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Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (known as Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded in Australia and most of PAL countries) is the second installment in the Ratchet & Clank series developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was initially released in November 2003 for the PlayStation 2, and was re-released for PlayStation 3 in June 2012 and PlayStation Vita in July 2014, both alone and as part of the Ratchet & Clank Collection.

The game follows Ratchet and Clank, who after defeating Chairman Drek in the conclusion of the previous release, are recruited by Megacorp's CEO, Abercrombie Fizzwidget, and taken to the Bogon Galaxy. While Clank is given an apartment on planet Endako, Ratchet is trained to work as a commando, tasked to locate a thief who has taken a biological experiment. The two later realize that the operation is not all as it seems, and must work to save the galaxy from the Protopet menace.

While the core third-person action adventure gameplay is similar to the previous entry, Going Commando features notably more role playing game elements, allowing players to upgrade both their nanotech (health) and weapons by defeating enemies. Players are also given more weapons and armor to purchase at vendors with collected bolts. There are also many more challenges, such as gladiator battles and hoverbike races, that they can participate in to earn bolts (or alternatively raritanium to upgrade their ship). Players are still required to complete objectives on planets to unlock new planets or to obtain gadgets required to complete other objectives and progress the story.

Gameplay

Overview

Going Commando is a third-person three-dimensional action game with elements of platforming, shooting, and role playing, in which the player controls Ratchet, a lombax mechanic trained as a Megacorp commando, with a broad arsenal of weapons and gadgets, who carries his sidekick Clank as a backpack allowing him to make use of the Heli-Pack and Thruster-Pack. In addition to his core moveset, Ratchet can now also strafe by holding L2 or R2 (or holding Touchpad top-right or Touchpad top-left on Vita), allowing him to more easily aim weapons. Ratchet obtains a wide range of upgradeable weapons to combat enemies and gadgets to traverse the environment and complete objectives.

Ratchet and Clank travel between planets of the Bogon galaxy in their customizable ship, the Star Explorer, completing a set of objectives to obtain coordinates for the next planet (with a cutscene for each planet unlocked). Objectives often require the player to traverse through a linear section on a planet, in which they must defeat enemies on the way and use gadgets to complete a puzzle, before reaching their goal.

Other times, they may instead participate in gladiator battles in Galactic Gladiators or Megacorp Games; obtain desert crystals on Tabora or moonstones on Grelbin; compete in hoverbike racing on Barlow or in the Megacorp Games; or to fly their ship to complete an objective. These minigames also reoccur in side objectives, which can be completed to earn bolts, used to purchase new weapons or armor. The player can also obtain platinum bolts, nanotech boosts, and various other hidden weapons, as well as earn skill points.

After completing the main storyline, the player can choose to warp back to before defeating the final boss to complete remaining side objectives, or to proceed to challenge mode. Challenge mode allows the player to keep their weapons with the option to purchase Mega versions of their weapons, which are then upgradeable to Ultra weapons with use, and wield them against much more powerful versions of enemies. As these weapons are much more expensive, challenge mode has a bolt multiplier for enemies that are defeated before Ratchet takes a hit.

Equipment

Ratchet begins with four units of nanotech, representing his health. This is increased by defeating enemies over time and earning enough EXP to earn another unit. Up to seventy units can be earned purely by defeating enemies, which can be increased to a maximum of eighty if the player obtains all nanotech boosts scattered throughout planets. Additionally, the player can purchase armor, which reduces the damage Ratchet takes from enemies, to improve durability.

Plasma Coil gameplay.png

Ratchet using the Plasma Coil and Gravity Boots

Miniturret Glove gameplay.png

Ratchet deploying the Miniturret Glove

Going Commando features 24 weapons, of which nineteen are original, and five reappear from Ratchet & Clank (and can be obtained for free on planet Barlow if the player has a Ratchet & Clank save file). The Lancer and Gravity Bomb are available immediately for free, while all others are either purchased from vendors with bolts or discovered on planets. The Clank Zapper and Zodiac can only be purchased in challenge mode, and the RYNO II can only be purchased from the Gadgetron vendor on Barlow until challenge mode when it is available everywhere. All weapons, aside from the RYNO II, Zodiac, and reoccurring Ratchet & Clank weapons can be upgraded with use to unlock a more powerful version, though aside from the Lava Gun, their functionality does not change heavily. Once upgraded, these weapons can be upgraded with use again to Ultra versions if their Mega version is purchased in challenge mode. Mega versions can be purchased for the reoccurring Ratchet & Clank weapons, though they cannot be upgraded to Ultra.

