Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools Of Destruction – PS3 Game Review
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools Of Destruction is the first installment of the stellar franchise into the Sony PlayStation 3 entertainment system. Once again, Insomniac Games has proven their expertise in providing a truly spectacular gaming experience. Even without the 720p high definition audio and visual experience that this game offers, gamers with outdated TVs will be pleased for the sheer game mechanics, level design, storyline, and length of the game. However, the high definition experience truly lives up to the New York Times claims of a “Pixar movie experience.” Insomniac inserts a bit of tongue-and-cheek humor when one of the characters exclaims that he almost didn’t recognize our heroes in high definition.
Not only are the character designs first rate, but so is the voice acting. David Bergeaud returns with the perfect music score to supplement the pleasing gameplay sounds and voice acting. The cutscenes are seamlessly placed so as not to disrupt the gameplay experience, but to enhance them. Not only is the length of the game more than satisfying, but if one patiently sits through the credits, one is given the treat of saving the game and replaying in Challenge Mode. The second go-around sports a higher difficulty level as well as new armor and Omega versions of retained weapons. Also, the gold bolts found in the previous game are carried over.
Bonus goodies abound, including the options to play as a number of different characters including one of Insomniacs former game developers, a mustached version of Ratchet, various enemies, or even a snowman. Keep collecting those gold bolts to unlock these characters! Cinematic cutscenes are open as well as artwork. Additionally, skill points achieved during the game are tallied up.
Gameplay mechanics offer the usual platformer experience of previous Ratchet and Clank installments including the necessity of playing as both Ratchet and Clank. There are bolts to collect, hidden bonus gold bolts, shooting through intergalactic mazes, a Geo-Cycle to ride, and a grind rail to navigate. Additionally, there are enemies to defeat, crates to smash, breakable objects, and huge boss battles. But fans of the series will not be disappointed as Insomniac makes full use of the PlayStation 3 wireless motion sensor controller. The usual puzzles to unlock become even more difficult when one has to navigate an onscreen metal ball by tilting the controller. The motion controller also includes flying challenges (thanks to the Robo-Wings) and a Geo-Laser that must be tilted to cut through rock to move through levels. In my opinion, this gave the already high definition experience of this game a more real hands-on feel.
The gameplay mechanics and flawless controls shine. It is almost a seamless experience with rotating around the playable character’s environment, accessing the equipped weapons, switching to Ratchet’s wrench, or locking on to enemies. Ratchet has the ability to quickly leap backwards and sideways, jump up, or hover away from enemies. Also, Insomniac makes incredible use of the three-dimensional space of the game, rotating the environments upside down or sideways.
The levels themselves are interesting and diversified. There are space stations, pirate hideouts (complete with a “Pirates of the Caribbean” type score), the familiar Metropolis, asteroid fields, lava areas, a prison complex, and a dinosaur planet. Maps ensure that players always know not only where they are, but where they need to be. Insomniac makes full use of landmarks to further aid in navigating these huge and colorful levels. A battle arena allows the player to hone his fighting skills while acquiring prize money in the form of bolts.
But the meat of any Ratchet and Clank game is the arsenal of interesting and powerful weapons at one’s disposal. Once a new weapon becomes available, it can be upgraded not only through use, but by spending Raritanium crystals to enhance features such as more power, range, and ammunition capabilities. In the challenge mode, omega versions can be purchased which continue to upgrade with use. In addition to the staple OmniWrench 3000, Ratchet can purchase such novelties as devices to turn his enemies into cute and cuddly penguins, a disco ball appropriately named the Groovitron to make his enemies stop fighting and groove to the beat, a Tornado Launcher with which to command the forces of nature, and the Nano-Swarmer that infests his enemies with swarms of killer bees.
If one desires sheer firepower, there are the Buzz Blades, Shard Reaper, Pyro Blaster, Alpha Disrupter, and Negotiator to name a few of my favorites. If the player wishes to take out his enemies Indiana Jones style, there is the Shock Ravager electrified whip. Stand back by tossing a few Fusion Grenades or get close and personal with the Razor Claws. Choices abound for combat, but I found that each serves its purpose in various scenarios.
This is a game that can be played at one’s leisure, but given its appeal on many levels, it is hard not to play until one’s eyes drop from exhaustion and one’s fingers tingle from holding the controller for hours on end. Add to this the eye candy of 720p resolution and the high replay value, and it is hard not to give this game a perfect 10. For those who have yet to play the game, I highly recommend picking it up and playing it as well as the sequel. Gamestop offers the game for a mere $12.99 used. Check it out HERE.
– Des Manttari, Editor-in-Chief, Phoenix Genesis
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