Developer(s) – Insomniac Games
Publisher(s) – Sony Computer Entertainment
Director – Brian Allgeier
PEGI – 7
Released shortly after the PlayStation 3 console back in 2007, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction introduced gamers and fans alike to the Ratchet & Clank Future series, telling a new story following the events of the original trilogy. It has all the hallmarks of the previous two games, whilst introducing new locations, new characters, new weapons, and a new villain, which speaking as a fan of the series, left a long-lasting and positive impression on me personally. The best of the Future trilogy would be yet to come, but this game was an excellent way to kick it all off.
Graphics – 8/10
The game starts off in the same system as the first Ratchet & game, but it later introduces players to the galaxy of Polaris; a distant star system currently under the tyranny of Emperor Percival Tachyon, the game’s main villain. The game’s various different planets and moons offer players yet another wonderfully varied and well-designed world, which on a technical level, also did extremely well to demonstrate early doors just what the PlayStation 3 was capable of on the graphical level. The game’s soundtrack also wonderfully adds to the whole atmosphere of the game, going along with the tableaus of each planet’s respective theme.
Gameplay – 8/10
The gameplay follows very much the same formula as Ratchet and Clank 2 & 3 with the same controls and style of combat with the additional side quests to undertake in between. But what makes this game stand out is the new weapons and means of subduing enemies, as is the main hallmark of what makes each game in the series stand out from one another. This was also the game in which the developers introduced the Mr. Zurkon weapon, which in my opinion, is the best weapon in the entire franchise, and has since featured in most games following this. New gadgets are also introduced in order to solve new puzzles along the way, which also does well to add to the variety of the overall series.
Controls – 10/10
The controls had been refined as necessary with the release of Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando, and as this game operates within the same principles, there are no issues with the controls as such, and really, there haven’t been any issues with the controls since. Tools of Destruction in particular, however, also makes use of the PlayStation 3’s six-axis controls, with players having to move the controller to instigate character movement, which in this game, is handled particularly well.
Lifespan – 8/10
To complete the game 100% will take there around 20 hours tops, which at the time was about the average for a Ratchet & Clank game to last. The average lifespan of games in the Ratchet and Clank Future series would go on to fluctuate from thereon, with the lifespan of Ratchet & Clank: Quest For Booty being a major insult, and then Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time’s lifespan being legendary, then finally with Ratchet & Clank: Nexus’s lifespan again seeming far too short. But Tools of Destruction definitely represents a middle ground in that respect; It’s not too short but is the reason why the best of the Future series would be yet to come.
Storyline – 7/10
The story of Tools of Destruction follows Ratchet & Clank in their adventure across the Polaris Galaxy in their bid to stop Emperor Percival Tachyon from taking over and bringing back his ancient race that once almost wiped out the entire universe. The game’s story is extremely compelling in that it focuses a lot on Ratchet’s backstory, and where exactly he came from, and the fate of his race and his family, which would be a running plot point in the entire Future series. There are a plethora of twists and turns in this respect throughout the story, but especially towards the end; without spoiling exactly what happens, this game ends on one of the most intriguing cliffhangers I’ve ever seen in gaming.
Originality – 7/10
In terms of every respect of this game, from the new weapons, new gameplay tropes, new characters, and stories to the introduction of a side of Ratchet that gamers hadn’t ever seen before, the game does extremely well to stand out from not only every other Ratchet & Clank game but most other games on the PlayStation 3 in my opinion. For a game that was originally aimed at kids, it does deal with some mature and deep-rooted themes, which gives the game a boost because it perpetuates the whole idea that video games can indeed be considered an art form.
Overall, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction is by far a better game than what I gave it credit for after my first playthrough; it was a great way to kick off the Ratchet & Clank Future series and still holds up as a particularly enjoyable gaming experience.
8/10 (Very Good)