We are only one day away from the release of Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. This newest game in the series looks to cap off the PS3’s brilliant Future saga and seems to be a real return to form after a couple less successful experimental titles in the franchise. I’ll be sure to check in with a review of this entry sometime within the next couple weeks, but today I’d like to talk a bit about the series’ greatest strength: the weapons. The Ratchet & Clank series is home to some of the most creative and fun armaments you will find anywhere in gaming. Choosing my favorites was no easy task. And for the purpose of variety, I’ve tried to include a varied assortment of weapons (or I’d end up including several morphing weapons for example). With that considered, here are my top ten Ratchet & Clank weapons to date.
10. Plasma Whip
While Ratchet & Clank has always focused more on shooting it has had quite a few great melee weapons over the years. I thought about including the Razor Claws or the Scorpion Flail. I even thought about including Ratchet’s trusty Omniwrench for its role over the course of the series. I ultimately settled on the Plasma Whip. The Plasma Whip very much feels like an extension of the wrench with similar attacks but greater range and some cool looking animations. It also has a pretty cool final upgrade that gives it some ranged ability as it shoots waves of energy out from its horizontal attacks.
9. Miniturret Glove
One of my favorite parts of having access to such a huge arsenal of weapons in this series is employing a bunch at once during battle. Which is one of the great things about the Miniturret Glove… you know besides being a glove that throws out miniature machine gun turrets that upgrade to shoot missiles and teleport around the battlefield. You’ve got your Shield Charger on. You have a set of Synthenoids floating around you. You are pelting enemies with shots from your Lancer. And all the while, the turrets you threw out before battle are blasting away at anyone who comes near you. It’s beautiful.
8. RYNO V
The RYNO has been a series staple since the beginning. Standing for “Rip You a New One,” it typically represents the game’s most powerful weapon. I admittedly don’t favor these since they are a little too good, but it is still fun to whip out now and again to just annihilate everything in front of you in no time flat. A Crack in Time’s RYNO V is easily the best of the bunch purely for the fact that your path of destruction is accompanied by the 1812 Overture.
7. Plasma Coil
The devastating Plasma Coil is probably on the less imaginative end of weapons on this list, but it doesn’t stop it from being a blast to create some mayhem with. The Plasma Coil sends a ball of plasma hurtling towards enemies. When it strikes, it also shocks nearby enemies. And when upgraded to the Plasma Storm it zapped baddies along the way too. This thing could really do some damage and remains one of my favorite weapons in the series ten years after its debut.
6. Rift Inducer
You know what is cool? A gun that shoots out a black hole that sucks in any enemies that have the gall to approach it. Which is exactly what you get with the Rift Inducer. This can be used sort of like the Miniturret Glove as a form of protection while you utilize other weapons or you can just throw it out and let it do most of the work. Upgrades will eventually add a shock element to the black holes and allow you to join several together to create a larger, more powerful version. A Crack in Time‘s Rift Inducer 5000 added an interdimensional creature (named Fred of course) who would snatch enemies with his tentactles and bring them into the black hole with him which was a fun twist on the original.
5. Mr. Zurkon
Mr. Zurkon is the Future series take on the Synthenoids from the PS2 games, but it takes the concept to the next level with a big dose of humor. Mr. Zurkon is a killing machine and can’t be bothered with much else. Having him by your side spitting lines like, “Ha ha! Mr. Zurkon requires no nanotech to survive. Mr. Zurkon lives on fear!” “Mr. Zurkon doesn’t need bolts; his currency is pain,” and “Mr. Zurkon still detects heartbeat. This is a problem for Mr. Zurkon” makes every battle more fun. Once you get this little guy, you won’t want to enter a fight without him.
4. Glove of Doom/Agents of Doom
I debated whether to put the Agents of Doom ahead of Mr. Zurkon or not and like a few other close choices on this list, it could certainly go either way. Ultimately, I’ll give these guys the nod for coming around earlier in the series as well as their deceiving appearance and additional tactics. This adorable little pack of robots can be thrown out to help you take out enemies. While the original game brought these cute fellas into our lives, UYA took them to the next level with it’s amazing upgrade system that equipped them with things like shoulder mounted lasers and the ability to fly by your side as they leveled up.
3. Groovitron/Groovitron Glove
It’s a grenade that makes enemies dance. That should be enough to sell it really. In theory, it also stops enemies’ attacks so that you can take them out, but only if you can stop yourself from tapping your foot and watching them get their groove on before it wears off. There was an amazing attention to detail paid to the Groovitron as well. Every enemy had unique dance moves and animations even the morphed enemies like penguins. Both hilarious and effective, it’s hard to not love the Groovitron.
The Bouncer isn’t as inventive of some of the other choices on this list, but I love it all the same. It basically shoots out a bomb that then breaks into many smaller bombs, great for taking out big groups of enemies. It may seem a little basic by R&C standards and feels a little hard to sell here in text, but once you’ve unleashed the destruction that the Bouncer delivers, once you’ve seen the wave of desolation it leaves behind, once you’ve heard the joyous cacophony of explosions it creates… once you’ve done that, you’ll learn to love the Bouncer like I do.
The original Ratchet & Clank had these great commercials with live-action demonstrations of the game’s weapons. It was the one with the Morph-O-Ray, a ray-gun that turned your enemies into chickens, that sold me on the game. It wasn’t until late in the adventure that I unlocked the Morph-O-Ray, but boy was it worth the wait. I ran around leaving a sea of chickens in my wake and it was glorious. Realizing the genius of their invention, Insomniac Games smartly made the morphing weapon a series staple. While all of these are great, I think the best is definitely Up Your Arsenal’s Quack-O-Ray. As you could imagine, it turns your foes into ducks, but it is UYA’s upgrade system that puts this weapon ahead of the rest. Along with the standard power enhancements, it also featured more tangible improvements. On level two, the ducks began to lay explosive eggs. Next those eggs would home in on enemies. Then the ducks themselves would attack other baddies. And finally at level five some enemies would transform into a phoenix that would swoop down at your opposition. It was, in a word, awesome.
So those are my favorite Ratchet & Clank weapons. But what are yours? Let me know in the comments below and be on the lookout for my Into the Nexus review in the coming weeks.