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Ratchet: Deadlocked

Ratchet: Deadlocked (known as Ratchet: Gladiator in Europe and Australia; and known as Ratchet & Clank 4 in Japan) is a 2005 platformer in the Ratchet & Clank series, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2.

Ratchet: Deadlocked
Deadlocked.jpg
North American PlayStation 2 box art
Developer(s)Insomniac Games
Idol Minds (HD edition)
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment
Composer(s)David Bergeaud[1]
SeriesRatchet & Clank
Platform(s)PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 (HD)
Release
Genre(s)Platformer
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer, co-op

The game's story begins as Ratchet, Clank, and Al are abducted and forced to compete in "DreadZone", a violent game show in which heroes are forced to kill each other. Ratchet is given a "DeadLock" collar, which will explode if he becomes uncooperative or boring. The three must find a way to deactivate the collars and free the other heroes being held prisoner. Deadlocked was the last Ratchet & Clank game to be rated T, despite the introduction of the E10+ rating earlier that year.[2]

The gameplay is similar to that of other games in the series, but focuses more on shooter aspects rather than platforming. The player, as Ratchet, fights in DreadZone tournaments across the "Shadow Sector" in the "Solana" Galaxy, with a large variety of weapons. This game was the first in the series to feature cooperative gameplay in a story mode, and also includes an online multiplayer mode. Some vehicles return from previous games, and new ones are introduced. For the first time, Clank (in his typical form) was not a playable character.

Deadlocked was met with generally favorable reviews, although slightly lower than its predecessors, with some criticism being aimed at its darker tone, repetitive gameplay and level design, and the removal of Clank as a playable character.

GameplayEdit

The gameplay of Ratchet: Deadlocked is similar to that of previous Ratchet & Clank games, with a combination of shooting, action, and platforming, although it focuses more on shooter aspects of the series, with very little platforming. Deadlocked was the first game in the Ratchet and Clank series to have an adjustable difficulty level,[1] and is also the first to have a cooperative story mode with two players.[3]

The player controls Ratchet from a third-person perspective, competing in missions and tournaments, defeating enemies, or occasionally controlling vehicles. "Combat Bots", two robots which follow the player in most missions, give Ratchet extra firepower, and perform several tasks for him, such as planting explosives.[1] Combat bots can be upgraded and given new paint schemes, head designs, and weapons.[1] After completing missions, the player is awarded a certain amount of "Dreadpoints" and bolts, the game's form of currency. Bolts can also be picked up from defeated enemies, or found in hidden "Jackpot" crates.[1]

There are ten weapons in Deadlocked, fewer than most other games in the series. Weapons can be modified using a large range of "Alpha" and "Omega" mods, which improve weapon abilities. Alpha mods improve statistics such as rate-of-fire and ammunition capacity, while Omega mods add a secondary effect to weapons, such as napalm, or the ability to freeze enemies.[1] The Omega mods can only be equipped if a weapon supports that type of it ("Remember: some weapons aren't compatible with certain Omega mods"). As the player progresses, more weapons and mods become available, such as the "Arbiter", a rocket launcher, and the "Magma Cannon", a shotgun-like weapon. Weapons and mods are bought from vendors, which also sell ammunition, using bolts. As weapons gain experience, they will upgrade to more powerful versions, to a maximum of level 10 (further upgrades, however, can still be bought in "challenge mode"). The game's health system, Nanotech, can also be upgraded through experience. Whenever the player takes damage, it can be partially restored by breaking nanotech crates.[1]

Clank, Ratchet's robotic best friend, is only a playable character if his skin is unlocked, and cannot be used as a jet-pack device by Ratchet, unlike older games.[1] Instead, he acts as mission control, giving the player advice during gameplay.[1] A skin for a second player in cooperative mode, however, named "Alpha Clank", can be used.[1]

In cooperative mode, the second player takes the place of the combat bots. The Bot's gadgets can be used by the players instead, when necessary.[1] Players in cooperative mode must share weapons and ammunition supply, and as a result, both players cannot use the same weapon at the same time.[1]

