Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

PlayStation 3 needed a platform game and now we have Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction to fill the void. Insomniac’s platform/action franchise was one of the most popular series on the PlayStation 2 due to its use of funky gadgetry and platforming gameplay. Now they have made their PlayStation 3 debut, complete with the obligatory visual overhaul and tacked on motion control.

This time around Emperor Tachyon has attacked planet Metropolis in an attempt to kill Ratchet, and so our heroes are off on another adventure to defeat him. As with previous titles, gameplay involves running around huge levels, smashing crates and monsters, and collecting nuts to exchange for weapons or ammo. Fans of the series will feel right at home in Tools of Destruction.

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However, that isn’t to say the series hasn’t evolved a little. Tools of Destruction takes advantage of the Sixaxis’ motion controls in flying levels. Although it takes some getting used to, it feels natural eventually. On top of that there’s a new batch of weapons on hand to upgrade and decimate anyone in your path, including the Predator Launcher - a laser guided homing missile launcher; and the Lightning Ravager - an electric whip which works on heavily armoured enemies.

To diversify the gameplay further, Insomniac has included some solo sub-missions for Clank, when he isn’t on Ratchet’s back, giving him some much needed help. Clank sometimes shows Ratchet up with his unique abilities. He can levitate, slow down time, and command small robots. Said robots come in useful as they can help Clank to defeat enemies, reconstruct or destroy various structures and go places that would be too narrow for Ratchet’s huge wrench. Unfortunately, you can’t detach him from Ratchet at any time as he’s relegated to specialized areas such as mines.

Once you get into it, you’ll find yourself gasping at the size and detail in the environments. They run the gauntlet of platform game level clichés, from jungles to high-tech levels. However, thanks to the PS3’s high definition graphics, all of them look incredible. In one particular stage, you’re flying through space in an on-rails shooter sequence surrounded by asteroids and enemy ships waiting to be vaporized.

Even with this amount of visual detail you will encounter enough enemies to keep you on your feet. Although taking on so many enemies can overwhelm Ratchet, he has some powerful new gadgets such as the Groovitron - a ‘disco ball’ which forces enemies to dance, allowing Ratchet to get some easy kills in and avoid certain death.

This is the first quality platform game on PS3 and Ratchet and Clank’s biggest outing yet. Although it offers nothing new, it refines the series with crisper visuals, improved flight controls and the addition of Clank’s solo missions. If you weren’t a fan of the series before this won’t change your mind, but fans will enjoy it.

"Ratchet & Clank make their debut on PS3"
- Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Follow Own it? Rating: PG   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 15 Min


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