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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 3
PUBLISHER:
SCEA
DEVELOPER:
Insomniac Games
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
October 30, 2007
ESRB RATING:
E10+


IN THE SERIES
Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Secret Agent Clank

Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty

Secret Agent Clank

More in this Series
 Written by Chris Reiter  on September 18, 2007

Final Glimpse: Insomniac was going to name this ?Ratchet and Clank 17 Months From Now: Papa's Got a Brand-New Bag??but, I talked ?em out of it.


In the past, Sony's previous major platform franchises -- Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon -- had been handed off to Vivendi Universal. In the same way, many thought that it was over and done with in the present for Insomniac and their platform baby, Ratchet and Clank. We thought that Insomniac would switch over to action titles like Resistance: Fall of Man and blaze a trail of first-person shooters until the end of the PlayStation 3's days. Fortunately for Ratchet and Clank aficionados, it's not so. The fuzzy Lombax hero and his shiny, tiny metal partner Clank are going back to their roots, bringing destruction in their wake against a new foe that has it in bad for the handy dandy hero, Ratchet.



Ratchet and Clank have gone on vacation again and once again the universe has been threatened by an evil mastermind. Now if Ratchet and Clank weren't so unfocused, I suppose we wouldn't have as many sagas to rummage through, like this latest one in which Emperor Percival Tachyon of an ancient insect race has a grudge against any and all Lombaxes. It's a good thing our heroes are made of metal...and fur...and.... Oh wait, Ratchet's a Lombax, isn't he? What is a Lombax, though? Where do they come from? What are they? And why is this sinister insect race trying to hunt them down? That's exactly what Ratchet wants to know. So when the army of Cragmites rain destruction upon Ratchet and Clank's friendly metropolis, this duo springs back into action to try and put a lid on their chaos, while at the same time trying to uncover the mysteries that lie deep within our hero's past.

Fans of Ratchet and Clank games lately have had a giant grin on their face from ear to ear. Why do they resemble Jack Nicholson's Joker in Batman? The reason is their fan-favorite duo is returning to their roots (again). Last time, PlayStation 2 owners were left with a Ratchet and Clank game that was solely based around Ratchet's exploits rather than his and Clank's. The game, Ratchet: Deadlocked, was also more constrained than usual in that Ratchet and his two replacement robot aides were going around completing simple goals to shoot or demolish everything while on a timer. Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is still pegged for the heavy action the franchise is known for, but will at least come stocked with larger worlds and broader platform goals to jump into. One such case will be how the terrain will be deformable under heavy fire, making Ratchet have to platform his way through it. Not a Ratchet and Clank game without its guns either, Tools of Destruction will also come well-equipped with a variety of upgradeable weapon modes that are new to the series to put some dance in the enemy's pants. Turning enemies into penguins, whirling up tornadoes, piloting a remote missile-launching helicopter with SIXAXIS control, and forcing squads of enemy robots to dance with the Groovatron are just a few of the realities ahead. Not satisfied yet? Even cooler than these weapons though is the Plasma Beasts gun, which fires gooey giblets that when approached by a bad guy transform into a pack of slimy beasts. A Buzz Blades shooter will launch large spinning blades that ricochet off walls. Even heavier fire power will be available, from a slew of rocket launchers and terribly explosive bombs with which to obliterate your foes not into the next one, but into two lifetimes over.

A bit different this time than in previous Ratchet and Clank games, the weapons upgrade orientation will no longer be handled simply by blasting enemies enough times until the weapon automatically modifies itself to an improved status. This time Insomniac's giving a nod to Final Fantasy XII's License board, in which with enough collected medals you can purchase any gun's branching status' to go in a controlled direction. Of course, locating these bits and pieces to enhance your weapons might be tricky with a round-up of enemies that look to be a fairly challenging bunch, especially when you have electrified robots, shielded enemies, and robot pirates to send to the briny deep. Our matey, Ratchet, in fending off against these and other nemesis types will find himself in situations where he'll need to complete tasks such as capturing the souls of several dinosaur robots to receive a winged upgrade for Clank. With these sprouting out from his back, Clank can take himself and Ratchet to the skies using the SIXAXIS to pilot the duo to their destination. And in a segment with the aforementioned pirated robots you'll have the option of blasting them all to smithereens, or you could take the easy (and funnier) road by dressing Ratchet as a pirate and infiltrating their lair. With all of this in mind, it sounds like Ratchet and Clank are back to their older, better days.

Much like the gameplay, Tools of Destruction will also be inheriting a style that fits the Ratchet and Clank mold of the previous past rather than the immediate past where Ratchet was stuck inside a space commando uniform. All you need to do is picture Ratchet and Clank before then in their vibrantly colorful space-age metropolis with zooming hover cars every which way. Now try to picture that in much more advanced high-definition quality, and you'll get a good idea of where Insomniac is bringing its franchise forward. Basically, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction will give off the same sort of graphical flair the series has always been known for, only much more improved. Levels will still retain their vibrant simplicity, only with much more moving objects to see. Characters will still animate superbly, only they'll have much more individual moving joints to express their characteristics to impress way more than before. Explosions will be more detailed, levels will be much vaster, and Ratchet and Clank will be together again looking good as new.

Final Thoughts
Ever since Insomniac Games brought Ratchet and Clank to PlayStation 2 owners, it was clear that pairing a furry thing with a heartless tin can made sense. Fans dug the characters as well as the wide selection of warped weapons. Morphing enemies into neutral critters, unloading bomb bundles, turning enemies against one another...this was a franchise destined for big things. Here we are five years and five games later with a sixth on the way. Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is going to give the fans that fell in love with Ratchet and Clank the first three times on the console just what they want. Ratchet will have his trusty partner to back up his back, and Clank will have Ratchet to front up his front. Lots of crazy new weapon concepts, new enemies, new challenges, and the upgrade to new high-definition visual palette will all sure to tweak the old into some new for the pleasure of the game older fans as well as new will be sure to fall in love with again all starting next month.


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