Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is the first four-player cooperative game in the Ratchet & Clank franchise. All 4 One has drop-in drop-out online play as players must work together to defeat enemies and solve puzzles in the game. Characters that will be playable are protagonist Ratchet, Deuteragonist Clank, Tritagonist Captain Qwark and even Antagonist Doctor Nefarious.
A rumor of a new Ratchet & Clank game was started when the voice actor of Clank, David Kaye revealed in August of 2010 that Insomniac Games had hired him to do some voice work for a new Ratchet & Clank. Later, during Sony's press conference at Gamescom, president and CEO of Insomniac Ted Price officially announced the game. The game is being developed by Insomniac's new studio in North Carolina.
September 14, 2011 saw the launch of a limited beta which featured two levels and number of new weapons like the Frost Cannon, Plasma Bomb Launcher and Warmonger. It allowed up to four players supporting offline and online and closed on September 27, 2011.
In teams of four or less players work to overcome enemies and solve various puzzles throughout the level. Players must combine their skills in combat, puzzle solving, and traversal sequences.
A gadget every player has access to is called the "Vac-U" which allows players to launch each other onto far away platforms, pick up and shoot puzzle-solving items, pick up and throw enemies into each other, and easily break the boxes that contain bolts, the monetary unit of the game.
Players can also combine their weapon use to create more damage. If all players fire the same weapon at the same enemy, an overload bonus can be achieved which, depending on the weapon, can cause more damage or create an area of effect bonus that, for instance, turns all surrounding enemies into pigs if the players are using the Critter Beam. Players can also combine different weapons to stun enemies and then destroy them.
Aside from being co-operative there is also a competitive aspect in the forms of bolts and enemies defeated as tabulated at the end of each section. By collecting the most bolts and defeating the most enemies the player can try to get a higher score then their peers.
Players also collect 'critters,' often fluffy invincible creatures that populate the levels. Players use the Vac-U to suck up the critters. Doing so unlocks critter puzzle rooms, accessed via teleporters hidden in the game, where the players use their puzzle skills to guide a running critter through a maze. Each puzzle solved usually lowers a section of pipe for the critter to run through, and if the players do not solve the puzzle quickly, the critter will fall and they will have to try again.
If players die they receive a 400 bolt penalty and be revived in a few seconds but have a chance to be revived by a partner before passing on. If all players are eliminated though, they will all be respawned at the last checkpoint.
Problems arise when Dr. Nefarious conjures up an evil plan that goes horribly wrong. Trying to kill now President Captain Qwark with a giant energy beast, Nefarious accidentally draws the attention of the collectors and Ephemeris, a massive spheroid that travels across the galaxy collecting the most dangerous and exotic beasts it can. The collectors collect the four protagonists and they arrive on Planet Magnus. Most of the adventure follows the quatro as they navigate this planet and look to save its bedraggled inhabitants.
They discover that the creatures of this planet had a mysterious radioactivity that made their owners smarter and more skilled. Two scientists looking to understand the nature of these creatures split as one steals the other's inspiring creature, Mr. Dinkles. This scientist, Dr. Croid, creates Ephemeris 1.0 to find Mr. Dinkles, but the collecting robot is manipulated and weaponized to become the monstrosity that captured our heroes.
As time goes on, Qwark and Nefarious start to realize that they can work together. The four discover Dr. Croid, who has gone insane, and, with his help, find Dr. Nevo, his partner.
When they confront Nevo for the all the destruction Ephemeris has caused, he is revealed to be a sad pawn in the plot of a creature of ultimate evil and ingenuity, a spirit that took over the body of Mr. Dinkles. This spectral evil takes control of a grand monster, which the heroes summarily defeat with the help of the reunited scientists, killing the spirit for good and saving Magnus for future generations.
Nefarious and Qwark gain understanding, but still must fight each other. However, in an after credits sequence, Nefarious stares longingly, wistfully, at a poloroid of himself, Qwark, Ratchet, and Clank, implying a possible change of heart.
Completion of all of the hidden critter puzzle rooms gives the player(s) access to the RYNO VI, a super weapon suit that fires fast, deadly missles. When players use the RYNOs together, the suits create a screen-clearing explosion. The weapon only has 12 ammo.
In the UK Ratchet & Clank All 4 One received a Special Edition which includes a 3D lenticular cover and bonus content that are 4 extra skins for each character, 4 weapons called "Mr. Zurkon", "Pyro Blaster", "T-Rex Morph" and "Sheepinator Morph" and also 4 PSN Avatars and a dynamic theme.