By Dan Zuccarelli . November 3, 2007 . 8:40am
I've always really enjoyed the Ratchet and Clank trilogy on the PS2, and I'm not normally a huge fan of the platformers these days. Don't get me wrong I love a good platformer, but finding a good one is the hard part. Enter Insomniac games, who started off with Spyro the Dragon, moved onto Ratchet and Clank, and after a misstep (in my eyes) with Resistance: Fall of Man have returned to the platform game goodness with Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. But is a return to the franchise a return to greatness or has it become another milking of the cash cow of cute and adorable characters?
Luckily for everyone involved, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is a fantastic game and in my eyes the first true "must-own" game on the PS3. Now the game doesn't really break any new ground that the past 3 in the series haven't done, but it doesn't really matter. R&C does what it needs to very well and the entire thing comes together in once nice little package.
The back of the box touts it as "like playing a Pixar movie" and while that's a bit of a stretch, the game does in fact look gorgeous. The environments in the game are colorful and full of life. Even though everything tends toward the cartoony, they feel like legitimate places. While all this matters little if the gameplay is severely messed up, since the gameplay is tight the graphics just add to the experience.
A staple of the R&C:TOD series has always been the outrageous arsenal as your disposal, and this outing is no different. There doesn't seem to be a Mootator this time out, which is kind of a let-down… but there's still plenty of great stuff to go round. Life the Groovitron… simply toss this disco ball onto the battlefield and your enemies just can't help but dance! It seems overly goofy, and it is. But not in a "Rayman Raving Rabbids" way, it's hard to explain… it just seems to belong. Somehow. Extra bonus to the "play through more than once" crowd, apparently there's a gold groovitron that costs a hefty 2 mil in raritanium… which is hear is rather rare (hence the name I suppose).
In addition to the gold groovitron there's plenty to see, do, and unlock in R&C: TOD. For example the unlockable skins. There's a snowman, robots, and (what may be the best skin I've seen in a video game ever) Mustachio Furioso, which is just Ratchet in a fake mustache. It's one of the funniest things I've seen in quite some time.
That kind of wit and humor carry through the game, and it's making the game quite enjoyable to play though. This is good because the game isn't overly challenging the 1st time though. A challenge mode unlocks after you beat it so I'm looking forward to cutting my teeth on a harder version of the game.
I do have a complaint about the game however, the use of the SIXAXIS motion controls. Luckily, they're not over-bearing (cough, Lair, cough) but what's there isn't immersive… it's distracting. I don't think this is a slight against Insomniac but further proof that the motion controls in the PS3 just don't work. Controlling the tornado gun is clumsy and the flying bits are just annoying. As I said they're not a major part of the game but it's a distraction.
I don't want to sound like I'm over-selling it, but the plain and simple fact is that if you own a PS3 you really oughta be getting this game if you haven't already.