The game features thirteen gadgets, of which six are original. The Heli-Pack, Hydro-Pack, and Thruster-Pack reappear from Ratchet & Clank and are automatically owned by Clank, though the Heli-Pack and Thruster-Pack are functionally identical in Going Commando, while the Grind Boots and Swingshot can be found. With the exception of the Charge Boots, all the remaining gadgets are required to progress further into the game and can be earned by completing objectives (though four objectives must be completed to obtain the full Hypnomatic and construct it).

Clank gameplay

Bridge Bot gameplay

Clank commanding a Bridge Bot

On two occasions, the player controls Clank, who has only four nanotech units and cannot gain experience unlike Ratchet. Clank has a limited moveset, though he can control Microbots which feature various commands. In addition to the basic Microbots which can attack, wait, follow Clank, and enter terminals, Clank can also control the Bridge Bot, Hammer Bot, and Lifter Bot, all of which are required to guide the Microbots through new areas to complete the objective.

Two other occasions allow Clank to transform into Giant Clank, who can fly through space, fire missiles, and throw bombs at enemies. These segments require the player to fly to a moon in Giant form, control Clank, and defeat a boss and smaller enemies to complete the objective, and unlike normal Clank segments, these can be replayed.

Vehicles and minigames

Hoverbike gameplay on Joba

Ratchet riding a hoverbike

Many minigames involve the player piloting vehicles. On Barlow or in the Megacorp Games, Ratchet must compete in hoverbike races to earn prizes, which allow him to race the hoverbike, which can use weapon or speed boosts earned on the track against other hoverbikes. In four different locations, Ratchet must pilot a ship, upgradeable in Slim Cognito's Ship Shack with raritanium, to destroy certain targets or race against other pilots. Finally, on Tabora and Grelbin, Ratchet can pilot a mining ship once found and use it to mine raritanium from the planet's surface.

Aside from vehicles, other minigames are featured in the form of the Electrolyzer and the Infiltrator gadgets. These require the player to complete a minigame to activate a device or unlock a door.

Sheep Blasters is a minigame unlocked in challenge mode, or by using the Dynamo on the pyramid on the table in Clank's apartment.

Synopsis

Setting

Megapolis 1

Megapolis, a prominent city in the Bogon Galaxy

Going Commando takes place in the Bogon Galaxy. The galaxy is populated primarily by sentient humanoid robots, but also by various other organic humanoid species. Urban planets, such as Endako, Notak, Boldan, and Damosel appear more technologically advanced and aesthetically cleaner than those in the Solana Galaxy from the previous title. However, Bogon is also home to more sparsely populated planets, such as the barren wastelands of Barlow and Tabora; the icy worlds of Grelbin, Siberius, and Yeedil; and the swamps of Oozla.

Bogon is dominated by Megacorp, a large corporation run by Abercrombie Fizzwidget which owns properties on almost every planet visited. They operate within a large number of industries, producing weapons, gadgets, vehicles, sporting events, tourist trips, and biological pets. Megacorp also has its own robotic army, and employs and trains commandos, including Ratchet. While Gadgetron used to operate in the galaxy, it was largely driven away by Megacorp, and as no other competitors are seen in the galaxy, it can be assumed Megacorp have a monopoly of the industries they operate in. Aside from Megacorp, Bogon is home to the mercenary group, Thugs 4 Less, which offers to kill targets for the highest bidder, but can only work for one employer at a time. The Thugs are also hoverbikers, and compete in racing events.

Plot

Behind the Hero, Part I 3

Ratchet being recruited for Megacorp by Qwark in disguise

After Ratchet and Clank's previous adventure, the two rested at Ratchet's home on Veldin. Nearly a year after saving the galaxy from Alonzo Drek, they appeared in an interview for a Holo-Vision show known as Behind the Hero. While in a break between filming this interview, they were teleported to the Bogon Galaxy by a man by the name of Abercrombie Fizzwidget, the founder and CEO of Megacorp in Bogon. He informed the duo of a masked thief who had stolen Megacorp's most valuable experiment: a blue fuzzy ball shaped creature.[1]

