Thugs-4-Less Brutes are enemies in Going Commando and Secret Agent Clank. They are Thugs-4-Less foot soldiers which carry a two handed-blaster that fires a burst of shots, and deploy Megacorp Chickenbots. Ratchet encountered them on the Maktar Resort, and later on the Prison Planet. Ratchet also encountered the more powerful Thugs-4-Less Brute Class II in Silver City, Boldan, and in the Thug HQ on Snivelak, these variants had extra armor and used powerful hand cannons.
They accompanied Angela Cross and came in force to the Maktar Resort, where the Thugs towed a moon-sized jamming array. After Angela left, the Thugs remained behind to eliminate Ratchet. Ratchet encountered them during the mission "Win the Arena Battle". Ratchet later encountered the Thugs-4-Less Brute - Class II, the elite, standard issue Thug soldiers, in Silver City, Boldan, during "Find Mr. Fizzwidget". He encountered them once again in the Thug HQ on planet Snivelak during "Rescue Angela".
Secret Agent Clank
While imprisoned on the Prison Planet, many Thugs-4-Less brutes attacked Ratchet in prison, seeking vengeance as he had been responsible for their imprisonment.
Later, during Qwark's opera on Venantonio, Thugs-4-Less brutes played "sea lemurs", which attacked with their tridents. According to Qwark's tale, they had been flushed down the toilets and made the sewers their home, but later staged a coup against the city. Qwark gave them the idea to get them all jobs, but they attacked him, so he mowed them down with his giant gun.
Brutes are medium sized, muscular Thugs carrying a two-handed carbine blaster, which they can hold with one hand, but use two when aiming. Standard Brutes wear a grey tank top, with their spikes sticking out of the back, and a utility belt, while Class II Brutes wear thick red armor, a mask covering their face, and carry a red energy blaster. The normal Brutes have purple skin color, whereas the Class II version has gray skin color. In jail, they instead wear prison uniform, and carry a plasma rifle. Brutes are described as being big, strong, and incredibly stupid.
In the Maktar Resort, standard Brutes attack Ratchet by firing bursts of green missiles, or releasing Chickenbots. After firing a burst they will raise their gun in the air triumphantly before reloading. Brute Class IIs fought on Boldan and Snivelak instead fire one strong red energy blast before briefly reloading, holding their gun up in the air, and firing again. They are also one of the few units to use advanced tactics against enemies, such as relying on cover, using ambushes, and performing maneuvers across grav-ramps.
In prison, they instead fired plasma guns, and did not use Chickenbots. They would also throw molotov cocktails.
In Going Commando, standard Thugs-4-Less Brutes fire relatively slow missiles, which can easily be dodged. When coupled with Chickenbots swarming Ratchet, they can be a moderately greater threat. Though they are at their most dangerous when being warped in en masse by dropship. The best strategy is to simply use the Chopper against them from a relative distance and simply strafe to dodge their missiles, as they cannot sustain much damage. The Chopper also fairs reasonable well against groups, but the Gravity Bomb is most useful.
Brute Class IIs fight by only firing a fast, red energy blast at Ratchet before reloading, and will often use cover or attack through an ambush. Their armor gives them significant durability, and their weapon does more damage, making them a greater threat. Therefore, it is important to destroy them with heavy weaponry, giving them little room to return fire and removing their cover at the same time, whilst using strafing tactics to dodge any return fire from them and their comrades. Recommended weapons are thus the Minirocket Tube, Bouncer, Hoverbomb Gun, and Plasma Coil. A notable mention is the Spiderbot Glove, which can conveniently take them out while keeping you out of any danger.
In close combat, both types will kick Ratchet if he gets too close, which can knock him back a fair distance. After hitting him, they will taunt him by holding their gun in the air and cheering, providing you an opening.
Behind the scenes
The Brutes in the Maktar Resort were programmed by Peter Hastings, and Brutes had to be custom coded for every level. In order to make the world feel realistic, some of the Brutes were made left handed, and Peter Hastings coded every Brute to have a different scale. However, after spending a lot of time tuning each individual enemy in the Resort, he received a bug report stating "not all enemies are same scale".
- Insomniac Games (2003). Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (June 20, 2011). Ratchet & Clank 2 Dev Commentary: 3A - Inspector Bot. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.
- Mike Stout, Tony Garcia (June 21, 2011). Ratchet & Clank 2 Dev Commentary: 4A - Maktar Resort. uselesspodcasts. YouTube.