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Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.0
Value 9.2
Distributor: Sony
Review Date:
December 2007
Travis Smith


Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction

This is probably the game that PlayStation 3 owners have been waiting for, a PS3 exclusive that has been designed to almost fully utilise the console and progress the entertaining storyline of two loveable heroes, Ratchet and Clank in their current adventured called "Ratchet and Clank Tools of Destruction".

For those unaware of these two sometimes bumbling heroes, the series revolves around an alien bipedal marsupial looking creature with his partner in heroics, Ratchet, a robot sidekick and at the end of the day, the title is fun from start to finish in this addictive and entertaining arcade game.  


  • Insomniac Games has overhauled its proprietary PS3 engine technology to create the most visceral Ratchet & Clank universe yet, overflowing with exotic creatures and flying vehicles.
  • Experience many more objects on screen and in more intricate detail than what was possible on PlayStation 2 Ratchet & Clank games.
  • The PS3 system’s superior power enables Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction to bring vivid worlds to life with increased draw distances, enhanced lighting and shadowing, and more fluid and exaggerated animations.
  • Discover an all-new galaxy spanning vast worlds such as a majestic cloud city and a space-age amusement park.
  • Encounter an entirely new cast of expressive characters (and some old favorites) as well as the introduction of a variety of new alien races and life forms.
  • Experience a more emotive Ratchet with nearly as many animation joints in his face (90) as PS2 Ratchet had in his entire body (112). This joint density applies to many of the characters featured in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, enabling more detailed, personable and expressive characters.
  • Clank returns as a playable character, and Ratchet will have new enhanced abilities.
  • Fire a fully stocked arsenal of all-new weapons such as the Plasma Beasts and Tornado Launcher, which uses the SIXAXIS™ controller to direct tornadoes that suck up enemies and whip them around with debris.
  • Use the SIXAXIS controller to maneuver, destroy enemies and solve puzzles.
  • Upgrade and customize weapons with a new system that provides greater power and flexibility. Players also will have the ability to upgrade Ratchet’s armor.
  • Utilize Ratchet’s new supply of consumable “on-demand” combat devices, such as the Groovitron, which causes enemies to dance uncontrollably to ‘70s disco hits.
  • Gadgets gameplay returns as Ratchet and Clank will have more gadgets at their disposal to help them bounce, fly, evade and defy gravity.
  • Pilot Ratchet’s ship through asteroid fields while trying to destroy enemy fleets in a complete redesign of classic Ratchet & Clank space combat gameplay.

The story begins with Ratchet as he is working on his hoverbike with his sidekick Clank and when renowned intergalactic hero Captain Quark contacts the heroes with a small problem, there's an armada invading the planet. Both our heroes jump into action only to be caught in an alien plot where they find themselves chased by robotic assailants.

The overarching plot deals with the disappearance of Ratchet's race, the Lombax and the machinations of the madman Emperor Tachyon. There are some interesting elements to the story, but it's told in sort of a fuzzy way and the payoff at the end isn't entirely  satisfying. An interesting title that goes hand-in-hand with the gameplay, graphics and storyline which makes this title the best to date.

As with most platformers, of course, the plot is really just an excuse to get you from point A to B. As Ratchet you'll be destroying enemies across a variety of planets and settings in a well-realized 3D world. There are a number of jumping/platforming elements, but you're equipped with a number of tools that make the gameplay easily approachable. There are also a few simple puzzles to tackle, but none of them will take more than a few moments to solve.

These run and jump sections are also broken up by 'rail grinding' segments that have you following a fixed course, moving from track to track to avoid obstacles. There are also a few vehicle segments, including repeated space-shooter sequences. Both of these elements are well-integrated into the flow of gameplay, and feel completely at home in Ratchet's futuristic world. The shooting elements didn't do much for me fun-wise, but they didn't detract from the experience either.

Combat, pure and simple, is where you'll be having most of your fun. As you're jumping and dodging from place to place you'll be fighting a number of different enemy types. The colorful, creative enemies you'll be facing are only matched in number by the true hallmark of Ratchet games, the weapons.

