Video Game: Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus
The tenth (or twelth
) game in the Ratchet & Clank
series, Into The Nexus
will be the first game since A Crack in Time
that will not focus on multiplayer. It was released on November 12, 2013.
In this installment, Ratchet and Clank must pursue Vendra and Neftin Prog, a brother-sister duo who attempt to bring their race into the universe, with disastrous effects. The game is shorter than most installments, and serves as the Grand Finale
of the Future
This game contains examples of:
- Action Bomb: One of the creatures on planet Thram (referred to as a Bursting Blekko by the hint screen) will charge towards you and detonate the large growth on its back.
- An Asskicking Christmas: The game isn't set during Christmas, but there is a weapon called the Winterizer that turns enemies into snowmen while playing Jingle Bells.
- Assist Character: Mr. Zurkon returns, and even brings his wife and son into the mix if leveled enough.
- Attack Its Weak Point: the Plasma Striker returns, with it's ability to display and hit weak points for additional damage intact. In this game, however, you can purchase upgrades to increase the amount of extra damage that is done. One upgrade even slows down time when zoomed in...
- Background Music Override: Firing the RYNO VII and Winterizer changes the background music to "Night On Bald Mountain" and "Jingle Bells", respectively.
- Badass Family: Upgrading Mr. Zurkon to level 3 gives a whole family of deadly synthenoids to follow Ratchet around.
Mrs. Zurkon: The family that slays together, stays together.
- Bag of Spilling: While he did lose a lot of upgrades throughout the series, Clank loses his Thruster Pack upgrade in this game, which is jarring because in nearly every other game he had it from the start.
- Baleful Polymorph: The transformation weapon in this game is the Winterizer, which turns the enemies into snowmen.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: Like the first game, upgraded gold versions of weapons can be purchased with gold bolts. Oddly, they're still referred to as "Omega" weapons.
- Brother-Sister Team: Vendra and Neftin Prog.
- The Bus Came Back: Talwyn returns in a larger role following her absence in A Crack In Time and a slight mention in All 4 One.
- Call Back: The game's final stage in Meridian City from Tools of Destruction contains a museum portion that have audio descriptions of past villains, planets, enemies and the like.
- Canon Discontinuity: Not the game itself, mind you, but the museum in Meridian City has no evidence that the events of Size Matters or Secret Agent Clank ever took place; this officially renders the two games, both considered among the worst games in the franchise, non-canon.
- Combined Energy Attack: A downplayed example: the Zurkon family have an upgrade that will allow them to charge a shot together.
- Continuity Cavalcade: Meridian City museum.
- Critical Annoyance: Downplayed - Ratchet and Clank will flash red when low on Nanotech, though Ratchet's ears don't droop.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: The controls are quite different compared to the previous main game in the series:
- Circle can no longer be used to fire.
- L1 is used to aim/strafe, rather than L2 for strafing.
- The Comet Strike (throwing the wrench) is done by holding L1 and pressing square, rather than holding R2.
- Gadgets are mapped to their own buttons, rather than being equipped with the D-pad.
- Darker and Edgier: This game has a spookier atmosphere than usual, and many of the planets visited have been evacuated thanks to being haunted by Nethers. In addition, the Progs are plotting to release an Eldritch Abomination into the Polaris galaxy from another dimension, and Cronk and Zephyr are Killed Off for Real.
- Disney Death: Subverted with Cronk and Zephyr. Anticlimactic death? Check. No One Could Survive That? Check. Never Found the Body? Check. Being repairable? Check. It would have been expected for them to show up at the end perfectly alive, but no - they really were Killed Off for Real, and rather unceremoniously at that.
- Played straight with The Plumber, who is revealed to have survived the destruction of the Nebulox 7 when Ratchet receives a message from him after finding a RYNO holo-plan.