There are four playable vehicles throughout Deadlocked.[1] The "Hovership", a laser equipped aircraft, the "Puma", a type of armored car, and the "Landstalker", essentially a large platform with four spider-like mechanical legs and weapons, can all be used by two players simultaneously at any time.[1] The "Hoverbike", a hovering vehicle used for both racing and combat, can only be used by one player.[1]

After completing the game, the player may choose to enter "challenge mode". In challenge mode, weapons can be upgraded further, more mods can be purchased, and additional "extras" are made available such as a new difficulty level even harder than the previously available toughest difficulty.[1]

The game also features online and local multiplayer modes. Up to four players may play locally in offline multiplayer matches.[1] The online mode supports a USB Keyboard and a USB Headset,[1] and all levels from single player are available in multiplayer.[4] Players can play in "Conquest" mode, in which teams try to capture territory, "Deathmatch" mode, where players gain points by killing each other, "Capture the Flag" mode, where up to four teams attempt to capture their opponent's flags, "King of the Hill" mode, where players gain points by staying in a holographic circle, and "Juggernaut" mode, similar to deathmatch, but where one player has vastly improved abilities.[1]

PlotEdit

Following the events of Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet, Clank and Big Al have been given the job of running the Starship Phoenix. After the crew are informed that many heroes have disappeared,[5] robot troops overrun the Phoenix, taking Ratchet, Clank, and Al captive.

They are transported to the Shadow Sector, a lawless region of the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet meets Gleeman Vox, the creator of DreadZone, a barbaric game show in which contestants are forced to kill each other. Ratchet is forced to compete in DreadZone,[6] and is fitted with a "DeadLock" collar which will explode if he becomes uncooperative or boring.[7] Collectively referred to as "Team DarkStar", Ratchet and his combat bots, Merc and Green must fight for their lives while Clank serves as Ratchet's "Mission Engineer".[8]

Ratchet competes in a variety of DreadZone challenges, quickly becoming DreadZone's most popular contestant despite Vox's numerous slander campaigns against him, leaving Dreadzone's previous star, Ace Hardlight jealous. Ratchet is eventually sent to compete against Ace, who Ratchet defeats. As Ratchet leaves, Ace tells him to not let Vox corrupt him. Afterwards, Vox offers to make Ratchet a new exterminator and turn him into DreadZone's superstar, but he is enraged when Ratchet refuses and decides to have him participate in an arena scientifically proven to be unbeatable, which he narrowly wins.

Meanwhile, Clank devises a plan to escape from the DreadZone facility by reprogramming the arena transport pod to take Ratchet to the station's control level. Here, he can destroy the central computer and deactivate the containment field holding all of the heroes hostage.

Upon his arrival at the control level, Ratchet discovers that Vox has wired the station to explode, and if Ratchet cannot deactivate the explosives, everyone there will die. Running a massive gauntlet of enemies and destroying the station's power generators, Ratchet deactivates the containment fields and unlocks the station's escape shuttles. After being defeated by Ratchet, Vox manually activates the station's self-destruct sequence, planning to kill both himself and Ratchet.[9]

The last shuttle, however, piloted by Al, swoops in to rescue Ratchet. Ratchet climbs aboard and Clank removes his DeadLock collar. The DreadZone station explodes soon afterwards, taking Vox with it. After the credits, Doctor Nefarious and his butler, Lawrence make a cameo appearance, still trapped on an asteroid. Nefarious states that they were supposed to be coming in range of a space station, to which Lawrence retorts he had no idea it was going to explode. Nefarious gets angry and short-circuits, and a clip from the soap opera "Lance and Janice" plays as the game ends. Afterwards it is informed that The Plumber was unable to make an appearance in the game "due to a sump dump on the Rygyllian Nebula".

Development and releaseEdit

Ratchet: Deadlocked was released in North America on October 25, 2005, and in Japan on November 23, 2005. It was released as Ratchet: Gladiator in Europe and Australia on November 18, 2005, and November 24, 2005, respectively.[10] The PlayStation 2 Online Servers were terminated on June 28, 2012.