Thief holding Ratchet at gunpoint

The Unknown Thief holding Ratchet at gunpoint

Clank was reluctant to partake in another adventure, therefore he was offered special accommodations and retired to a complimentary apartment in the city of Megapolis on Endako. Ratchet accepted the mission and was given all of the necessary training he needed and was given a suit of armor. The Thief hired Thugs-4-Less for assistance protection. Ratchet tracked the thief's location to a flying base on Aranos, located in Sector 7. Ratchet infiltrated the base, however, the thief managed to get away with the experiment right before Ratchet could retrieve it. Following this, Ratchet explored planet Oozla for more clues on the thief's whereabouts. Though he found nothing, he received a transmission from Fizzwidget that lead him to the Maktar Resort. Meanwhile, the thief had kidnapped Clank in Megapolis, and Ratchet soon found out via a transmission on the Maktar Resort, forcing him to come to his rescue. The two were then reunited and they resolved to finish the task together.[1]

After winning a hoverbike race on Barlow, the two received a transmission from the Thug Leader which lead them to their rendezvous in the Feltzin System. They disrupted the thug's rendezvous and received coordinates to Notak, where the thief happened to be. Upon landing, however, they were once again too late. Anyways, they continued searching to get more information. Successful, the two confronted the thief on planet Siberius and once they defeated him, they reclaimed the experiment.

Angela talking to Ratchet and Clank

Ratchet and Clank discover the identity of the Unknown Thief, Angela Cross

The duo returned it to Fizzwidget, who requested they meet him on Tabora, where he accidentally landed on the duo's ship, smashing it. After Fizzwidget "accidentally" ejected the duo from his ship, Ratchet and Clank ventured through a desert cave and were, at the end, confronted by the thief who demanded the return of the experiment. While doing so, the thief accidentally fell off his ship, knocking off his mask and revealing that it was rather a female named Angela Cross. Angela, a former Megacorp employee, warned the two that the experiment would ultimately doom the galaxy.

After fixing their ship, the two went to Dobbo, where they discovered that Angela's claims were true, and tried to persuade Fizzwidget to destroy the experiment, but their efforts were in vain. The duo then stumbled across an ad for the experiment, now known as the "Protopet," which was being cloned and prepared for mass release. At that point, it was revealed that Thugs-4-Less terminated their contract with Angela and had been hired by Megacorp to "protect" Fizzwidget.

Why is Billy Sad 2

Abercrombie Fizzwidget advertising the Protopet

On planet Boldan, Ratchet and Clank were accused for allegedly trying to assassinate Fizzwidget, and were imprisoned at the flying base on Aranos, which was now the Thugs' new high security prison. With help from his female infobot admirer, Clank managed to escape helped Ratchet escape as well. Once they two were freed and reunited, they search the flying base for a way to free their ship from a forcefield and came across a transmission from Angela, which showed her being captured by the Thugs' aboard one of their ships. After releasing their ship, the two went off to planet Gorn to take down the Thugs' fleet. They then received coordinate for Snivelak, where they took down the Thug Leader and freed Angela.

She then showed the two a transmission from the Thug Leader, showing the large amount of Protopets being shipped from the distribution facility on planet Smolg. Seeing this, they realized how much danger the galaxy was in. After accomplishing a few more missions, the three of them resolved to break into Megacorp headquarters on Yeedil to stop the protopet menace for good.

Angela and Fizzwidget

Angela cures the Protopets

As they infiltrated the HQ, the female infobot stopped them from entering the Protopet duplication room, to warn them about Qwark, the disgraced superhero from their past, was using the Protopets to restore his reputation. Fizzwidget suddenly appeared behind her and shot her down, and in a surprising plot twist, Fizzwidget was actually Qwark in disguise. Qwark then took Ratchet, Clank, and Angela hostage and claimed in front of a live camera that those three were the cause of the menace, and that he would be able to stop the Protopets by using Angela's Helix-o-morph. However, the Helix-o-morph malfunctioned and mutated the Protopet into a giant, consuming Qwark and the gadget before escaping. Ratchet defeated the mutated Protopet, and Clank discovered that the cause of the malfunction was a set of batteries inserted backwards. Angela vanquished the wily Protopets across the galaxy by sending the gadget's beam through the HV signals, pacifying all of the creatures. The real Fizzwidget appeared as well, who was revealed to have been trapped in a supply closet by Qwark the whole time. Fizzwidget expressed his most profound gratitude upon the two for thier hard work.