- Double Unlock: Obtaining the RYNO VII requires a triple unlock. First, you need to find all the holo-plans. Next, to actually gain the option to trade the plans in you must obtain all six keys to the vault on planet Thram. Only five of the keys can be found by exploring the level; the last is obtained by finding all the Gargathon horns and giving them to the Smuggler.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The "Black and White" filter does exactly what the name implies.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Leader of the Nethers is a gigantic mishmash of clockwork machinery and flesh who talks in something resembling Black Speech.
- Enemy Mine: Ratchet & Neftin team up after Vendra is thrown into the Nexus by the Nethers.
- Epic Flail: Neftin and his robo duplicate has two flails that he can use to create various types of electric shockwaves.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Neftin is fiercely dedicated to Vendra even though she treats him rather poorly.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Neftin protests at having to destroy the Nebulox 7 after helping Vendra escape. This could have been foreshadowing his Heel-Face Turn later on.
- Evil Duo: Vendra and Neftin Prog, again.
- Flunky Boss: Appears so often that it would be easier to just list the exceptions: The Voltanoid, and... Yeah, that's it.
- Foil: Vendra is this to Ratchet; both are the last of their kinds and deal with the issue in separate ways.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Vendra calls the Nether Leader "Mr. Eye" in one of her audio diaries. Justified, as she's a child when she meets him, so either she started calling him "Mr. Eye", or he introduced himself as such.
- Genre Shift: The game turns into a gravity puzzle platformer during Clank's Netherverse segments.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Ratchet is allowed to compete in the Thugs-4-Less Destructapalooza even though they've been hired to kill him. The Thugs even give Ratchet prizes when he wins battles.
- Grand Finale: For the Future series on the PlayStation 3.
- Gravity Screw: Gravity-altering in gameplay was a deliberate theme:
- Gravity Boot sections return, along with the ability to launch between gravity surfaces.
- The Clank levels allow manpulation of gravity.
- The Grav Tether lets you ride in gravity streams to solve puzzles.
- The Temporal Repulsor and Vortex grenade both suspend enemies in midair.
- Guns Akimbo: The Omniblaster upgrades to Dual Omniblasters at level 3.
- Heel-Face Turn: Neftin (and eventually Vendra) team up with Ratchet and Clank to stop the Nethers after they're released.
- In A Crack in Time, Pollyx was a minor antagonist who was affiliated with Dr. Nefarious; he apparently switches sides prior to being captured.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Vendra isn't that tiny, but when compared to Neftin she certainly is. Inverted for Mr. Zurkon and the more... err... plump Mrs. Zurkon.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Nether Blades were a weapon created by Vendra when she was a child. The upgrades version, the Prog Blades, was modified by Neftin and bears the twins' name. You can end up using this weapon against Neftin himself later on. There's also the "An Eye for an Eye" Skill Point, which requires you to defeat the Nether Leader using only Nether-based weapons.
- I Gave My Word: Neftin promises that if Ratchet and Clank save Vendra and help her defeat the Nethers, he'll turn himself in to the police for the murders of Cronk and Zephyr. At the end of the game, he says, "A deal's a deal," and heads to jail along with Vendra (though the latter needs to be carried off by her brother, and she isn't exactly pleased with being forced back into imprisonment).
- Infinity+1 Sword: The RYNO returns in its seventh edition. It now plays "Night On Bald Mountain" as you fire it.
- Jet Pack: Sadly, the Thruster Pack is missing from this game. However, one of the new gadgets is a Grummelnet Jetpack that allows you to fly anywhere... as long as you don't run out of fuel.
- Killed Off for Real: Cronk and Zephyr during the opening level in space. Because of their deaths, Ratchet decides that It's Personal.
- Lampshade Hanging: The advert for Destructapalooza mentions how a jetpack attachment for a small robot companion is an "oddly specific" prize.
- Lava Pit: The Thugs-4-Less Destructapalooza arena has one.
Announcer: In case anyone cares, that's natural lava we're using. Because Thugs-4-Less cares about the environment.
- Mighty Glacier: Neftin Prog.
