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The Pixelizer (spelt Pixeliser in PAL regions) is a weapon in Ratchet & Clank (2016 game) and Rift Apart. It functions as a shotgun weapon, and fires blasts of green energy that damage any enemies caught in the blast, and briefly morph them into two dimensional pixel images. Enemies killed by the weapon are left pixelated and broken apart into pixel blocks afterwards.

With use, the weapon can be upgraded four times to the Pixelizer HD, which deals more damage and allows Ratchet (or Rivet) to charge the weapon up for a larger blast.

Characteristics

The weapon is a white block-like gum held by Ratchet fitting within his arm like a glove, with a black cone around a green screen at the end from which its blasts are fired. The Pixelizer HD replaces the black cone with a larger blue cone surrounding much of the front of the weapon. When charging up this weapon, it releases a large "Megablast 64" according to the weapon description.

When the weapon fires, it emits green blasts around a large area, while making sounds similar to an 8-bit video game. Enemies hit by the blast are transformed into blocky, pixelated enemies for a brief moment before reverting, and when destroyed, leave behind blocks when destroyed by the weapon.

Gameplay

Ratchet & Clank (2016 game)

Ratchet using the Pixelizer against enemies in Aleero City.

The Pixelizer becomes available for purchase on planet Rilgar for 15,000 bolts. As well as upgrading it with use, raritanium upgrades can be purchased. Among these upgrades are three mystery upgrades: Health Genie and Ammo Shark grant the Pixelizer a chance to generate nanotech and ammo from enemies that it kills, while the Double Buffer upgrade increases the rate of fire. Upgrades to its ammo and area of effect are most valuable. In challenge mode, the Omega Pixelizer HD can be purchased once the Pixelizer's full holocard set is complete.

The Pixelizer functions similarly to a shotgun, firing a large green blast in the area in front of Ratchet, pixelating all enemies caught within the blast. The Pixelizer is very effective at clearing out waves of small enemies, but also deals strong damage when targeted towards medium to larger enemies, and can be very effective against bosses when aimed correctly. The Pixelizer is a broadly useful weapon, although it later becomes somewhat outclassed against small enemies.

The Pixelizer HD upgrade allows Ratchet to charge the weapon for a greater blast, which can allow it to be more ammo efficient. However, the best upgrades come in the form of the Raritanium mystery upgrades, particularly the Health Genie and Ammo Shark, which allows the use of the weapon to make Ratchet more durable in fights by replenishing his health and ammo. The Double Buffer also improves on the weapon's relatively low rate of fire.

Rift Apart

The Pixelizer is available either from the start for those who pre-ordered Rift Apart,[1] or can be purchased at the start of the game in challenge mode. It can similarly be upgraded with raritanium, which broadly improve the weapon. Most of these upgrades are identical to Ratchet & Clank: improving ammo, area of effect, and range, as well as granting Health Drop and Ammo Spawner to cause pixelated enemies to drop nanotech and ammo. After upgrading the weapon to the Pixelizer HD, the Omega Pixelizer HD can be purchased for 45,000 bolts.

The Pixelizer has an identical role in firing a green beam in a short area in front of Ratchet or Rivet to pixelate all enemies. The weapon is best used to catch clusters of enemies, especially small swarmer enemies, within its blast. The relatively short range of the weapon is limiting against ranged or flying enemies, but it can be effective against melee enemies.

With use, it upgrades to the Pixelizer HD. The weapon ordinarily is mostly outclassed by the Enforcer and the Blackhole Storm, unless raritanium is invested in it. With raritanium upgrades, however, the nanotech and ammo drops can make the weapon particularly useful in improving Ratchet or Rivet's durability. If used in conjunction with support weapons such as the Topiary Sprinkler or Glove of Doom it can be very effective in rescuing Ratchet or Rivet from tough situations in this way.

Behind the scenes

Concept art

The weapon bears similarities to the Pixelator, a weapon created and submitted by Drew Wise for the My Blaster Runs Hot weapon contest.[2]

Insomniac Games has stated that making the enemies pixelate was one of the hardest challenges to accomplish in the game's development.

References

  1. Marcus Smith (February 11, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart arrives on PS5 June 11. PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021.
  2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/playstationblog/3511778560/