The Ratchet and Clank games have always been well respected by the platform gamer community and the only one I’ve played is Size Matters on the PSP. It was frustrating at times but ultimately it was a great game with some neat ideas, great characterisation and voice acting. Tools of Destruction on the PS3 brings the mechanic cat-type thing and the robotic backpack into next-gen glory and my does it look good!
The game starts off with Ratchet enjoying a holiday in Metropolis when suddenly there’s an invasion by a race known as the Cragmites. Some dude called General Percival Tachyon wants to capture and study Ratchet and so the adventure begins with Ratchet and Clank exploring and fighting through a number of worlds and of course, using and upgrading lots of gadgets doing a lot of running and jumping too.
There’s actually a lot of narrative going on in this game – not as much as say, Mass Effect where everybody wants to tell you their life story and inside leg measurement, but more than just the usual wise-cracks we usually get in these games. We learn more about the Lombax race and get a feeling of a deeper relationship between the Lombax and his little robot pal.
When it comes to gameplay there’s more emphasis on action and shooting than platforming and some great new gadgets. The Grooveatron makes your enemies dance to death, the Mag-Net launcher traps enemies in an energy net and the Nano-Swarmer sends a bunch of hives towards the Cragmites and stings them to bits. It’s all great fun using these weapons and seeing what they do.
Clank also has his solo sections again with the little fella controlling even smaller robots in puzzle arenas and they have a couple of new abilities too to mix things up a bit.
Oh, and did I mention how good this game looks? This is easily one of the shiniest, sparkly games on the PS3 and the frame rate doesn’t suffer even when things get really hectic.
There are a couple of things that don’t work and this is mainly due to Sony trying to shoehorn the Sixaxis controller into the game. There are moments when you are falling and have to tilt the joypad to move Ratchet around when just using the analogue stick would do just fine, and a tornado weapon which you can’t control accurately enough by tilting to make it as effective as it could be.
Still, these are very minor gripes about a game which is in fact the pinnacle of the series. If you don’t own it yet and you like your platform games with a sense of humour then I highly recommend it. This next-gen Ratchet and Clank gets an almost perfect 9 out of 10.