Shortly after, Ratchet found Clank mourning over his destroyed female admirer. Ratchet cheered him up by promising to fix her. Ratchet, Clank, Angela, and Clank's infobot admirer were all enjoying victory back at Clank's apartment, while Qwark was at his new job, working as a Megacorp test dummy for the Crotchitizer, which caused him unbearable pain, making him scream in agony.

Development

Background

A sequel for Ratchet & Clank was approved for development five months prior to it being shipped, due to Sony's confidence in its success.[2] Visual concepts for Going Commando were being developed as early as August 2002, while the team was still polishing Ratchet & Clank.[3] Though the original Ratchet & Clank had been well received, the team felt they could further push the role playing game mechanics, and that the weapons in the original had felt too optional.[4]

The team began conceptualizing a set of "Big Ideas" for the sequel, which resulted primarily in the role playing game elements elements (along with spherical worlds and space combat), and then began to improve their technology to expand the scope of the gameplay and the script.[3][5] Their primary goal was making the game feel drastically different to other games that were on the market.[6]

Development lasted eight months, with the team beginning at 40 members and doubling to 80.[5]

Concept artwork

As Insomniac Games had a better grasp on the capabilities of the PlayStation 2 hardware, artwork for the game reflected it. More geometry could be featured on screen, and the vistas at the start of each planet could be longer and more impressive. Traffic could also be denser and vegetation could be thicker, allowing them to exaggerate the art style further, and incandescent textures could supplement the lighting to create a more natural feel. Designs would also show a more sophisticated shape language, with segmented robot arms offsetting armor plates and delicate antennae.[7]

It was very important for the developers to create ambience by having something moving in the background, to create a sense of immersion.[8] While this normally came in the form of moving objects such as flying cars in the background, other notable examples included the fireflies added to Joba, which kept the forest feel of the design while making the area still feel dynamic.[9]

Art was drawn for levels after a level designer had designed the layout. For the hoverbike segments, it was difficult to explain to artists how much room Ratchet was able to travel through in proportion to the design, and it was important to avoid placing an obstacle that would make the race too difficult.[10] After art had been drawn for a level, the design and layout of the level could not be changed.[11]

Storytelling

Remember, you bought it from Steve

Captain Qwark introduced late while developing the story

Going Commando was fully story driven as with the previous title, giving the developers more than an hour of scripts to be written, recorded, edited, and fully animated within eight months.[3] As Insomniac had not hired a dedicated writer yet, the story was written primarily by lead animator Oliver Wade.[12][13]

One common criticism of the original Ratchet & Clank was the design and personality of Ratchet, which the team addressed by making him more friendly to Clank, less impetuous in stressful situations, and less cocky.[6][14] This also led to changing the voice actor for Ratchet from Mikey Kelley to James Arnold Taylor. Many scenes in the game showcased Ratchet's anger being in defense of Clank rather than out of selfishness, to redeem his past behavior in which he was antagonistic.[15][16]

Captain Qwark was a late addition to the story, introduced as the team began to miss Qwark's comic relief from the first game in the form of Behind the Heroes segments, and later on, the team decided to make Qwark the main villain.[2]

Gameplay

Maktar Resort 6

The arena was one of the new "maxi-games"

When brainstorming ideas for major new gameplay elements, the team settled on RPG elements in the form of weapon and health upgrades, spherical worlds, and space combat.[5] Insomniac also included strafing, a mechanic that they realized should have been included in the original Ratchet & Clank after releasing it.[17]

The team created a solid list of weapons, and narrowed it down by combining those too similar to weapons in Ratchet & Clank and those that would take an unrealistic amount of work; after prototyping, they narrowed their range by removing weapons that were less fun in practice to a set of options they were proud of.[5] Key emphasis was placed on weapon upgrades, which the team believed would give the game a different flavor to many other games on the market.[5] The team discussed often the idea of allowing the player to switch back to the previous version of an upgraded weapon, though it was rejected, as they believed the upgrade was significantly better functionally, and players would not want to switch back.[5] Weapons were the first thing programmed for the game, shortly after prototyping, as the rest of the game could not work without it; programmers assigned to weapons were shifted to space combat shortly after.[18]

Among the weapons cut from the game were the Groovitron and Rift Inducer, which appeared in later games. The Groovitron was proposed as the "Rainbow-Afro-Lizer" by designers Mike Stout and Colin Munson, though it was shot down as there was not enough memory for the PlayStation 2 to handle the animations.[19][5] The Rift Inducer was programmed in by Insomniac employee Robert Rodriguez, but was cut because it was too powerful,[20] and was replaced last minute by the Bouncer, which had been prototyped and cut, but was then resurrected.[21]

