|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Insomniac||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (Sony)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Fall 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: TBA||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by D'Marcus Beatty
March 22, 2007 - Ratchet and Clank are legendary mascots for Sony. All of their games have been critically and commercially acclaimed and loved by gamers everywhere. Sony's mascots are timely in releasing their games too, releasing a game nearly ever year as opposed to a certain plumber who has recently only released one game per console. Now gamers everywhere can get excited again, as Ratchet and Clank are finally taking the next step with their next-gen debut, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.
Tools of Destruction will take Ratchet and Clank back to their platforming roots. The developers felt as if the duo was becoming a little too combat heavy, and for their first foray on the PS3, Ratchet and Clank will be focusing more on exploration and the utilization of various gadgets. The goal is to create a feeling of variety in the game, to cram different types of gameplay to keep the game from feeling stale all while maintaining a cohesiveness throughout the experience. For example, one of the scenarios in ToD has Ratchet grinding along a rail while combating a giant robot foe. To survive, Ratchet must jump gaps that the robot creates in the railing and dodge projectiles the foe creates all while still attacking.
One thing the Ratchet and Clank series is known for is their outrageous weapons, and this iteration will be no exception. After their stint on Resistance: Fall of Man, Insomniac was briefly tempted to make the weapons on Tools of Destruction a little more complex than normal, even going as far as considering using alternate fire like hardcore FPS games. However, in keeping with the spirit of Ratchet and Clank, they settled on the simpler single fire weapons. One example that utilizes the Sixaxis controller is the Tornado Launcher. Using this weapon, Ratchet can fire a tornado at enemies and control its direction by tilting the Sixaxis and control Ratchet independently. This means Ratchet can create a tornado, move it towards some foes on his left while he moves away in another direction. This is one of the more inventive uses of the Sixaxis controller and can definitely create some interesting possibilities. Another weapon is the Groovitron grenade, which resembles a disco ball and causes enemies to dance uncontrollably when tossed at them. And although unrevealed, we can definitely expect some weapon that will morph foes into some animal form.
The visuals get an expected upgrade with the jump to the PlayStation 3. Ratchet and Clank have never looked so good, as their character models and environments all sport more polygons and have more definition. The draw distance is incredible as well, with objects in the background moving and visible all while maintaining definition. Early screenshots show that while the game keeps its cartoony visual style, the detail that has gone into the characters and backgrounds is astonishing. Insomniac is also trying to animate characters better in an attempt to actually create emotional reactions from enemies. Foe's facial expressions will change depending on their mental state, so you might see exaggerated expressions of anger, fear, happiness, and surprise from your enemies.
Since Clank's name is back in the title (after the Ratchet only game Deadlocked), we can expect some segments that feature the little robot exclusively. In addition to once again allowing Clank to have some stage time, we can also expect the space combat sections to get an overhaul to make them more action-oriented.
While the storyline hasn't been revealed, there are hints that Tools of Destruction may explore and finally reveal Ratchet's origins, a mystery that has remained unsolved throughout all of the Ratchet and Clank games. Even if this mystery is solved, don't expect the Ratchet series to be over with, as Insomniac and Sony are planning on keeping the series around for a while.
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction doesn't yet have a release date, but hopefully PS3 owners won't have long to wait considering Insomniac's track record and the familiarity with the PS3 they developed while making Resistance. Regardless of when ToD will be available, fans of Ratchet will be rabidly waiting for his next-gen debut.
CCC Co-Site Director