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May 19

May 19

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One Q&A — Co-Op Chaos

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by Director, SIEA Social Media

For Gameplay Programmer Mike McManus, the secret to co-op success is CAKE. “It took a long, painful prototyping process to find things that worked, so we came up with a catchy acronym: CAKE.”

Active for all players
Easy to understand

“We found that if we can design something that satisfies CAKE, it has a really good chance of being fun before we put any work into it,” McManus told us in a recent demonstration of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. “CAKE is key.” All 4 One sees the titular pair and fan-favorite nincompoop Captain Qwark teaming with series baddy Dr. Nefarious in a quest to escape the Creature Collector — an interstellar zoo packed with the galaxy’s most dangerous beasts.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One: Thundersmack

Bros Before Foes

Story-driven four-player co-op campaigns have a decidedly mixed track record. But armed with philosophies such as CAKE and cooperative-friendly weapons, Insomniac Games is taking great pains to ensure that All 4 One is much more than a single-player game with extra players haphazardly tossed into the mix. For starters, All 4 One supports every possible combination of offline and online players. “If you want to play with two people on the couch in Los Angeles, one person in London, and one person in Tokyo, you can,” McManus elaborated. “If you want to play by yourself, we’ll have A.I. characters to play with you.”

What’s more, All 4 One’s arsenal encourages all four players to coordinate their firepower to produce ever-more spectacular effects. Take the Darkstar Fission Rifle, which emits an energy beam that attaches to other Darkstar-wielding players. If all four players use the Darkstar, you’ll carve through enemy legions like a neon shuriken just by moving. “They’re almost like electrical clotheslines,” McManus said with no small amount of satisfaction. The Thundersmack, meanwhile, summons a lightning-spewing storm cloud that grows in power as your teammates contribute with more Thundersmacks. Power it up enough and the storm cloud will vomit tornadoes and torrents of lightning.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One - Terawatt decoyRatchet & Clank: All 4 One - Terawatt

Four’s Company

That’s not to say that All 4 One will stifle players who’d rather stick to their favorite weapon: The Arc Lasher is one example, as it stuns its victim and multiplies the damage of your teammates’ attacks. “It’s all about figuring out the best weapon to use,” McManus stressed. “You’ll need to approach every battle in a unique way.” McManus is excited to see how players react to the game’s epic action set pieces, such as a series of battles set atop a monstrous mechanized Guardian. “In almost every level we have really big, cinematic co-op experiences…it’s about sitting on the couch or playing online with your friends and experiencing these humongous battles together.“

All 4 One encourages players to work together with an array of co-op-friendly gadgets. The Vac-U tool can suck in a teammate and propel him over a chasm or behind enemy lines; The tether enables the team to link up in a daisy-chain to swing over perilous jumps. Though you’ll need to stick together to succeed, players will compete for kills in order to score more Bolts — the lifeblood of weapon upgrades.

Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One [Gamescon 2010]

Read on for more highlights of our chat with McManus, and watch the video above to see Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One in action. Leave your questions in the comments!

On character-specific special abilities
“Each character has a distinctive skill that helps out the whole team, and it gets more useful as you level it up. Ratchet’s Doppelbanger creates a lookalike that distracts nearby enemies and frees you up to revive a team mate; when you level it up it also fires at enemies. Clank has a bomb that slows down enemies, and Qwark has a reflective shield that protects the team from projectiles.”

On catching up to Pixar’s visuals
“We’re getting close, but I don’t think we’re quite there. It would presume that the CG in the Pixar films stops getting better. And if you’ve seen their recent movies, they’re looking better than ever. We’re closing the gap a little bit. We’re so happy with how All 4 One looks — it looks even better in 3D.”

On failed co-op experiments
“We had gameplay mechanics where one player would do something and the other three were waiting for them to do it. It was just intensely boring. Waiting around is not a lot of fun.”

On Dr. Nefarious joining the forces of good
“Dr. Nefarious is deliciously evil in this game, he’s as selfish as ever. But he realizes that the only way for him to get out of this situation is to help out Ratchet, Clank and Qwark — as much as he can’t stand them.”

