The new Ratchet and Clank for PlayStation 4 is a dazzling showcase of animation and glossy graphics, and the movie it shares a universe with is partially to thank. That’s right - thank. With the companion film also set to debut in April 2016, Insomniac Games has been able to complete its next big Ratchet and Clank with plenty of time to spare for polish - to the tune of about 6 months.
It’s not necessarily an unusual situation for Insomniac, community and marketing lead James Stevenson told me during PlayStation Experience last weekend. “We’ve definitely had good polish phases before and times where we’ve scheduled a lot of polish time,” he said.
It is unusual, however, given the history of movie tie-in games, which are typically rushed to coincide with the film as an afterthought. In the case of Ratchet and Clank, which is simultaneously a remake of the original game and based on the film (which is, uh, based on original game to some degree), the independent developer outpaced the film. “These were always developed side-by-side and we wanted them to come out side by side.” Oh, and one more thing: “We’re good at making Ratchet and Clank games,” said Stevenson.
Though I couldn’t determine who had the biggest budget between the film and the game, Stevenson said time and attention to detail - more than money - is ultimately why this Ratchet and Clank is already playing so smoothly. “It’s big things and little things - just some of the little effects, some of the little things you see in levels, little gameplay tweaks that people haven’t seen yet. Those things will add up and get you a better experience when you play it in April.”
Ratchet and Clank is out as a game first on April 12, followed by the movie on April 29.