Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review

Well, it looks like Insomniac’s choice to take a breather from the Ratchet & Clank franchise and make the PS3’s first big game – Resistance: Fall of Man – paid off. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is their first Ratchet game on a console since 2005’s Deadlocked, and it fixes a lot of issues fans of the series had with the last title; Tools of Destruction is vintage Ratchet & Clank in the prettiest package yet.

The game begins with Ratchet and Clank fixing his hover car thing. (I was never one for technical terms.) The opening shots of Metropolis as Ratchet and Clank perform their work shows you right away just how much detail Insomniac put into the world this time around. The graphics are stupendous, and the animations are so much more advanced than previous Ratchet & Clank games it’s not even fair to compare the two. (For example, in ToD Ratchet has 90 animation joints in his face alone; in the PS2 games he had 112 on his entire body.)

But you already know that. Anyone can tell from looking at the screens, watching the trailer, or even searching on YouTube or GameTrailers that the game looks fantastic. And with every other reviewer and quotable on the game mentioning how "close to Pixar" this game is, there’s really no point in going on about how smooth the animation is, or how wonderful the models are.


Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Thankfully, the game is much more than just a pretty face. I’ve always been amazed at how relatively under-the-radar the R&C series has been given the quality of the titles composing it. The action has always been fun, the platforming has always been fun (except for that one…) and there’s just some undeniable charm the games exude. Tools of Destruction keeps everything that made the series a success to begin with intact, and manages to build upon it in little ways.

Don’t expect any huge, series-changing additions. Yes, it’s cool to use a Grooviton and make enemies dance, but it’s not "OMG!!!" new. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, Insomniac focused on optimizing the little things making up the game. In an impressive feat, I only noticed two or three situations during the 30+ hours I played that I’d consider bugged; and both had to do with minor NPCs clipping through the environment. This is one of the more impressive games I’ve seen in terms of making sure the game works as intended.

In Tools of Destruction, the story revolves around Ratchet and his battle against Emperor Percival Tachyon. Like Ratchet, he’s the presumed last of his kind – the vile Cragmites. Being a Cragmite (think evil space empire) Tachyon has a bone to pick with Ratchet, who happens to be the only known Lombax – the species that rid the universe of the Cragmite threat.

With Clank tagging along (and tripping left and right) Ratchet sets off to learn more about the war between the Lombaxes and the Cragmites, as well as who he is. It’s a much deeper story than previous Ratchet & Clank games, and there are plenty of depressing moments and twists.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a true Ratchet & Clank game without a full load of humor and minigames. You have to give Insomniac credit; not only do they know their coding and game design, but they know their comedy. Just about every character in the game has their moment where they shine, and several situations lead to events more humorous than you originally anticipated.

If you’re a fan of the series, it should come as no big shocker that Captain Qwark is the main source of humor when he’s present. From his childlike map drawing and mission planning to his over-the-top self-parodying humor, Qwark just steals the show. How can you not love a giant, bulked up superhero parody who threatens people with the line "I’m taking him off my Top 8!"


Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

As for the minigames, they’re hit and meh. Just about every minigame utilizes the Sixaxis controls (unless you count Clank’s couple of solo runs). I know what you’re thinking: "Sixaxis controls! Oh no!" but in all honesty, they’re done well in this game. Nothing really takes you out of the flow; you do things such as control Ratchet as you halo jump from a ship or glide through the air, slide a ball around a circuit to hack electronics a la Bioshock, and cut holes in walls, and all in the midst of gameplay.

One thing many people are complaining about (or praising) is the lack of multiplayer support. Sure, it’s a departure from what people expected, but it really doesn’t change the game in the long-run. The singleplayer mode takes between 12-15 hours to beat on the first playthrough, and the challenge mode you can play after completing the game extends the gameply tremendously. Toss in tasks for you perfectionists such as collecting items or performing X task, and you’ve got a game that can easily last 30 hours or more without being too repetetive.

If you’ve played and enjoyed the previous Ratchet & Clank games, you didn’t even need to read this far. Knowing that Insomniac did what they do should have been enough. In Tools of Destruction, Insomniac is back doing what they do best, and they do it better than ever, This is the best Ratchet & Clank adventure to date, and at this point the best game the PS3 has to offer. Hopefully this new "next-gen" series start for Ratchet & Clank and the lack of great PS3 games will ensure the series finally gets the mainstream respect it deserves.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.