A high-definition remaster of Ratchet: Deadlocked on PlayStation 3 was developed for release on the PlayStation Network[11] since the game was not available on the Ratchet & Clank Collection where it only featured Deadlocked's three predecessors. Those who have purchased Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault received the HD remastered game for free on May 21 as an apology due to the long-awaited PlayStation Vita version of Full Frontal Assault.[12] The online servers for the PlayStation 3 were terminated on February 15, 2018, along with Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal on the PlayStation 3 the same day.

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings82.68%[13]
Metacritic81/100[14]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1UP.comB+[15]
CVG8.0/10[16]
Eurogamer7/10[17]
GamePro     [18]
GameSpot8.6/10[19]
GameSpy     [20]
GameZone8.8/10[21]
IGN8.8/10[22]

In 2006, Deadlocked was added to Sony's Greatest Hits range for North America. It was similarly added to Sony's Platinum range for PAL regions on May 12, 2006, and to Japan's The Best range on June 29, 2006.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Sam Holding (2005). Ratchet: Gladiator Instruction Booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
  2. ^ "History of the ESRB". Entertainment Software Rating Board.
  3. ^ Reiter, Chris (June 1, 2007). "Ratchet: Deadlocked". Gaming Target. Archived from the original on April 13, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  4. ^ "Ratchet:Deadlocked delivers co-op and squad-based gameplay in next installment of popular Ratchet & Clank series". Insomniac Games. May 11, 2009. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008.
  5. ^ Insomniac Games (October 25, 2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. Sony Computer Entertainment. Sasha: Many other heroes have disappeared recently...
  6. ^ Insomniac Games (October 25, 2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. Sony Computer Entertainment. Vox: Greetings hero...and welcome to, Dreadzone. [...] You are now a contestant on the greatest holovision show the galaxy has ever known!
  7. ^ Insomniac Games (October 25, 2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. Sony Computer Entertainment. Vox: Note the deadlock collar securely fastened around your neck. [...] Should a contestant become uncooperative, or worse, boring - his or her collar can be detonated at any time with the push of a button.
  8. ^ Insomniac Games (October 25, 2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. Sony Computer Entertainment. Clank: Each contestant is assigned a mission engineer to monitor their progress./Ratchet: Right, so what's-his-face figured he'd save a few bolts and make you do it.
  9. ^ Insomniac Games (October 25, 2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. Sony Computer Entertainment. Ratchet: It's over, Vox/Vox: No...<coughs> but it will be soon/Female Computer Voice: Destruct sequence intitiated. Sixty seconds until Battledome detonation/Vox: The escape shuttles all left long ago <coughs>, now we'll both die together on live holovision. It'll be the best ratings I've ever had!
  10. ^ a b "Ratchet: Deadlocked related games". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2013-01-23. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  11. ^ Apostolico, Marcello (May 10, 2012). "Ratchet: Deadlocked will be Remastered in HD via PSN Only". Gamers Xtreme. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Deadlocked HD Available Now! Instructions on how to Download". Insomniac Games. May 21, 2013. Archived from the original on April 1, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  13. ^ "Ratchet: Deadlocked for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "Ratchet: Deadlocked PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  15. ^ Pinckard, Jane (October 25, 2005). "Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2)". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  16. ^ PSW Staff (November 19, 2005). "Ratchet: Gladiator". Computer and Video Games. Future Publishing. Archived from the original on May 6, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  17. ^ Reed, Kristian (November 17, 2005). "Ratchet: Gladiator". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  18. ^ Ouroboros (October 25, 2005). "Ratchet: Deadlocked". GamePro. Archived from the original on November 13, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  19. ^ Gouskos, Carrie (October 26, 2005). "Ratchet: Deadlocked Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on November 22, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  20. ^ Steinberg, Steve (October 27, 2005). "Ratchet: Deadlocked". GameSpy. Archived from the original on October 30, 2005. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  21. ^ Valentino, Nick (October 28, 2005). "Ratchet: Deadlocked Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  22. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (October 27, 2005). "Ratchet: Deadlocked". IGN. Archived from the original on June 28, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2009.

External linksEdit