After being kidnapped by the mysterious Zoni at the end of Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction, Clank finds himself on board The Great Clock - a giant mechanical space station that regulates the flow of time in the universe.
With The Great Clock under attack from Dr Nefarious, Clank works his way to the top with the help of a mystery voice. He soon discovers that this colossal timepiece at the centre of the universe (give or take 50 feet) means more to him than he could ever have imagined.
Meanwhile, Ratchet continues the search for his robotic buddy in the spaceship Aphelion, this time with Captain Qwark at his side. When they are shot down by mercenaries and crash-land on planet Quantos, our plucky Lombax learns that all is not well with the space-time continuum and that Dr. Nefarious is once again at the centre of it all.
Ratchet and Clank, inseparable for so long, must go it alone if they are to foil Dr Nefarious and discover the truths behind their respective origins. But as fate and time have pulled them apart, the same forces draw them to the same destination - the centre of the universe.
Meet the cast
Once a simple Lombax mechanic yearning for adventure, Ratchet's life has been transformed into one galaxy-saving quest after another since he met a little robot fugitive called Clank. Ratchet is an expert at fixing things and upgrading weapons and gadgets using his Omniwrench, and thanks to his exploits over the years, he's able to wield a full arsenal of outlandish firearms.
XJ-0461 - or as we know him, Clank - is the yin to Ratchet's yang; the wingnut to his threaded coach bolt. His size comes in handy, allowing him to manoeuvre into tight spaces, and gadgets such as the Helipack, Thrusterpack and Hydropack make him an adaptable sidekick. However, when kidnapped by the Zoni and transported to The Great Clock, he learns of his own personal responsibilities and must face up to life outside of Ratchet's shadow.
Years stranded on an asteroid with only a sarcastic butler for company would send anyone insane, and Dr. Nefarious had a few screws loose to begin with. The archetypical mad robotic scientist, he detests organic life - or squishies, as he calls them - and is forever plotting to obliterate his nemesis, Ratchet. He is believed to be involved in Clank's kidnap, although why he is interested in The Great Clock is unknown...
The softest fur in the galaxy
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time features the bright, colourful graphics, high quality animation and cheeky humour for which the series is renowned. The cutscenes driving the story are laugh-out-loud funny, particularly those involving Captain Qwark.
The bombastic orchestral soundtrack works well with the epic adventure and quirky sound effects are in keeping with the humour that runs throughout. Similarly, the voice acting is superb and gives real personality to the Dickensian cast of weird and wonderful beings.
Recording your every move
The game's twin narrative, with Ratchet and Clank separated from the outset, allows for two very different styles of play. Clank's sections on-board The Great Clock focus less on combat and more on the innovative time puzzles that are new to the series.
As you enter each room you are faced with big red switches connected to locked doors, lifts and moving platforms. You'll also find up to four Time Pads, and by standing on one of these, you can start a recording of your movements lasting up to a minute. When you stop the recording and move onto the next Time Pad, the previous version of yourself springs to life and carries out which ever actions you recorded - much like a ghost replay in a racing game. The idea is to have all of these replays doing the right things at the right times to open the door at the opposite end of the room.
Ratchet's stages will be more familiar to fans of the series and there are many gameplay additions to keep things fresh. Each stage presents you with a mix of platforming and blasting with an outlandish arsenal of upgradeable weapons at your disposal, such as the Groovitron Glove which, when deployed, prompts uncontrollable disco dancing from all enemies in the area.
Space exploration is another major gameplay addition, with Ratchet now able to explore the galaxy at the player's own pace and stop off to answer distress calls and hunt down secret items. You can also engage in space battles and upgrade your ship's on-board arsenal.