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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was partly inspired by It's a Wonderful Life

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
(Image credit: Insomniac)

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart uses its new Lombax hero Rivet to tell a what-if story about its eponymous heroes, and the developers at Insomniac Games were inspired by one of the best Christmas movies to ask its central question.

A new Variety (opens in new tab) interview with several of the creative minds who helped shape the vision for Rivet as a character reveals It's a Wonderful Life as an unlikely influence: the team had already settled on the idea of a dimension-hopping game, but what form does that specifically take? Then they started thinking about Jimmy Stewart being shown how everybody's lives would be different if he wasn't around...

“What would a different dimension of Ratchet and Clank be like?” creative director Marcus Smith said. “And in particular, what would Ratchet’s life be like if he didn’t have a Clank?” Rather than going the "soap opera" route with an evil twin story, Smith said the team realized that "what was magical about seeing alternate dimension versions is how true they are to their core character." 

Lead animator Lindsay Thompson added that the studio also tried to figure out who Rivet isn't as they began to refine her: “Despite her tough exterior and perceived coolness, she’s never cynical, dark or cruel. Sure, she might not know the best way to act in a social situation, but she sure as hell isn’t shy. She’s on a mission for good, to protect herself and the innocent inhabitants who are tormented by the Emperor Nefarious and his goons.”

Check out our Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart preview to help pass the time until you can start playing on June 11.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.