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Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PlayStation 3) artwork

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PlayStation 3) review

"Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the latest in the Ratchet and Clank series of games from Insomniac. Exclusive to Sony the series has already seen three successful outings on the PS2 and one on the PSP. Tools of Destruction is the first game in the series to appear on the PS3 and, despite the change in platform, sticks to the tried and tested formula of the previous four games. "

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the latest in the Ratchet and Clank series of games from Insomniac. Exclusive to Sony the series has already seen three successful outings on the PS2 and one on the PSP. Tools of Destruction is the first game in the series to appear on the PS3 and, despite the change in platform, sticks to the tried and tested formula of the previous four games.

On this occasion our unlucky Lombax and his robot side kick find themselves firmly in the crosshairs of one Emperor Percival Tachyon; the last of a race known as the Cragmites. The Cragmites were wiped out by the Lombaxes during their last attempt to conquer the universe and Tachyon has decided that now is the time to have his revenge. Naturally it is your job to prevent this from happening and to prevent Tachyon from getting his hands on the legendary Lombax super weapon which was used to destroy his race.

The game itself is essentially a platform shooter which is spread across a variety of different worlds. Each world has its own objective which is normally a case of locating a certain item or a new ship with which to continue your journey. None of this is particularly new I will grant you but it is the huge variety of weapons and gadgets available to you as you carry out these objectives that makes Ratchet and Clank so much fun. Interestingly on this occasion you start out your journey with much of the equipment from previous games already available to you. This is a particularly good idea in my opinion as I am hardly going to get excited when I rediscover a Heli-Pack or Magnetic Boots when I have already seen them before.

The weapons themselves, of which I have only uncovered a fraction, vary from the standard Fusion Grenade to the much more interesting Tornado Launcher which fires, you guessed it, tornados which can be steered making use of the Sixaxis controller. Each of the weapons increases in level (and as a result damage) through constant use and both new weapons and ammo can be purchased using the bolts dropped by defeated enemies or liberated from crates strewn across the landscape. Additionally weapons can be further upgraded by collecting Raritanium allowing for advances such as increased range or firing speed.

Of course that is not all. Ratchet has his usual array of gadgets such as the Swingshot and the Geo-Laser which again makes nice use of the Sixaxis controller to carve holes in weak walls and open up new paths to explore. (Takes a breath). Still not satisfied?
Well to finish of the complement of gadgetry there are additional items called devices. These include the Groovitron that you may well have seen put to good use in the demo available on the PSN Store. In fact there is so much stuff to use against the enemy that it can feel a little overwhelming. I am not complaining or anything but to be honest I havenít made much use of half the weapons and seem to forget about the devices altogether as they can only be carried in small numbers and they are relatively costly to replace.

Anyhow the game plays pretty much as you would expect it to and there have been no real changes made since the very first PS2 version came out. That said, it ainít broke.
I havenít completed the game yet so I cannot say exactly how many planets there are available to explore. What I can say, from previous experience, is that these games have plenty of replay value. When you finish the game, rather than start again from scratch, you carry over the weapons you have already collected. This gives the opportunity to fully upgrade each and every one if you so desire. Then you have the hidden Gold Bolts to collect and Skill Points to achieve before you can really say you have beaten everything the game has to offer.

Graphically this game is not going to make you drop your coffee in your lap but that is not because it looks bad. For me cartoon style games just never as impressive and the graphics on the PS2 versions were pretty nice so the leap is not all that astounding. The music plays along in the background fairly unobtrusively and at least it is not annoying like so many games of this genre. The speech is lovely, well voice acted and also fairly amusing if you turn your humour sophistication down a notch. There is no online play and no downloadable features but the game is as complete as it needs to be right out of the box so who cares. The use of the Sixaxis is good and doesnít feel tacked on for the hell of it though, randomly, there are sections where you fight in your ship and have to use the sticks instead of tilt control which is a shame.

Overall I am hugely impressed, especially as I am not a natural fan of platform style games. Oh, and the little robot ghosts, called Zony, which haunt Clank are ace (Now that is what I call subliminal messaging, cheers SZony).

OrpheusUK's avatar
Community review by OrpheusUK (April 14, 2008)

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