Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

January 14, 2008

What’s the last Lombax in the universe to do when a pint-size tyrant wants to eradicate your species? Grab your wacky guns and wrench to battle the hoards of robots, while hopping from planet to planet. Along the way you stumble across the long lost Lombax secret, but will it help you in your quest or will it hurt the universe instead?

Picking up on the wildly popular Ratchet and Clank series, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction successfully jumps the next generation console gap adding more fun and destruction, while fully utilizing the enhanced SIXAXIS control scheme of the PS3. Everything looks and plays better on the PS3 and even though the plot isn’t the most engaging the cast of characters and situations help elevate this to one of the best games available on the system. Right from the get-go you are introduced to the action and level of humor used as a basis for RACF: TOD that will undoubtedly make this game a classic.

The Ratchet and Clank series has always been about the guns and this entry is no different; from the tornado gun to the energy whip to the penguinator there is no lacking of a wacky arsenal to choose from. Add to that the version increases from V1 to V5 as you use the weapons and the buyable upgrades and you have a plethora of killing options available to you. Devices also return as you buy or find them, including the wildly popular disco ball which causes all of your enemies to burst in to dance. This is worth it just to randomly throw it out there to see how different enemies react including your major bosses. Even the Clank solo missions use a new Zoni interface to manipulate puzzles and slow down time to accomplish the areas Ratchet can’t go to.

Using the SIXAXIS was a high point of RACF: TOD. Whether it was used to steer thrown obstacles as you drop through the sky, flying through the level or guiding your tornado from your tornado gun, the uses seem intuitive and natural opposed to other PS3 games which attempted to use them just because they have to. Flying even seemed to be improved over Lair, which suffered from sensitivity issues. And while the ship levels don’t use the SIXAXIS they still remain fun separately aiming and flying at the same time.

Another thing that RACF: TOD excels at is the extra content and achievables that are rewarded from faithful exploration. Harder to find golden bolts make their return where you must search every corner to pick them up, and turn them in for different skins. By completing certain objectives in the game such as collect every device or land on the head of every dinosaur you can acquire skill points which go towards even crazier extras like having a super-sized head on your character. Overall these add to the replaying of levels and are a welcome diversion from the standard plot line path.

Graphics and sound are beautifully rendered on the PS3. The cartoony environments look plush and full of color, and different levels achieve contrasting feels superbly. Voice work is top notch with awesome details being placed in the background as secondary characters are given great lines during arena matches or over the security system. The production quality was not spared during the development forming a nice well-balanced package.

Overall RACF: TOD is a well-crafted and highly entertaining experience that fully utilizes everything the PS3 has to offer. Some might say that the additional mechanics detract from the core gaming presented, but I say it helps break up any sort of monotony the game veers towards. Ratchet and Clank Future is bound to be a classic and it is only a matter of time as to when you play it.

Score: 5/5

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