Though you start with just grenades, a pea-shooter laser weapon, and your trusty wrench, there are a galaxy of different destructive devices to find, purchase, and upgrade throughout the game. This never gets old. You're constantly tweaking weapons with the resource rareitanium to improve their powers, or deliberately using certain weapons to level them up through experience.

That dinky pea-shooter becomes an impressive hand-cannon, and it's joined by laser whips, rocket launchers, tornado machines, spike guns, gel-tossers, saw-flingers, and a vicious nano-swarm machine that takes your enemies apart atom by atom. Each of these can be modified in the same way as the pea-shooter, with special 'ultimate' modifications if you completely upgrade them.

Leveling them up is as simple as using them in combat, and also leads to a transformation after you get in enough 'dings'. These destructive toys are joined by a series of ingenious devices that assist you in more supportive roles. There's a leech bomb that restores your life, a grappling hook, stunning gas, and a grenade that turns your opponents into penguins.

There's also the groovitron, famously demonstrated in the trailers for this game, that forces your enemies to dance for your amusement. At least, till you cut them down where they stand. It sounds gimmicky hearing about it, and you may feel like you're burdened with an overabundance of choice, but this system really pays off. Like all of the side-elements to the game, upgrading and leveling your weapons is completely optional.

If you don't want to bother, just pick the one or two that you like the best and exclusively use those. The game will let you know if you're using a weapon ineffectively, and switching items is as quick as hitting a button. The whole time you're combating your foes with these weapons, you'll be collecting the bolts that fly from their destroyed forms. That's just one of the currencies and collectibles you can find throughout the game, along with giant bolts, the aforementioned rareitanium, special devices, hidden weapons, and even achievements.

Ratchet and Clank is one of the first PS3 games to feature an achievements-like system, called skill points. Skill points have been in Ratchet games for some time now, and unlike many Xbox 360-style achievements, these actually do take skill to complete. Earning them can allow you to unlock behind-the-scenes videos and other goodies, making them worth even more than the static gamerscore points. For those who enjoy collecting, there are tons of hidden areas and squirreled away treasures to keep you busy. And (most enjoyably) none of these things are requirements for the game to continue. All the core devices and contraptions you need to complete the game are given to you over the course of the story. Everything else, all the upgrades and extras, are just icing on the cake.

It plays great, and there's a story worth listening to, but over the course of the hours required to complete the game you're going to want to look at something pretty, right? In this, Ratchet is a pure win. Heavenly Sword may be more detailed, and Gears of War may be grittier, but Ratchet and Clank has a pristine cartoon beauty that is unmatched by any other title currently available.

The PS3's processing power results in sweeping animated vistas and incredible cartoon villains. Explosions, special effects, and weapon damage all cause suitable on-screen mayhem ... and that's not even counting the occasional dancing robot. The best sections to demonstrate the game's graphical prowess are the rail grinders, where you can really take the time to look around and appreciate the beautiful scenery.

Graphics aren't everything, of course, but in an action-focused title that focuses so much on transitory fun it's amazing to see the level of detail Insomniac has brought to this game.  I do have a few minor quibbles beyond the story's conclusion. The camera is occasionally frustrating, as happens in most 3D platfomers.

It's particularly frustrating in situations where they steal camera control from you, as most of the time they allow you to be your own camera-man. By the same token, they occasionally throw in a sixaxis-controlled moment; falling out of the sky, you dodge rockets with the controller. Or, you move a laser between fixed points by tilting around the room. They seem sort of thrown-in and afterthoughty. Despite that ... they actually work. You can really control your falling Lombax or the cutting laser, and so these moments are quickly passed by.

Although you will finish the game quite fast, the game is a thoroughly entertaining experience from start to finish. It has plenty of elements to keep you occupied while you're busting heads along the way, and once you're done with the game there's a great deal of replay value to keep you coming back. This title is the ultimate expression of the Ratchet franchise, and the folks at Insomniac should feel pretty darn proud of themselves for what they've brought to PlayStation 3 owners: uncomplicated fun.


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