Fireboots render.png

The Fireboots, a cut weapon that never left pre-production

Laser mine gameplay.png

Ratchet using the Laser Linked Mines, a cut weapon

Two weapons were developed for the game in the pre-production stage that never proceeded past pre-production: the Fireboots and the Laser Linked Mines. The Fireboots were equippable boots that left behind a trail of fire that could damage enemies if they walked into it; if Ratchet walked in a circle with the boots active, the flames would explode and deal more damage. The Laser Linked Mines was similar to the Mine Glove from the previous title, and fired red mines that linked with laser beams which damaged enemies, while the mines homed in on enemies that got close. Both weapons were removed because they were slow weapons unsuited for the fast paced combat of the game, and due to the short enemy lifespans, weapons requiring pre-planning and waiting would not work well for the player, especially given there was no comprehensive pathfinding solution in place for Going Commando.[22] The Fireboots and Laser Linked Mines can still be found in the files of the games' final release.[23]

Insomniac began to introduce challenges such as space combat, gladiator battles, and hoverbike racing, which they referred to as "maxi-games."[3] In terms of the resources cost, hoverbike racing and space combat were as expensive as developing full games.[22] Space combat areas were designed by Lesley Mathieson,[24] and programmed by two programmers including Roberto Rodriguez.[25][22] It was programmed during the middle of the production cycle, and was programmed by programmers responsible for the weapons who were shifted to space combat shortly after.[18] Gladiator battles, including the bosses, were programmed by Maxim Garber.[26] The arena's presentation, in its inclusion of pagentry and theatrics associated with it in the form of an arena announcer, was meant to give the player a feeling of progression and keep the arena interesting in spite of the player seeing the same enemies repeated.[27]

Another of the included "maxi-games" were spherical worlds, one of their early big ideas, for which Brian Hastings of Insomniac drew inspiration from the 1943 novel The Little Prince.[28] They began to work on separate physics for the world to account for their lighter gravity, and the ability to walk 360 degrees while never leaving the world.[5] The worlds were originally designed for Ratchet to explore, though they later expanded the idea to Giant Clank due to its popularity from Ratchet & Clank and due to how fun Giant Clank's high jump over buildings was.[28] Hastings of Insomniac was proud of their work, as they believed the worlds felt unique, but expressed doubt that they would become "the next gimmick that every other platform game in the world will have next year."[28] Spherical worlds required a lot of prototyping to ensure the level was the correct size, so it did not feel too large to defeat the point of being spherical, or too small that it was disorienting.[29] The developers had wanted spherical worlds since the original Ratchet & Clank, but cut them as they would take too much time. [30]

Ted Price stated that the game was "150 percent bigger" and "significantly longer" than Ratchet & Clank due to the levels being "150 to 200 percent larger."[3][5]

Replayability was worked on after the beta phase of Going Commando.[31] While developers had always intended the R.Y.N.O. to be obtained during the second playthrough of the original Ratchet & Clank, nothing was done to help the player obtain it, which led to the bolt multiplier in challenge mode for Going Commando to give the player incentive to grind bolts rather than look for locations to cheat to earn bolts faster.[31] This was carried on to later games.

Technology

Jamming array 1

Spherical worlds required complex code

As with Ratchet & Clank, the team was building on and optimizing technology that they had shared with Naughty Dog for their Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy engine.[2] They greatly improved the technology for Going Commando, including revamping systems, improving effects, and revamping enemy behavior.[5][6] Spherical worlds were extremely challenging to program, requiring changing 50,000 lines of code to account for their separate gravity.[28] They were coded by Peter Hastings, and proved challenging as combat and weapons had to be specifically coded to take into account spherical gravity.[29]

For memory storage, Going Commando used "chunking", meaning that a plane and a normal were defined, while anything on the side (such as hoverbike races) was loaded into a separate chunk where it was preloaded but not residing in memory. This meant it would be faster than loading a full level, but things could still be separately loaded out of memory while the main gameplay section was taking place, allowing more memory to be allocated. This was largely due to a rule that no loading screens would be allowed in the level, as Sony were trying to push having short loading times as a strength of the PlayStation 2. As one example as a result of this, for hoverbike racing, everything scaled down to 50% of its actual size (including Ratchet and the hoverbikes) to fit it in memory.[32]

The engine was developed by Al Hastings, one of the three most senior members of Insomniac at the time along with Ted Price and Brian Hastings. Al Hastings has been described by Insomniac employees as "one of the best engine programmers in the industry".[27]

Audio

The soundtrack was composed and produced by David Bergeaud, with additional music by Niels Bye Nielsen. Like its predecessor, this soundtrack combines electronic, orchestral and ambient elements. Compared to the previous soundtrack, the use of orchestral elements such as heavy strings became more common, shifting away a little from the breakbeat electronica style.

