Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction developed exclusively for PlayStation 3 is the latest installment of the popular Ratchet & Clank series that debuted on the PlayStation 2. The original PlayStation 2 game ended up branching out into four different games for that system and one for the PSP with another on the way. You will be happy to hear that Ratchet & Clank Future for PS3 has gone back to its roots and is only an offline single-player game. The last installment on PS2 named Deadlock, didn’t go over as well as the previous versions and it is nice to see that Insomniac Games went back to what made the Ratchet & Clank series a success in the first place for this PS3 installment.
The story in Ratchet & Clank Future is told via computer animated cut scenes with full voice-acting and they look as good as any other 3D animated movie you have seen recently in the theaters. The back of the game box has a quote from the New York Times stating that this is “The first game to truly deliver the long-sought ‘You are playing a Pixar movie’ experience.” and I would have to totally agree. This game will also make you even more tempted to buy a new HDTV after playing it, the graphics and cut scenes look that good.
Speaking of the story, it is well told and the basic gist is that Ratchet is the last Lombax in the universe and when an evil tyrant who hates Lombaxes attacks they are trust into a journey to save the universe. To save it you will travel from planet to planet in your space ship and even play a short 3D shooter game between some levels. As you adventure through the game you will learn more about Ratchet’s past and how it can save the future. The story is good for a video game and has some comic relief mixed here and there throughout.
Insomniac Games definitely has a funny bone, since besides the cut scenes and other dialog between non-playing characters throughout the levels, you will also have a huge array of weapons that will make you laugh every time you use them. The Groovitron allows you to throw out a disco ball which causes all your enemies to start dancing so you can take them out easier. Another weapon is a small robot sidekick named Mr. Zurkon that says different funny things while unleashing laser blasts at alien pirates, centipedes, and other wacky enemies. You also get your standard missile launcher, laser beams, flame thrower and about 30+ more weapons. You will have plenty of choices for destruction as you go through the game and all of these weapons are upgradeable using points you earn as you defeat enemies and open boxes and crates throughout the levels.
Controlling Ratchet & Clank (you get to control both in different levels throughout the game) is a pure join and I never found myself feeling like I wasn’t in control. Even with all the different buttons and ways to select all your different weapons, the controls didn’t feel awkward or difficult to figure out. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction also uses the PlayStation 3’s Sixaxis controller well for different areas. You will control your tornado with the Sixaxis when launched from your Tornado Launcher by titling forward and back to sweep up your enemies. You also use the Sixaxis to control a steel ball to connect circuits on a circuit board. This mini-game reminded me of those old wooden box mazes with the steel ball in them that you tilt from side-to-side and forward and back. Another use of the Sixaxis controller in Ratchet & Clank is to direct Ratchet as he falls through the sky dodging things. All of these Sixaxis controls work well and add variety to the game and a change of pace from the rest of the platform jumping and running and gunning.
Running and gunning also sounds great in Ratchet & Clank Future. The sounds effects surround you and you will hear explosions going off next to you and bolts being picked up from all sides. You will also hear pirates holding conversations as you sneak by them dressed in your pirate costume. Explosions, gunfire, rockets, and lasers sound effects are as good of quality as the graphics. The soundtrack is also well done and fits well with this space adventure. A full orchestral score is used to make you feel like you are going on a grand adventure sort of like the music in the Star Wars movies.
What else can I say? Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is what I bought my PlayStation 3 for last year. It has taken a full year to finally bring a game to the system that is worthy of being called next generation. You will not see a game with this much detail in the graphics, sound, and gameplay on the PlayStation 2. Granted, the old Ratchet & Clank games were great, but Ratchet & Clank Future has taken it to the next level. If you are a fan of shooter, platform, adventure, and action games and own a PS3, then you shouldn’t miss this game. Ratchet & Clank is really that good and it is one of the first games to make me really enjoy my PS3.
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