Ratchet and Clank has proven time and time again to be a great success for Sony. The PlayStation 3's iterations were both groundbreaking in their own respective ways: the first Future game was stunning to witness with visuals that we've been hoping to see in videogames since Pixar's Toy Story was brought to life. And the sequel was one of the first big-franchise downloadable games that was no different than a full-fledged copy you'd buy at a store. What made the last two Ratchet games so great was also their stories, as both Tools of Destruction and Quest For Booty were direct sequels, ultimately leading us to this finale.
If you've yet to play either of the last two Ratchet games, then I suggest you skip this paragraph as it contains spoilers. Ready? As you recall, at the end of Tools of Destruction, Clank was kidnapped by the Zoni, which drove the story of Quest For Booty. But at the end of Quest, Ratchet comes to find out that he won't be able to easily rescue Clank, he's been taken to a whole other galaxy and that Dr. Nefarious was the one behind it all.
You'll take control of both Ratchet and Clank, as one character's missions will have you running to save your partner, and the other character will be trying to escape from his captivity, while simultaneously trying to save the universe from Nefarious and his new schemes. Sony states one of the key plot devices within the game will be to answer the question of whether or not Ratchet and Clank were destined to be bound together forever as friends, or if their destinies are to eventually part.
One thing you should make no mistake about is that while this is the finale of the three-part arc (a.k.a a series finale), this is not the last game for the Ratchet and Clank franchise. Whatever comes after this will feature an all new storyline. That said, there's a lot to be excited about with A Crack in Time as it'll utilize Insomniac's fourth-generation PS3 game engine, so you'll be treated to an even prettier game world.
In addition to being prettier, the new Ratchet game will boast even larger non-linear levels that Sony states will have multiple hidden areas to explore. Best of all, to help you explore all of this new terrain will be new gadgets, like Hoverboots. And when you need a lift that goes beyond the capabilities of the Hoverboots, Ratchet's spaceship will fly you through the universe and get you where you need to go. Traveling through space will give you the opportunity to engage in space battles, in addition to some extra exploration of nearby star systems where hidden items and collectible lie.
Insomniac is also incorporating new gameplay mechanics, such as "Time" abilities that'll allow the gamer to manipulate the game and allow you to see what Sony calls your "past selves". Exactly how this will work out remains to be seen, but it sure sounds fun. Of course, as you'd expect, there are even more weapons to toy around with, and by toy around we also mean modify.
As if there was any doubt about it, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time is coming along just fine in development, as Insomniac continues to put all of their finest work into the series' third next-gen entry. Look for it to arrive this Fall of 2009.