# Song title Length
01 Aranos - Flying Lab 3:08
02 Oozla - Megacorp Outlet 4:13
03 Oozla - The Swamp Monster 4:19
04 Oozla - Megacorp Store 3:26
05 Wupash Nebula 4:26
06 Maktar Nebula - Maktar Resort 4:20
07 Maktar Nebula - Jamming Array 4:47
08 Maktar Nebula - The Battle Arena 4:07
09 Maktar Nebula - Boss Battle 4:07
10 Maktar Nebula - Electroliser Puzzle 0:26
11 Megapolis - Planet Endako 4:11
12 Endako - Fighting The Thug Leader 4:05
13 Endako - Clank to the Rescue 3:50
14 Barlow - Vukovar Canyon 3:16
15 Barlow - Hoverbike Race 4:01
16 Barlow - Hoverbike Race Won 0:09
17 Barlow - Watching the Replay 3:11
18 Felzin System - Thug Rendezvous 4:10
19 Notak - Canal City 3:30
20 Notak - The Factory 4:01
21 Siberius - Frozen Base 4:16
22 Siberius - The Thief 4:29
23 Tabora - Mining Area 4:10
24 Tabora - Crystal Desert 4:26
25 Dobbo - Testing Facility 4:18
# Song title Length
26 Dobbo - Inside The Facility 4:09
27 Dobbo Orbit - Giant Clank Battle 3:52
28 Joba - Megacorp Games 4:10
29 Joba - Infiltrator Puzzle 0:57
30 Todano - Megacorp Armory 4:40
31 Todano - Megacorp Armory Interior 4:06
32 Boldan - Silver City 4:41
33 Boldan - Surfing the Electric Cables 4:20
34 Aranos - Flying Lab Prison 4:15
35 Aranos - Ratchet's Escape 4:18
36 Aranos - Releasing Your Ship 4:02
37 Gorn - Thugs-4-Less Fleet 4:15
38 Snivelak - Thug HQ 4:03
39 Snivelak - The Thug Leader's Giganto Mech 4:04
40 Smolg - Distribution Facility 4:09
41 Smolg - The Warehouse 4:25
42 Damosel - Allgon City 4:12
43 Damosel - Riding the Train Tracks 4:17
44 Grelbin - Tundor Wastes 4:06
45 Grelbin - The Mine Shaft 4:01
46 Grelbin - Inside The Factory 4:48
47 Grelbin - Drilling For Raritanium 4:26
48 Yeedil - Protopet Factory 4:06
49 Yeedil - Megacorp HQ 4:19
50 Yeedil - King Protopet 4:17

In early builds of the game, the soundtrack for the Megacorp Outlet on Oozla is an entirely different track, sounding more intense than the peaceful music in the final game. This is found in the August 15 and September 4 builds.[33][34]

The inside weapons facility (seen in "Investigate the facility interior") has its own soundtrack in game files, though the track never plays.[35]

A lot of dialogue still in the disk of the final game is unused. This is because, while every team at Insomniac Games worked in five week cycles for the development of Going Commando, the voice over and writing schedules occurred independently of the design and programming teams. As a result, lines would be written and recorded for parts of the game that were later cut or changed, or a team would decide that a line was not necessary.[22]

Some pieces of unused dialogue featuring both the HelpDesk girl and Slim Cognito are remnants of the early vendors, which would be similar to the original Ratchet & Clank in that dialogue would be spoken by a character on the other end of the screen while Ratchet was selecting a purchase.[36]

Critical reception

Aggregator Score
GameRankings 90.64% (based on 71 reviews)[37]
Metacritic 90 (based on 46 reviews)[38]
Publication Score
Eurogamer 9/10[39]
Game Informer 9.5/10[40]
GameSpot 8.8/10[41]
GameSpy 4/5[42]
IGN 9.4/10[43]

