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July 26 2007
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
15/11/2007SonySonyInsomniac Games
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$99.95
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Ratchet and Clank, looking awesome.
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There's no denying the world detail.

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Just flying around the planets...
Almost a year after the PS3 launched in Japan and America the platform is about to get a massive boost with the second game from Insomniac Games on the platform. Most gamers would be well aware of their first PS3 title, the very gritty, war-torn, FPS known as Resistance: Fall of Man. Their second game sees a return to their most popular series with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. This is a very important for the Playstation 3 as it has the potential to bring a legion of PS2 owners over to Sony's uber-console, and with it a massive sales boost for the system which has struggled in the first half of 2007 to achieve big sales.

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Better stay quick on your toes...
The storyline in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction remains a closely guarded secret. What we do know is that yet again Ratchet and Clanks life is thrown into turmoil when their planet is attacked. The two heroes embark on a galactic adventure to save their planet, and also unravel the mystery of Ratchet's origin.

As with previous games the title is a third person action title. Ratchet and clank start out in Metropolis which is under attack, but will soon be heading to other worlds. The main form of attack remains hand to hand combat however the game includes plenty of unique weapons that have made the series so popular. These include the Pyro Blaster (flame thrower), Buzz Blades, Fusion Grenades and the Combuster which shoots out fireballs which then sets the ground on fire.

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You can't doubt vibrance of the game world!
As well as normal weapons the game includes 'combat devices' which act as special items. One such item, and certainly the coolest thing we've seen from the game so far, is the Groovitron. This device can be thrown at enemies and when activated will make all enemies in the area will start to dance to some crazy disco music making them easy to dispatch while distracted. The effect is hilarious with neon lights lighting the game world and some great disco music (including Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees) which they dance to! Another new item is the Visi-copter which Ratchet can fly around the level and fire missiles at the enemies.

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Watch out for electrified enemies!
Enemies in the game have been improved quite a bit as well. Some of them now carry shields around meaning frontal attacks are fairly ineffective. You will need to use some of the weapons such as Buzz Blades which will attack them from behind (they bounce off walls back towards them). As per previous games in the series by defeating enemies, or destroying crates you will be able to collect bolts in the game. These can be used to upgrade and buy new items throughout the game.

The Sixaxis' tilt sensing technology will also be put to good effect with some of the weapons, such as the Tornado Launcher allowing gamers to control the direction of the tornado as it picks up enemies and tosses them about the game world. The previously mentioned Visi-copter can also be controlled with the Sixaxis' tilt sensing abilities.

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Surrounded by enemies...
What does really amaze about this game, and certainly disappoint at the same time, is that Insomniac Games have confirmed there won't be any multi-player modes in the game. The development team has stated that they believe the fans are more focused on enjoying the single player experience. It's not hard to argue that the single-player experience shouldn't be the focus for this game, but one can't help feeling that the title, with whacky weapons and characters wouldn't be ideally suited to some form of multi-player mayhem as well. We certainly know, given the 40-player brilliance in Resistance: Fall of Man, that Insomniac Games have the skills to include extremely solid online gameplay. Perhaps a later downloadable update then? Or perhaps a separate game at a later date? Who knows.

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Yar, ummm, this could be trouble!
Graphically it's clear that Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction will set new benchmarks on the Playstation 3. Characters look wonderful, the game world is lively and colourful and the cut-scenes are certain to be injected with small nuances and humour that has made the series so popular. From what we have seen though it's the extensive range of animation on the characters that will stand out. For comparisons sake Ratchet on the PS2 had 112 joints on his body, in this PS3 game that number has been bumped up to a massive While not confirmed we believe the game will be rendered in 720p, however we have obtained a couple of screenshots that were in 1920 x 1080 which may indicate that consideration is being given to 1080p as well - time will tell.

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Ratchet and Clank sliding along the rail.
I don't think we can emphasise enough just how big this title will be. We all love Resistance: Fall of Man and it remains one of the biggest sellers on Sonys next-gen system, but a franchise such as Ratchet & Clank is likely to give PS2 owners a reason to upgrade to see their heroes in an all-new adventure. The only negative we can see is the lack of multi-player, but as long as the single-player experience is solid, and lengthy, this will hopefully only be a small loss. With a release set for NOvember 8 2007, and the game currently at around 75% complete, we still have a little while to wait before Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction hits the shelves, but it will almost certainly be worth it.