Add Your Own

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chereb said:

May 19th, 11:08 am

Honestly, Im looking forward to this. It looks fun, and it requires you to actually work with your partner… unlike other games…… *cough*

charliesmile said:

May 19th, 11:12 am

in before lame portal jokes

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    Rey Gutierrez said:

    May 19th, 7:17 pm

    Funny. I edited out my own Portal joke from the video interview.

nino1911 said:

May 19th, 11:17 am

I want this game more than R3.


May 19th, 11:20 am

Looks like I will finally be playing a Ratchet & Clank game.;)

TheRockCs001 said:

May 19th, 11:32 am


TheGuardianFID said:

May 19th, 11:38 am

Ahem, SOLD!!! 8)

Jedi_Jeff said:

May 19th, 11:41 am

I like the idea of this co-op game, I just hope it’s fun to play.

OVERDOSE665 said:

May 19th, 11:58 am

IG I love all your games cant wait for this and R3

rjejr said:

May 19th, 11:59 am

Are the co-op characters game specific like Castle Crashers where everybody’s character has the same name or is it like LBP where all account holders can use their own account characters? We have 4 people in my house each with their own account, several of whom would play together or solo and 1 who will only play multiplayer.

daxter1100 said:

May 19th, 12:01 pm

anything on the ps store yet on when its going to come online

Falandrias said:

May 19th, 12:07 pm

they’ll post it when its back up

Airwalkinman17 said:

May 19th, 12:09 pm

Exactly what #8 said
Lookin forward to this too!!!

Christian399 said:

May 19th, 12:12 pm

Good God, twenty some-odd 1st party studios and not an RPG in sight! Seriously, enough with the platformers, shooters and AAA shooters already. Heck, I don’t even think this is 1st party is it? Should’ve bought Insomniac while you had the chance. Might want to grab Sucker Punch and Quantic before they start shilling multi-plat crap.

jasonelmaldito said:

May 19th, 12:34 pm

When is cod map pack 2 able at psn. Store

d_mon87 said:

May 19th, 12:36 pm


subbed said:

May 19th, 12:36 pm

If my avatar choice didn’t give it away… I am very excited about this game.

wolfman-11 said:

May 19th, 12:49 pm

I’ve played all rachet and clanks and this one will top it with the co-op!

DudeItsKyle said:

May 19th, 12:53 pm

Multiple PSN Account sign in localy? Also with the ability for everyone playing localy too get the trophies too? I hope so, this game looks fun.

DudeItsKyle said:

May 19th, 12:56 pm

Also I wouldn’t exactly go along with CAKE method, something tells me it’s a lie.

amigaice2 said:

May 19th, 1:04 pm

I Love R&C. Finally can play co-op like we did in deadlock.

Globox_82 said:

May 19th, 1:06 pm

ACIT was one of my TOP 5 games of 2009(even got platinum), such a great game really. Funny, beautiful, solid story, nice twists, and of course Nefarious was hilarious ! I played every Insomniac R&C game so far, except that multilayer take on R&C. The reason why I didn’t play it is because I see R&C as single player game, not MP or COOP. This game looks to me like some Wii wanna be experiment. Like that old Mario remake where 4 people play together (ok I don’t know the name since I don’t care about Mario) .
I’ll wait for reviews but for first time in many years can’t say that I am excited for R&C game. How crazy is that, when you consider previous game as GOTY material?!

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    Cristian Cardona said:

    May 20th, 9:56 am

    I think you’ll want to wait until you see more before you really decide. You can play this campaign in single player as well. We’ll have more information on that soon. This is definitely not a toned down knockoff.

Jjoxford2007 said:

May 19th, 1:21 pm


Dude you are WAY off topic. Go somewhere else to talk about that you moron.

MUNCHEE718 said:

May 19th, 1:38 pm

why are they showing all these games? just open up the store, i mean you been telling us all week about the welcome back program but still 4:38 may 19 2011 still no store.

DIGGY305 said:

May 19th, 1:39 pm

@15 the PSN Store will be up On Tuesday May 24

TubaDude49 said:

May 19th, 1:43 pm

@24 That’s what the blog does, all that PSN stuff was just the result of the cricis. Just be glad PSN is back up, the store won’t be much longer.

Jjoxford2007 said:

May 19th, 1:44 pm


I wont believe it til it happens.

hamilton02 said:

May 19th, 1:51 pm

dosent look to bad

Thane_of_Fife said:

May 19th, 1:53 pm

@24 MUNCHEE718 This is a blog about video games, this was never meant to be a informative place for your PSN or PSN store problems, it was always about games, have you ever come here before the PSN outage? I think not, plus that is off topic.

