Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
|Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction|
North American PlayStation 3 box art
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Series||Ratchet & Clank|
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (known as Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction in most PAL countries) is a 2007 platformer video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. The game was released on October 23, 2007 in North America and on November 9, 2007 in Europe. It is the first PlayStation 3 installment for the Ratchet & Clank series, as well as the first installment for the "Future" series. It was also one of the first PlayStation 3 games to support DualShock 3 rumble straight from the disc.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction was met with critical acclaim upon release. Most positive comments concerned the "engaging" and "fun" gameplay, while most criticism was aimed at the game's technical issues. The game was nominated for several awards from gaming publications and was considered a commercial success.
Tools of Destruction retains much of the basic gameplay found in previous Ratchet & Clank games, the game being primarily a shooter-platformer. The player controls Ratchet most of the time, with some sections using Clank, as they explore various worlds to complete missions, using Ratchet's wrench and other exotic weapons gained during the course of the game. At times, Ratchet may enter free-fall, or with an upgrade to Clank, will be able to fly; during these periods, the player uses the tilt functionality of the SIXAXIS controller to maneuver Ratchet. The tilt-sensing abilities of the SIXAXIS are also used to control some weapons and gadgets.
On occasion, Cronk and Zephyr (and Talwyn on the latter two and after breaking her out of Zordoom Prison) accompany Ratchet and fight alongside him. While immune to damage, their weapons are far less potent than Ratchet's. Tools of Destruction is the first game where Ratchet, Clank and other characters converse with one another with lipsynced dialogue during gameplay, outside of cutscenes. In various stages of gameplay, Talwyn, Qwark, the Smuggler, Cronk and Zephyr also contact Ratchet by comlink. As with Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, Deadlocked and Size Matters, there is an arena gameplay area, called the Imperial Fight Festival in this installment. The player also has the ability to pilot a ship against enemy forces in certain levels, similar to those in previous installments; however, the free-flying controls were changed to more of a rail shooter-style experience, and upgrade options for the ship are not present.
At times, the player will control Clank in a mode similar to previous games, using beings of pure energy called Zoni to fight foes, remove debris or reconstruct bridges, and to power devices in the level. Clank possesses the ability to slow down time as well during these sections, allowing him, for example, to make his way under a rapidly closing door as well as levitate.
Weapons gain experience as previously implemented in the series, but in addition, the player can collect Raritanium crystals and use them to upgrade the weapon in additional ways beyond the experience path; weapon improvements are presented in a tree-like structure and require that all previous upgrades be obtained for that weapon first before later upgrades can be purchased. The recurring R.Y.N.O series of weapons make an appearance in Tools of Destruction with the R.Y.N.O IV, which can be obtained by collecting thirteen Holo-Plan fragments hidden throughout the game.
In addition to weapons are items known as "devices". While they are selected and used similar to weapons, they may or may not directly damage foes but instead provide an effect beneficial to the player. The "Groovitron", for example, is a disco ball that causes all foes to dance for a brief time, allowing the player to deal with them while distracted. The carrying capacity of such devices are generally very low (2 or 3 units for each). Device vendors in addition to weapon vendors can be found in the game, and device ammo can be found in Raritanium chests, although these are usually hard to find.
Armor can be bought from an armor vendor on certain planets. Each upgrade to the armor decreases the amount of damage the player takes from enemy weapons. Each armour upgrade costs a large amount of bolts.
In the midst of working on a hoverbike on the planet Kerwan in Metropolis, Ratchet and Clank receive a call for help from Captain Qwark, which they respond to. They find that a large army of robotic commandos have laid a full-scale assault on the capital city, led by Emperor Percival Tachyon, crown prince of the Cragmites. Tachyon reveals that he is after Ratchet, the last Lombax in the galaxy and wants to kill him because he is driven by hate for the Lombaxes. Outnumbered and overpowered, Ratchet and Clank flee. The two decide they must learn more about Tachyon and begin to search the Polaris galaxy for answers. During their investigation, Clank is visited by small creatures called the Zoni that only he can see. The Zoni upgrade Clank and tell him that he is special, and that he must help Ratchet make a difficult choice in their current adventure. The duo also acquire the aid of Talwyn Apogee, the daughter of Max Apogee, a famous explorer who collected artifacts from the Lombax culture before he mysteriously disappeared.
