Monday, July 11, 2011


Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (known as Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded in certain PAL regions) is a 3D platformer/shooter developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony. Released for the PlayStation 2 in 2003, it is the second game in the Ratchet & Clank series, following Ratchet & Clank and preceding Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal.

The game begins with Ratchet and Clank being hired by the company Megacorp to find a small creature that was stolen from the company's labs. Ratchet finds the thief and returns the creature to Megacorp before learning that the creature, called a "protopet", is a dangerous monster which reproduces at amazing speed and that Megacorp is planning to market it to unknowing customers across the Galaxy. The duo must stop the protopet menace and save the galaxy.

The gameplay of Going Commando is similar to that of the original Ratchet & Clank. The player explores planets in the "Bogon" Galaxy and undertakes missions. It contains more mini-games than were present in Rachet & Clank. The game also introduces role-playing game (RPG) elements, such as upgradeable weapons. Going Commando was released roughly a year after its predecessor, and received very positive reviews. Critics noted the game's improved graphics, longer gameplay, and added role-playing elements as being major improvements over the original.


The player controls Ratchet from a third-person perspective, and uses weapons and gadgets to defeat enemies and explore areas. The player travels to planets in the "Bogon" Galaxy and completes main objectives and optional side quests. "Bolts", the game world's currency, are obtained by defeating enemies and breaking crates located throughout the game's levels. Going Commando also includes four types of "maxi-games", mini-games in which the player can participate to earn bolts . These games including arena battles, hover bike races, spherical worlds, and space combat. After completing the game, the player may also enter "challenge mode", which is more difficult but allows the player to start with the weapons and health that they had when the finished the game the first time.

Going Commando contains a total of eighteen weapons, such as the Blitz Gun, Seeker and Lava Gun. Each weapon has a "growth bar", which increases when the weapon is used to defeat enemies. The weapon is upgraded once the bar is filled, doubling its power and changing the design of its shot. Certain devices from the original Ratchet & Clank make a return, such as the Swingshot, while others are new to Going Commando. The player can use a save file from the original Ratchet & Clank to access a selection of "retro" weapons from that game.

As with weapons, Ratchet gains experience with each enemy destroyed. When Ratchet's experience bar fills, he gains a new level of nanotech. This awards him with additional health bubbles, up to a maximum of 80. Ratchet's health can also be increased by collecting nanotech upgrade items. Ratchet may also wear armor to provide up to five additional levels of protection.


After defeating Drek in the previous game, Ratchet and Clank become celebrities. However, things start cooling down after a while. After an interview with Behind the Hero, Ratchet and Clank are suddenly teleported to the Bogon Galaxy by Abercrombie Fizzwidget, the founder and CEO of Megacorp, a corporation that manufactures every product in the Bogon Galaxy. Fizzwidget asks the duo for their assistance in recovering a stolen biological experiment. Ratchet is equipped with some weapons and is sent to a flying laboratory on planet Aranos to search for the Experiment, where he finds it in a cage. The thief reveals himself, and Ratchet attempts to cover his identity up by lying. The thief takes the Experiment, and leaves the ship. Ratchet returns to his ship and contacts Fizzwidget, informing him of the thief's escape.

Ratchet is given coordinates by Fizzwidget and, with the help of Clank, chases the thief across several planets, eventually confronting the thief on the frozen planet Siberius. He defeats the thief, reclaims the Experiment, and returns it to Fizzwidget. Later, after Fizzwidget 'accidentally' ejects Ratchet and Clank from their ship, the thief approaches, demanding the Experiment back, not realizing that Ratchet gave it to Fizzwidget. The thief's mask comes off accidentally, and it's revealed that he is actually a girl, Angela Cross. After learning that the experiment has been handed back to Megacorp, she warns that it will ultimately doom the galaxy.

On planet Dobbo, Ratchet and Clank discover that Angela's claims are true, because the Experiment turns out to be a dangerous predator. They try to persuade Fizzwidget to destroy the experiment, but their efforts are in vain. The duo then stumble across an advertisement for the Experiment, officially called the "Protopet", which is being prepared for mass release. On planet Boldan, Ratchet and Clank are captured by the "Thugs-4-Less" mercenary company which was hired by Fizzwidget. They are sent to prison, but escape and try to rescue Angela, who has also been captured. After Ratchet defeats the Thug Leader on Planet Snivelak and rescues Angela, they go to Megacorp Headquarters to destroy the protopets.

After they get there, they discover that Captain Qwark (the disgraced superhero from Ratchet & Clank) had disguised himself as Fizzwidget and planned to release the protopet, knowing about its dangers, from the beginning. Qwark was about to use the protopets to restore his reputation. He attempts to use a "Helix-o-morph" (a gadget that will repair the flaw in the Protopet) and zaps the original protopet, but something goes wrong, and the original protopet mutates into a gigantic monster. After Ratchet defeats the giant protopet, Clank fixes the Helix-o-morph. Angela zaps the original protopet and amplifies the device with Megacorp's TV transponders to cure all the Protopets in the galaxy, ending the threat. The real Fizzwidget then appears, having been tied up in a closet. In the end of the game, Ratchet, Clank, Angela, and the Infobot are seen at Clanks's apartment, where they find out that Qwark has unwillingly become a test subject for Megacorp's new "Crotchitizer".

Development and release

Going Commando was approved for development five months before the first game's release, after highly positive reviews from the original's playtesters. In August 2002, Insomniac Games started designing the visual concepts for Going Commando, while still fixing bugs in the original game. Brian Hastings, Insomniac's Vice President of Programming, said in a 2003 interview that the first step in the game's design was to "try to come up with a few 'Big Ideas'. These are the things we think will really grab people's attention and give the game that Wow-Factor. In the case of Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando the big ideas were RPG elements (like weapon upgrades and health upgrades), spherical planets and space combat. Hastings said that the inspiration for the game's spherical worlds came in part from the cover of the 1943 novel The Little Prince. Designing the spherical worlds required changing about 50,000 lines of the game's code, to account for the different handling of gravity. Development took a total of ten months, during which time Insomniac's design team doubled from 40 to 80 members.

One common criticism of the original Ratchet & Clank was the design and personality of Ratchet. Ted Price, the game's producer, said that to fix this they made Ratchet "less cocky, he is much more friendly to Clank, and he's able to handle himself better in stressful situations without being impetuous, which is what he was in Ratchet 1. The character of Captain Qwark was a late addition to the game.

Going Commando was released in North America on November 11, 2003, Europe on November 21, 2003, and Japan on December 11, 2003. In 2004, Sony added Going Commando to their Greatest Hits series of games for the PlayStation 2, and it was similarly added to the Platinum Range used in the PAL region on August 13, 2004, and to the Japanese list of The Best games on July 8, 2004.

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