Other then that this game looks sick, huge fan of R&C, i want another one like Crack in Time, which was a beast, but i want multiplayer and a much more expanded single player not that it wasn’t but still, can’t get tired of that game. I’m still gonna get this game, co-op must be fun.

whitwhit said:

May 19th, 1:56 pm

I love R & C will this be playable at E3

Alyyse said:

May 19th, 2:02 pm

co-op should be a blast in this game

XxUltimateGodzXx said:

May 19th, 2:26 pm

OMG I love ratchet and clank i just love it

NamesIrish13 said:

May 19th, 2:28 pm

Finally the The wife, kid, and I can finally all three play a game together and not have to wait turns. Can’t wait!!!!

    Sid Shuman's Avatar

    Rey Gutierrez said:

    May 19th, 7:19 pm

    Bingo! This is exactly why Co-Op gaming is brilliant!

supercubanito said:

May 19th, 2:29 pm

this looks nice for the kids,i might play with them.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar

    Cristian Cardona said:

    May 20th, 9:57 am

    You’ll definitely get a kick out of it, too!

Stellazira said:

May 19th, 2:33 pm

Mmm… cake… when can I have some? :D

jonyspake said:

May 19th, 2:49 pm

quero ps store no brasil por favor sony traga para noss brasileiros por favo atenda meu pedido e de varios outros usuarios brasileiros obrigado

BuchNasty said:

May 19th, 3:06 pm

I have been a fan of ratchet & clank since the very first game when i met that crazy lombax. I just hope this isn’t a cheap downfall like many other games that continuously spurt out sequels like… dynasty warriors… The Ratchet games started to go downwards during the ps2 era during deadlocked and such. I honestly can’t remember the ratchet and clank games that well besides 1 & 2 even though i played and beat every game including the PsP titles. They were able to pick it back up with the series with the launch of the ps3 titles and I hope they are able to keep doing it and this just doesn’t feel like a cheap party game like heroes on the move.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar

    Cristian Cardona said:

    May 20th, 9:58 am

    Definitely not a party-style game. This is a full production complete with a story and lots of Ratchet & Clank hallmarks that we know you love!

MarinoBrea said:

May 19th, 3:10 pm

Sony better not let this game slip under the radar, probably SERIOUSLY CONSIDER A PS3 BUNDLE with it. You may have a big hit on your hands and not realize it, and I honestly believe this game has huge potential and it would be disappointing if Sony doesn’t go to the full extent of their capabilities supporting this game financially (to make it as great as it should be) and then backing it up with the marketing budget a AAA title deserves, and I’m not talking about only a funny Kevin B. commercial, I mean full-scale marketing and as I already said a bundle (with an extra Dualshock) would be ideal.

angel_gonzalez7 said:

May 19th, 3:22 pm

Looking forward to this game!

hamilton02 said:

May 19th, 3:40 pm

when E3 comes on i am watching it over & over

hamilton02 said:

May 19th, 3:42 pm

I look foward to this game 2


May 19th, 4:20 pm

i love myslelf

D-Squad3 said:

May 19th, 4:37 pm

Is this a sequel to A Crack in Time?

    Sid Shuman's Avatar

    Cristian Cardona said:

    May 20th, 9:58 am

    It takes place after the events in A Crack in Time.

theultimatenub said:

May 19th, 4:59 pm

this looks interesting

korgon117 said:

May 19th, 5:21 pm

I’m much of an R&C fan but I love Resistance! Hope this does well though. This holiday season for gaming is going to be a nightmare on my wallet, but a dream come true for my gamer side!

korgon117 said:

May 19th, 5:22 pm

Forgot to type not in the middle of I’m and much. My bad!

Zinacef said:

May 19th, 5:35 pm

Definitely can’t wait for this one.

madtyger said:

May 19th, 5:37 pm

I’m not sure about this. Being a long time R&C fan, I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into another Deadlocked. Plus, given the fact that this is from the “other” Insomniac studio, it will be interesting to see what their first foray as a separate studio turns out.

zech678 said:

May 19th, 5:55 pm

nice look game went it to

ToFeY said:

May 19th, 6:54 pm

i’m definitely getting this

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