Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Games Warehouse
November 22, 2007
Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
13/11/2007SonySonyInsomniac1None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc570kb720pDD5.1YesPG

Click To Enlarge Image
These are near-Pixar graphics!
After a lengthy drought in quality titles since the Playstation 3 launched in Australia last March the system is finally getting some triple-A titles including Sony's Heavenly Sword, Folklore and in a couple of weeks Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. While they are all original titles older franchises haven't been forgotten with several sequels also on the way. One of those sequels includes this game, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. This marks the sixth release in the franchise, and the first on next-generation systems. Can it deliver another hit title on Sony's uber console?

Click To Enlarge Image
Better stay quick on your toes...
The storyline in Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction is pretty decent for an action game such as this... After saving countless planets from dreadful doom and earning intergalactic mega-celebrity status in the process, Ratchet and Clank have taken some well-deserved R&R again. Yet, Ratchet remains restless. An orphan of the universe, he has never known anything of his past, his family, or his Lombax origins. And no one, not even Clank, can fill that void.

Click To Enlarge Image
Just flying around the planets...
Unfortunately for Ratchet, someone else is equally interested in his origins: Emperor Percival Tachyon. In his thirst for revenge, the vile tyrant of an ancient race of foul insect-like monsters called Cragmites has festered an age-old grudge and is bent on wiping the last-known Lombax off the universe. As Tachyon's forces ambush Ratchet and Clank in their home galaxy, our heroes realize they need to escape quickly to prevent its destruction. In a move of desperate irony, Ratchet and Clank steal Tachyon's imperial warship and embark upon an adventure bigger than any they've experienced- one that will not only unravel the mystery of the Lombaxes, but also test the very limits of their friendship.

Click To Enlarge Image
Better stay quick on your toes...
Yet again this Ratchet & Clank game is firmly planted in the third person action adventure genre. The opening sequence takes place as Metropolis is being attacked, and destroyed and it's a sight to behold. The amount of vehicles in the skies, destruction on the ground, and enemies running around is sure to impress. For the majority of the game you will be controlling Ratchet as he runs around attacking enemies with his large ratchet. But that's not all he has to destroy the enemies though. As the game progresses you'll unlock new weapons including the relatively 'normal' type guns such as the Pyro Blaster, Combuster and Shock Ravager.

As well as 'normal' weapons Tools of Destruction includes 'combat devices' which are essential special items. One such item, the Leech bomb (or Mega Leech Bomb) will drain the life from enemies and help top your life gauge back up while the Transmorpher changes the enemies into harmless penguins. Certainly the coolest item though 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!

Click To Enlarge Image
You can't doubt vibrance of the game world!
As well as the main platforming sections featuring Ratchet there are some other diversions to keep you busy. In some sections of the game you will actually take control of Clank. Being much smaller he can get into much smaller locations, and has a few other neat tricks up his sleeve, including being able to control and order around a rather strange little army of alien life forms. Other sections of the game allow you to fly around and shoot objects from a rocket ship. Impressively the entire game is done with only the briefest of loading when you travel between planets - and even then you're given a couple of nice scenes of your craft flying through a wormhole in space.

Click To Enlarge Image
Watch out for electrified enemies!
As would would expect from the increased processing power enemies in the game have also been improved - and it's more then just visuals. Some enemies now carry shields making direct frontal attacks less successful then normal. One way to defeat them is to use another of the new weapons call the Buzz Blades which will attack enemies 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 which can then be used to upgrade or buy new weapons, buy ammunition or, more importantly, improve the stats of weapons in your possession.

A couple of things to note about the controllers. Firstly the game does make use of the Sixaxis' tilt sensing so you can control various weapons including the tornado weapon and also the Visi-copter. Perhaps more important is the news that the game already makes use of the Rumble technology which will be available in the Dual Shock 3 controller in early 2008. We've test the game with our Japanese controller and it works a charm. Sure, in this game it's mainly used for effect during explosions, and for weapons, but it certainly works and is a welcome addition.

Click To Enlarge Image
Surrounded by enemies...
From a single player perspective this is a brilliant title with the only minor niggle being the camera which can sometimes make it a little awkward to see enemies. You will be using the right analogue stick to rotate it on a semi-regular basis. Where the real disappointment lies for this game it's with the complete lack of multi-player. There's no split-screen multi-player on a single console, not even multi-player on a single screen. Perhaps even worse is the news that there is no online game modes at all which is a real shame as Insomniac have shown in their brilliant 40-player online Resistance: Fall of Man just how far they can push the system.

Click To Enlarge Image
Yar, ummm, this could be trouble!
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction is a glorious game to look at. Running at 720p the game maintains a silky smooth frame rate from start to finish and there is little doubt that this game is setting new benchmarks not only on the PS3, but for all video games. The levels are bright and colourful, with dozens of enemies in view at once. Even when you're in darker dungeons or rooms everything still looks superb. The lighting and particle effects are second to none while the cut-scenes set the tone of the game perfectly - often humourous, always impressive.

So let's talk a bit technical for a second. In the PS2 versions of Ratchet & Clank Ratchet had and impressive 112 joints in his body. The more joints you have, the more fluid the animation can become with smaller nuances. In this PS3 version Ratchet has 90 joints in his face alone. That has given the developers unprecedented freedom to express emotions and make animations as impressive as we have ever seen in a video game. Indeed I would go so far as to say this is as close to a Pixar movie as we have ever seen on a console.

Click To Enlarge Image
Surrounded by enemies...
Aurally you're not going to be disappointed by this game either. Absolutely every aspect of the sound production is top notch and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio adds quite a bit more atmosphere to the title. The first thing that you notice is the quality of the music in the game - it's upbeat, lively and of the highest quality. Not to be outdone the effects also impressive with a range of explosions, enemy noises and certainly hundreds of bolts clanging as you collect them from around the levels.

Voice acting is - as with previous games in the series - absolutely super. James Arnold Taylor is back as the voice of Ratchet while David Kaye returns as the voice of Clank. All the supporting cast are equally impressive in the delivery of their lines however it's not just the delivery that impresses, but also the actual scripting. It's witty, humorous and while the story is a little shallow you won't want to miss the cut-scenes in this game.

Click To Enlarge Image
Ratchet and Clank sliding along the rail.
Despite the lack of multi-player this is a fantastic title that deserves every PS3 owners full attention. In terms of audio visual presentation Ratchet & Clank never looked so good - and nor do too many other games. Most importantly the gameplay is addictive and engrossing with plenty of variety in the locations you will explore and the enemies you will encounter. This is another superb game on the PS3 and deserves to be in every gamerís collection.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSAs close to a realtime Pixar movie that we have ever seen. Sublime.
94%
SOUNDNot to be outdone the audio is every bit as impressive.
94%
GAMEPLAYOne of the best platform/action titles of all time.
94%
VALUEA decent single player game, but no multi-player hurts ever so slightly.
85%
OVERALLWhile there is no multi-player modes this is still one of the, if not the, best game on the Playstation 3. A stunning achievement for a system not a year old.
91%

Talk about Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction in this forum topic now.