Review: Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

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It’s another year and time for another Ratchet and Clank game. This time Ratchet makes his way on to the PS3 and the graphics, sounds and special effects have been bumped up quite a bit. It all starts off with Ratchet working on his hover bike, but a message from Captain Quark chimes in informing Ratchet that the planet is under attack by an armada of aliens and robots. Before you know it, you are bashing robots over the head with your wrench and taking out bugs with one of the many incredible weapons in your inventory. The main villain behind these attacks is Emperor Percival Tachyon and Ratchet must stop him. The rest of the story involves the disappearance of Ratchets race and also Clank dealing with some invisible aliens called zoni.

The Ratchet & Clank series has always been about unique and cool weapons, and what you can do with these powerful tools. Insomniac has taken the game to a new level now by allowing you to not only level the weapons, but upgrade their functions as well. Unfortunately Ratchet doesn’t start off with the good stuff. He must collect hundred of bolts so you can purchase better weapons and upgrade them manual. Weapons can upgrade automatically when used often. There are also gadgets and devices to aid you on your journey. One of the coolest devices is called the Groovitron. It’s a disco ball, that when thrown in the air causing your enemies to start dancing around. This distracts them and allows you to finish these foes off with your normal weapons. This cool device even works on bosses. I could probably go on forever talking about the funky weapons and gadgets in this game, but let’s take a look as the game play.

There is a lot to explore in Ratchet in Clank. The game play is pretty similar to the other Ratchet and Clank games. You start on the planet Kerwan in the Metropolis City. Before your adventure is over you’ll have to travel to over a dozen planets and cities before you can face Emperor Percival Tachyon. It’s an incredible journey to the end and you’ll be fighting all kinds of enemies with crazy names like Telsa-Drones, Civ-Bots, Gel-Bots, Leviathan Basilisks and Fan Saucers. Some of enemies may require using two different weapons to take them down. Other enemies are invincible. Besides maneuvering through each level, you will also do some sky diving above the cities while avoided rockets, air traffic and other obstacles that try to hinder your advancement. The cool part is you’ll use the Sixaxis when performing this freefall. The controls can be a little complex at first. You have an aim mode, a quick access to weapons, a strafe mode and your normal jump, fire, and swing option. Once you’ve played through the first couple of levels, it’ll become second nature. The game is very fun to play, but does tend to get repetitive as you’ll be doing a lot of smashing of crates and bots throughout each level. The other issue is that there isn’t any multiplayer mode in this game, which is a real shame. What may keep you playing are the visuals and the story.

This game looks incredible. It’s not exactly Pixar quality like many people keep saying, but it’s very close. Ratchet and Clank: ToD is probably one of the best looking games on the PS3, next to Uncharted and maybe GT5. Not only is there a lot of action happening right in front of you, but there is a lot going on in background as well, yet the game still runs at a smooth 60fps. Unlike some of the current games for the PS3 (DMC4, Hot Shots Golf 5 & Lost Planet) that take up 5GB of your space, Ratchet & Clank won’t eat up your HDD. All the characters and enemies are beautifully drawn with sharp bright colors that standout in the game. Some of the bosses are very large, yet still move with no clipping. The textures in this game are perfectly done as buildings, platforms and other large structures are breathtaking to view. Insomniac did a fantastic job on the graphics engine for this title. I’m sure we’ll see more games from them that use this engine. The music and sound in this game is all very well done. If you have the equipment you can listen to all the action and music in wonderful 7.1 Digital Surround sound. Every weapon seems to have its own unique sound effect or explosion. Every enemy’s movement seems to give off a clank or clump to let you know they not far away. The voice acting is top notch as usual. Many of the voice actors from the previous games came back to reprise their roles it seems. Good for Insomniac for sticking with the same talented group.

Overall Ratchet and Clank Future: ToD is a worthy successor to the previous titles. The story is good, the game play is fun and the visuals will leave you speechless. If you’ve never tried a Ratchet and Clank game, this is a great place to start. You won’t be disappointed.

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