As they travel from planet to planet, they learn from allies that during the Great War long ago, the Lombaxes had wiped out all of the Cragmites, and were considered heroes of the universe. Exactly how the Lombaxes had done so, however, was unknown, and was referred to as the "Lombax Secret". Ratchet learns of the abandoned home planet of the Lombaxes, Planet Fastoon, and goes there to learn of the Lombax Secret which is revealed to be the "Dimensionator", a helmet that is able to open wormholes to other dimensions. The Lombaxes had used it to banish all the Cragmites to an alternate dimension, except for one. It is revealed that Tachyon was found as an egg after the Great War and was raised by the Lombaxes. After learning what the Lombaxes had done to his species, and despising the fact that they had taken pity on him, he launched an all-out attack on Fastoon. The Lombaxes realized that the best solution was to send themselves to another dimension with the Dimensionator, attempting to fool Tachyon that he had destroyed the race. Two, however, were left behind: the Guardian of the Dimensionator and his son. Tachyon reveals that he ended up killing the Guardian but not before he could send his son to the Solana galaxy, and that his son is Ratchet.
Recognizing that Tachyon plans to use the Dimensionator to bring back the Cragmites from banishment, Ratchet and Clank travel to find the Dimensionator in Kerchu City, where it was guarded by a Kerchu worker. After defeating the guardian, they recover it. Unfortunately, Captain Qwark shows up and, in an attempt to take the spotlight, tries to destroy it himself. He fails and his blunder allows Tachyon to recover the device, setting the Cragmites free, sending Ratchet and Clank off a cliff. As the duo confront Tachyon with his assembled army on Fastoon, (which Tachyon plans to remake as the new Cragmite homeworld), Tachyon tempts Ratchet by opening a wormhole to the dimension where the Lombaxes now live. However, with help from Clank's advice (based on the Zoni's warnings), Ratchet recognizes he must stop Tachyon completely or else the Cragmites will not only control this dimension but also the Lombax's dimension. Ratchet and Clank fight Tachyon, and are able to get the better of him. The Dimensionator is damaged during the battle, opening a black hole that Tachyon falls into, and while Ratchet and Clank are able to flee with the use of a 33⁄4 cubits hexagonal washer given to them by the Plumber, the device becomes irreparable.
As Ratchet and Clank and their allies gather to celebrate the victory, the Zoni show up, now visible to everyone. The robots tell Clank that it is time to come with them and that they are now going to bring him "home", to show him "who he is" and "what he will become". Clank goes with them despite Ratchet's protests; the game ends with the disappearance of Clank and the Zoni, with Ratchet stunned and helpless to stop them. The story continues in Quest for Booty and A Crack in Time, in sequence.
The game was first announced at the 2006 Game Developers Conference, where a Ratchet & Clank next-gen tech demonstration was shown for the PlayStation 3. Many new worlds and weapons were introduced into the game like in previous installments of the series. It is also a platform game, as Insomniac wanted to stop the series from becoming the more weapon-based combat game it had become in the previous games Up Your Arsenal and Deadlocked.
There are reported to be a total of 31 weapons, gadgets, and combat devices, further divided into 15 weapons, 8 gadgets, and 8 devices. Unlike Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal, the player cannot unlock weapons from previous games using a memory card.
Reception and legacy
IGN, who gave the game a 9.4 out of 10, said "Not only has it supplanted Going Commando as the best title in the franchise, it's also the best game of any series on the PlayStation 3 thus far -- and that's saying a lot when you're up against Oblivion, Ninja Gaiden, Warhawk and Insomniac's very own previous effort, Resistance: Fall of Man." Also on IGN's weekly PS3 podcast, they called it the best video game they've played on any platform in 2007. Cheat Code Central gave the game 5/5 across the board saying it is one of the best games of all time. X-Play gave it 5/5 with its own personal episode. NTSC-uk said "...it never stops being anything less than great fun to play and hugely engaging".
Tools of Destruction earned the following award nominations and wins:
- Spike TV Awards: Best PS3 Game (Won), Best Action Game .
- Gaming Target: "52 Games We'll Still Be Playing From 2007" selection.
It also placed runner-up for various awards in IGN's Best of 2007, including PS3 Game of the Year.
Tools of Destruction sold nearly 75,000 units during October 2007. While this value is lower than other previous PlayStation 3 titles (such as Warhawk and Heavenly Sword, both which broke 100,000 sales in their first month of release), the game has outsold Ratchet: Deadlocked's first month of sales by nearly 20,000 units. Sony Computer Entertainment of America stated that they were "very happy" with the initial sales figures.
A downloadable pirate-themed sequel titled Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty was released on the PSN. It is based after the events of Tools of Destruction and is much shorter than the predecessor. It takes place on planet Merdegraw, which is mostly populated by pirates and townspeople. The European version of the game could also be bought on a disc complete with a manual and box, for those who did not have a strong enough internet connection to use PSN.
- PlayStation.Blog » Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Coming Soon(er)
- PS3 Fanboy interviews Ratchet and Clank's Ryan Schneider
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