Neftin: Look at me! I'm a lot of things, but nimble isn't one of them.
- Monster Clown: One of the creatures that can be shot out of the Nightmare Box as ammunition takes this form.
- New Game+: Challenge Mode from the older games returns. However, the bolt multiplier only goes up to x10 instead of the usual x20.
- No Damage Run: Each Clank Netherverse level has a skill point for beating it without getting hit.
- Nostalgia Level: The museum in Meridian City is full of references to past games. There's even a boss battle against a functional replica of the Biobliterator.
- One Time Dungeon: Certain sections of planets Yerek and Silox - along with the entirety of the introductory level - can't be accessed again after completion. Thankfully, none of the collectables or Skill Points are in these areas.
- Orphanage of Fear: The orphanage the Progs were at seems to have been unpleasant at best; Vendra's holo-diaries mention that she and Neftin don't have any friends and the adults don't care that they're being bullied.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Due to all the work the Progs have done to weaken the barriers between this world and that of the Nethers the sector is considered haunted. It turns out that Robots do have souls or at least ghosts in the stinger when Cronk & Zephyr's ghosts show up at the end. Judging by their comments on picking up women at the robot cemetery, they're not and isolated case.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Zurkon Jr. Vendra Prog, while not exactly tiny, is certainly very small compared to her brother, and in the climax of the game, uses her telekinesis to throw the colossal Nether Leader back through the portal leading to the Netherverse.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: The backing music when the Winterizer and RYNO VII are fired are the Christmas carol "Jingle Bells" and Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" respectively.
- Putting a Hand over His Mouth: Pollyx does this to Ratchet in his first scene.
- Real Is Brown: Parodied with the "Doom and Gloom" filter. The graphics don't become that much duller, but the bloom is increased to ridiculous levels.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The Nether armour is the most powerful armour in the game. It's also bright purple.
- Rewarding Vandalism: In addition to bolts coming out of everything you break, there are a few Skill Points that require you to smash various things. One of them is even called "Vandal".
- Rise to the Challenge: In a couple of occasions on planet Silox you must escape from rising water. Which is incredibly funny given that Ratchet can still officially swim AND has an O2 mask, meaning that rising water shouldn't even BE an issue except for the fact that Insomniac is refusing to add swimming back in. Made even funnier when Ratchet is saying "That was a close one" as if he's forgotten how to swim completely.
- Robot Me: One arena challenge features the Prog Bot, a robot duplicate of Neftin Prog.
Announcer: Our engineers built the Prog Bot as a practice robot for new thug recruits. It looks like Neftin because - well, who wouldn't want to get a chance to smack around their boss?!
- Sequel Hook: Clank takes the broken Dimensionator in the very last cutscene for an unknown reason, despite knowing that it's too dangerous to use.
- Ship Tease: Towards Ratchet/Talwyn, specifically Talwyn saying Ratchet & Clank are all she has left after Cronk & Zephyr's deaths, and Ratchet telling Clank that he's not sure if he'd use the Dimensionator to join the Lombaxes, as there's more for him out there than with his people, whilst glancing at Talwyn.
- Vendra is at least slightly flirtatious towards our hero too...
- The Stinger: Cronk & Zephyr in the afterlife, haunting the museum in Meridian City.
- Timed Mission: Many of the arena challenges are timed.
- The Dreaded: The Nightmare Box/Terroriser can scare any enemy in the game... Save for Mr. Eye, who scares it.
- The Unfought: Vendra
- Unwitting Pawn: Mr. Eye and the rest of the Nethers don't care about Vendra at all; they're simply using her to enter the world.
- Video Game Flight: The Jet Pack gadget allows you to fly anywhere. Except you need to fill it at a fuel station first. And not all planets have fuel stations. And the fuel depletes the more you use it. And one planet has "No-fly Zones" that will automatically remove all your fuel.
- Weapons That Suck: After the Vortex Grenade upgrades to the Singularity Grenade, it gains the ability to suck in enemies.