late October 2009 this is one game that is sure to push the PS3 to new heights.