Going Commando received broadly positive reviews from critics. Many noted that, while similar to the previous game, the tweaks made and the introduction of RPG elements significantly improved it.[40][42][43] High praise was given to the technical performance for its graphics and smooth framerate.[39][41][42][43]

Reviewers praised the weaponry, with many noting that use of weaponry was not a requirement of the original game, but was in Going Commando, meaning it allowed players to better experience their broad arsenal available to them.[41][42] IGN called the weapons "flat out better than the last game" due to being "less clownish" and "more traditional in form and function".[43] GameSpy echoed these statements, and gave particular praise to the Bouncer and the Lava Gun. Many reviewers praised was given to the weapon upgrade system, with IGN stating that upgrading weapons was "half the fun" of using them, GameSpy stating that the "enhanced difficulty" and "better weapon system" kept players interested for longer, and Eurogamer praising how rewarding the system was, though criticizing the Lava Gun's upgrade path.[42][43] GameSpot called the upgrades "cool additions" though ones that didn't "make dramatic changes to the game".[41]

While critics reacted positively to the inclusion of side content, they were divided on which side missions were enjoyable. There was a consensus among critics that gladiator combat was enjoyable, with GameSpy claiming that being an "interstellar gladiator" was more fun than anticipated and Game Informer noting they spent many hours playing it.[40][42] However, GameSpy called the Giant Clank levels "brainless and boring", claimed the hoverbike sequences were merely "alright" while praising the space combat as "smooth and fun".[42] Conversely, Game Informer's reviewer claimed that the space combat "got on [his] nerves", but enjoyed the speeds of the racing missions.[40] IGN however praised all side content, stating that the arena fights, racing levels and ship levels were all "fun on their own".[43]

Reviewers reacted positively to the story, praising its comedic aspect. Eurogamer praised the "daft story full of daft characters".[39] GameSpot also praised the game's great "sense of humor" and described the story as "well told".[41] However, IGN and Eurogamer noted that the story did not drive the game.[39][43]

Critics noted similarities between Going Commando and its predecessors, as well as between other games on the market. GameSpy noted that these similarities still gave it a "generic blandness" that held it back from being the "ultimate platformer".[42] GameSpot called it "largely the same as the original" and felt "more like a mission pack than an entirely new game" at times.[41] Many critics compared Going Commando to Naughty Dog's Jak II, which was released during the same year, and Insomniac's Ted Price had stated they were "excited" to be launching alongside it.[5] Eurogamer compared the two but stated that they didn't "share a great deal in common" due to the more RPG-like progress of Going Commando as opposed to the heavily story driven Jak II, and later concluded that they may "remember this a lot more fondly than we recall Jak II: Renegade" in the long run.[39] IGN called it a "tough call" between the games but claimed they would pick Going Commando as the best platformer of the year, and even called it "probably" the best PlayStation 2 game of the year.[43]

Many Insomniac employees refer to Going Commando as their favorite game, as it allowed them to refine the concepts for the series after the first game.[7]

Production credits

Staff

Designer Brian Allgeier
Programmers Alexander Hastings

Brian Hastings

Artists John Fiorito

Dave Guertin
Greg Baldwin

Composer David Bergeaud

Voice cast

Ratchet James Arnold Taylor
Clank David Kaye
Abercrombie Fizzwidget Jim Ward
Qwark Jim Ward
Unknown Thief Rodger Bumpass
Angela Cross Kath Soucie
Arena announcer David Kaye
New Age Mystic James Arnold Taylor
Thug Leader Steven Jay Blum
The Plumber Neil Flynn
Security system Michael Bell
HelpDesk girl Julianne Buescher
Slim Cognito James Horan
Darla Gratch Sylvia Aimerito
Inventor Rodger Bumpass
Mechanic James Horan
Biker 1 Steven Jay Blum
Biker 2 Michael Bell
Dr. Fullbladder Rodger Bumpass
Shady salesman Chad Michael Einbinder
Stuart Zurgo Benjamin Diskin
Mutant crab Michael Bell
Hypnotist head 1 James Arnold Taylor
Hypnotist head 2 David Kaye
Vendor girl Julianne Buescher
Trailer PH Kim Mai Guest
Announcer Rodger Bumpass
Female announcer Sylvia Aimerito
UltraTech announcer Jim Ward
Megacorp announcer Jim Ward
Interviewer announcer Michael Bell
Protopet announcer Michael bell
Galactic Greetings announcer Jim Ward
Qwark announcer Steven Jay Blum
Bikers announcer James Horan
Qwarkbot Jim Ward
Gladiator Steven Jay Blum
Robot David Kaye
Megacorp employee David Kaye
Male employee James Horan
Loudspeaker Julianne Buescher
Mother Carolyn J. Lawrence
Child Carolyn J. Lawrence
Help Matron Mona Marshall
Operator Mona Marshall

