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A video game franchise that has spanned multiple decades and console generations, Ratchet & Clank has cemented itself as one of the PlayStation’s premier series. In these platformers, Ratchet, the iconic protagonist, and his sidekick Clank trek across the galaxy in action-packed and often hilarious adventures.

Part of what has given the series such staying power is its creativity through its over-the-top universe, and nowhere is this even more present than in the game’s weapons.

A fan plays the video game 'Ratchet and Clank' on a large computer monitor
Ratchet and Clank | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A third person shooter like no other

Part of what continues to make Ratchet & Clank so appealing is that the series does not restrict itself to one genre. It’s not just a platformer; it’s also a third-person shooter. It doesn’t lean too heavily one way or the other, though. Instead, it prides itself on being both at once. 

As a platformerRatchet & Clank takes inspiration from some of the genre’s greats. Double-jumping, hovering, and other mechanics that will be familiar to platform fans are implemented well throughout the series. While players primarily control Ratchet, Clank is involved in many of the game’s moves and mechanics, similar to 3D platforming icon, Banjo-Kazooie

What really sets Ratchet & Clank apart from its competitors, however, is its implementation of third-person shooting gameplay as well. Ratchet can perform melee attacks with his trusty OmniWrench, but the game encourages players to experiment with ranged weapons. These are the heart and soul of the series, and the result of this is a quirky mix of platforming and shooting.

Plenty of notable weapons

Ratchet & Clank is known for its trademark sense of humor, and this shines in the weapons that players get to wield. Game Rant discusses some of the more powerful and bizarre weapons that players have had access to in the series. Most games in the series start players out with a simple blaster that shoots a basic projectile. By the end, the weapons get much wilder, though, and these are truly fun to control.

One example of these is the Pixelizer. As the name indicates, this shotgun-like weapon turns enemies into pixelated versions of themselves. Using the Pixelizer feels familiar to any gamer who has played a shooter before, but the result is equal parts humorous and satisfying.

Another hilariously ridiculous Ratchet & Clank weapon is the Sheepinator. With this, instead of merely shooting enemies, Ratchet can turn them into sheep. Ideas like this show the inventive spirit inside the series. The shooting gameplay may sometimes resemble other games, but in what other game can you turn enemies into sheep?

What’s next for Ratchet and Clank?


Is PlayStation Now Really Worth it for Gamers?

Gamers last saw the titular duo in 2016 in the aptly titled Ratchet & Clank, a game that served both as a sort of reboot to the series as well as a tie-in with the film adaptation that came out in the same year. The Verge noted that this critically-acclaimed title had renewed interest when it was made free earlier this year as part of PlayStation’s “Play at Home Initiative.” This helped spark interest in the series’ next title, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

As players await the next game in the series, many are wondering what new weapons and other gadgets will be part of Ratchet’s arsenal. According to Screen Rant, the weapons offered will be just as funny as before, with the highlight being the Topiary Sprinkler, a weapon that fertilizes enemies. As with other games in the series, the weapons will likely be just as fun to control as they are to watch. 

Outside of the weapons, Rift Apart will introduce other new features to the series, such as Rivet, a new character who is the same species as Ratchet. This continues the trend of regularly adding new elements, which keeps the series fresh. 

The weapons in Ratchet & Clank are far more than just a novelty. They are certainly funny, but they are also engaging and represent why the series has been so good for so long. They’re innovative and add to the satisfying combination of platforming and shooting.