Jun 23, 2010

[Games] Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of DestructionAs much as I tend to have a difficult time when it comes to platform-style games, I really fell in love with the Ratchet & Clank series when it first debuted on the Playstation 2. There was just something about the game that endeared itself to me from the start. Maybe it was the humor. Maybe it was the diversity of the weapons available. Maybe it was just that cute little robot, Clank.

Oh yes, I love Clank.

Whatever it is, apparently I haven't been alone in my love for the game franchise and the series has survived over the years and now the consoles. I was surprised to see not just a new game for the Playstation 3 but in fact a trilogy of them further expanding the universe of this strange pair. So yeah, I'm very happy to be able to continue playing the games in this franchise with the promise of even more titles to come.

The two main characters of the series, Ratchet...Image via Wikipedia
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the first in a new trilogy of games for the Playstation 3.

The game starts as many of the others - Captain Qwark seeks out Ratchet & Clank's help to stop an alien invasion. But it turns out the aliens aren't after the planet - in fact they're after Ratchet himself. Apparently the crown prince of the Cragmites has sworn to exterminate Ratchet, who appears to be the very last of his species, the Lombazes. Aided by his army of power suit enhanced, um, fish, he sends danger after danger against the duo in order to wipe them off the face of the universe.

The game is still rich with a variety of crazy weapons. You start with the ever basic Combuster gun but you can also get various alternative weapons such as the Ravager energy whip (which I enjoy using a lot). Then there's the more versatile ones such as the ability to summon single-attack Plasma Beasts. Or better yet - the Groovitron gadget which forces enemies to stop attacking you and dance. And of course Ratchet has his other enhancements like his Rail Boots or the other boosts that allow Clank to help him fly with helicopter blades or glide with jet-style wings. Plus you can upgrade them for better damage and the like, which makes the game more interesting.

To some degree, folks might argue that the game has not evolved much from its previous incarnations. Sure, the alternate modes when you get to control Clank have changed given his new added ability of manipulating time to some extent, the rest of it may seem largely the same. This, for me, is both a good and a bad thing since it ensures that old players find this installment instantly comfortable and familiar for the most part. Of course for newcomers to the franchise, this may not seem like anything dramatically new but hopefully the humor element to things will help smoothen out the rougher edges.

The story does a decent enough job of still taking you step-by-step to learn his moves and how to use some of his weapons while at the same time not getting bogged down by the need for a tutorial. Like past Ratchet & Clank games, you pretty much jump into the action and the learning curve may be a bit shorter than what some people may find comfortable but it does provide a realistic degree of challenge. It's not like death is so traumatic - you'll get to repeat the stage in quest as often as needed until you get to it or you just get too annoyed and give up for the time being. But such is the way of these kind of platform games and if you're not into that kind of a gaming experience well tough.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction certainly promises a lot for the life of this franchise on the PS3. It gets 4 mutant fish soldiers flopping around on the ground while gasping for air out of a possible 5.
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