Notes

The start screen will show Ratchet and Clank playing a game on a Telescreen, ranging from Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) or Going Commando, with the fourth being either Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy or Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 IGN Presents The History of Ratchet & Clank p2. IGN. Accessed April 19, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Pre-E3 Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando interview with developer Insomniac. GamePro (through WebCite query). Accessed May 26, 2017.
  4. 15 Years of Ratchet & Clank: A Lombax Story (@12:25) published by GDC on June 26, 2018 on YouTube. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Ratchet & Clank Interview: Ted Price, president of Insomniac Games. GameInformer (through WebCite query). Accessed May 26, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ted Price on Going Commando. GameSpy (through WebCite query). Accessed May 26, 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sony Computer Entertainment (2018). The Art of Ratchet & Clank. Dark Horse Comics. p. 107.
  8. *REMASTERED* Ratchet and Clank 2 - Developer Commentary - Episode 1 (@1:44) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  9. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 15 (@0:17) published by uselesspodcasts on September 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 19, 2019.
  10. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 15 (@5:52) published by uselesspodcasts on September 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 19, 2019.
  11. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Bonus 1 (@0:00) published by uselesspodcasts on September 15, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  12. *REMASTERED* Ratchet and Clank 2 - Developer Commentary - Episode 1 (@1:44) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  13. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Special § "'Making Of' Video"
  14. *REMASTERED* Ratchet and Clank 2 - Developer Commentary - Episode 1 (@2:44) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  15. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 4 - Part 2/2 (@7:38) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  16. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 6 - Part 1/2 (@13:03) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  17. Devs Play S2E02 · "Ratchet & Clank" with Ted Price and Tim Schafer, DoubleFineProd. YouTube. Accessed February 14, 2018.
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  19. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 9 - Part 2/2 (@9:09) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  20. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 9 - Part 2/2 (@8:50) published by uselesspodcasts on July 6, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  21. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 12 - Part 1/2 (@5:40) published by uselesspodcasts on July 13, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Stout, Mike. Interview with Mike Stout. Ratchet & Clank Wiki. Technobliterator. February 12, 2018.
  23. Ratchet & Clank: Going CommandoThe Cutting Room Floor entry § Unused Weapons
  24. Developer Commentary - RC2 - Ep23 (@1:35) published by uselesspodcasts on July 13, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  25. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 3 - Part 1/2 (@0:28) published by uselesspodcasts on July 13, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  26. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 4 - Part 2/2 (@2:24) published by uselesspodcasts on July 13, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 21, 2019.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 8 (@6:41) published by uselesspodcasts on July 1, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Music of the Spheres. 1up (through WebCite query). Accessed May 26, 2017.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 3 - Part 2/2 (@1:13) published by uselesspodcasts on June 20, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  30. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 3 - Part 2/2 (@3:34) published by uselesspodcasts on June 20, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  31. 31.0 31.1 uselesspodcasts: Ratchet and Clank - Developer Commentary - Ep 33. YouTube. Accessed July 18, 2017.
  32. Developer Commentary: Ratchet and Clank 2 - Ep 6 - Part 2/2 (@4:09) published by uselesspodcasts on June 25, 2011 on YouTube. Accessed June 2, 2019.
  33. Ratchet & Clank: Going CommandoAugust 15, 2003 build from The Cutting Room Floor § Early Megacorp Outlet theme
  34. Ratchet & Clank: Going CommandoSeptember 4, 2003 build from The Cutting Room Floor § Early Megacorp Outlet theme
  35. Ratchet & Clank: Going CommandoThe Cutting Room Floor entry § Untriggered Music Track
  36. Ratchet & Clank: Going CommandoUnused voice clips from The Cutting Room Floor § Early vendor remnants
  37. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando GameRankings. GameRankings. Accessed May 27, 2017.
  38. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Metacritic. Metacritic. Accessed May 27, 2017.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Review. Eurogamer. Accessed May 27, 2017.
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