Ratchet & Clank fans, Insomniac Games calls this one Future: Tools of Destruction and it’s the main reason you dropped a brick of coin down for your Playstation 3. In another galactic adventure Ratchet and Clank face off against vile tyrant race bent on wiping the last know Lombax off the universe. Step into the future with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.
If you have been following the Ratchet & Clank franchise over the five years then you know you are in for a top level adventure as Sony’s favourite dynamic duo. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction lures gamers into the fold the promise, to find out the answers to Ratchets Lombax origins along with next-generation gameplay, weapons, gadgets and graphics. Without a doubt this is Insomniac’s finest moment in all the clarity of high definition. Fully rendered and expanded thanks to the Sony Playstation 3, I surmise that Ratchet & Clank fans will be more than pleased with Future: Tools of Destruction.
Ratchet & Clank Future starts off in the midst of a full scale invasion by Emperor Percival Tachyon, ruler of the Cragmite species. What looks like an invitation to war is just a surprise attack aimed at the Emperor’s real target, Ratchet. As one of the last Lombax species known in the galaxy, Ratchet finds himself in a conflict against an evil tyrant who wants to rid the universe of his kind. In turn Ratchet gets the opportunity to learn more about his past while he searches for an ancient secret Lombax item while Clank gets his own side story revolving around his invisible Zoni friends. As normal the storyline is a humorous and enjoyable with a number of interesting side characters which includes Ratchet’s new female friend, Talwyn and her two jokester robots. The plot is well developed showcasing the writing teams talent in satire comedy.
In the search for the Lombax item, Ratchet and Clank will visit a number of planets which vary in design, enemies, and objectives. Insomniac has even revitalized their ship flying sequences into a trigger fingered short action sequences with a keen love for barrel rolls. Some of the planets you will visit in your adventure included a pre-historic planet filled with lots of foliage, a snow covered planet with roaming space pirates, and the sprawling Metropolis on Planet Kerwan where you start your adventure. For the most part Ratchet will be swinging his wrench, breaking boxes and destroying bad guys with his nimble weapon-sense along with a few other interesting twists that involve rail rides, soaring through the sky and swimming. Ratchet & Clank in its core gameplay is what you would expect remaining true to its winning formula.
Like all previous Ratchet games a spotlight shines upon the gadgets and weapons added to each addition. Argued more important than the character of Ratchet, or Clank are a host of new ways to obliterate your enemies and obtain objectives. One of the most effective weapons in Future is also the funniest. I’m referring to the Groovitron which shoots a hovering disco ball into the air causing the enemies to stop dead and their tracks to bust a move. When used right the Groovitron can give you a moment to collect your thoughts and defeat some tough enemies, or simply just laugh for a minute as a number of fish heads break into the funk.
A few other featured weapons in R&C Future compacts human nature with the Tornado Launcher launches exactly what it sounds like, Tornadoes. This deadly weapon can quickly clear a room if you’re comfortable with tilting your controller. The Plasma Beast is another one of my favourites which shoots a sludge creature that jumps out and attacks nearby enemies. When upgraded the Plasma Beast turns into the Plasma Stalker which can take out large creatures. Without spoiling too many of the weapons I skip to the Predator which is a targeted missile launcher that can launch multi-missiles perfect to defeat multi-enemies, or take our bad guys from a far. This weapon can also be upgraded to the Raptor Launcher which causes a napalm effect after impact.
Weapon upgrading is a big part of R&C Future to maximize Ratchets effectiveness. The upgrading system has been revamped into a grid based system where you can fine tune your weapon adjusting its strength, capacity, range, material release and more. To upgrade your weapons you have to use a rare metal called raritanium which is found and released from enemies like the games use of bolts. Ratchet’s armour is also upgradeable in this edition of the game given Ratchet a boost to his defensive power with the ability to absorb more damage. This new outfits are one of the most expensive items in the game, so make sure you save up your bolts if you want some new threads.
The Sixaxis controller is cleverly implemented in Ratchet and Clank Future in selected areas. The tilt motion of the controller will control you skydiving, flying, shooting lasers, hacking terminels and more. Each instance that is Sixaxis controlled never felt out of place and was generally fun. It’s obvious that they could have excluded these controls, however in the situations it was called for, it worked. The Sixaxis controls are the biggest straight out innovation to Ratchet & Clank Future. As for other innovations which could have gone the online route, Insomnaic have decided to make this Ratchet adventure a one player deal without multiplayer. Ratchet & Clank is known for its fun adventure action style and has enough value in its campaign, but you never know, an online component could have been fun. I guess well have to wait for the next round to see if Ratchet can find his own niche online.
For the most part R&C Future is a flawless experience, but there are a few snags that could be addressed. Don't worry none of them have a grand affect on the overall picture. In R&C Future you might get stuck a few times, and this isn't because of a complex puzzle, it will be on an object in the game world. I found R&C Future to more than a few items placed in the game world that you could stuck on from time to time which even includes the enemies. This isn’t a major issue and is suspect in ever game, but I was hitting a snag or falling out of the world to be rested on thin air sporadically during the adventure. Ratchet & Clank also shipped with a bug that will surely be fixed soon. This bug causes the game to be unplayable until you delete some data. For this review I didn't have this happen and if it did Sony has already cooked up a remedy, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned. Besides the minor nags and the exclusion of multiplayer, Ratchet & Clank Future is a solid as ever and one of the best games you can pick up for the PS3, or any console at the moment.
Graphically Ratchet & Clank Future delivers one of the best all around visuals seen on the Playstation 3. Vibrant and detailed, Ratchet never misses a step running almost free of load times without a dip in the frame rate. I’m sure you have heard "Pixar" quality graphics in refrence to R&C Future; well I wouldn’t give it that huge of a nod; however the quality Insomniac achieved should be applauded as it sits as one of most instantly inspiring cartoonish looking games ever made.
The universe created is diverse, well designed and interesting with more detail and creatures on screen then ever before. The lighting engine is incredible which is showcased with Ratchets impressive weapons. R&C Future takes the world and vast space as far as possible with a limitless vista and draw distance making staring out into nothing, enjoyable. Rounded up the graphics are the smooth animations which come to life in during combat, or in the fluid cut-scenes. Ratchet himself is animated to a whole other level being more detailed, furry, and animated.
The sound effects and soundtrack click in right with the excellent graphics. In the audio department the voice over talent should get the nod for making Ratchet & Clank so memorable and fun to watch. Each character has a brilliant comic-book inspired presentation that seems to perfectly fit their digitally created body. Around every corner I was filled by surprise and wonder which couldn’t be accomplished without the combined effort of the sweeping soundscape, and over imaginative vibrant graphics. This holiday season Ratchet & Clank mark down another defining moment for the PS3's graphical prowless, along side other exclusive titles like Folklore and Heavenly Sword.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the future of the Ratchet and Clank series. 100% fun and addictive, anyone who jumps into the adventure will be hooked. Insomniac pulls out a lot of horsepower and creative juices making Ratchet & Clank Future the best game in the series. If you own a PS3, without a doubt you need to check out this game and if you’re still on the fence about purchasing a PS3, Ratchet & Clank Future is one of the best reasons to cough up the cash. The ballet has been placed in the game of the year box as Sony and Insomniac provide one of the best gaming experiences this year with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.
Gameplay:9, Graphics/Sound:9.5, Innovation:8, Mojo: 9 Final: 9 / 10