Date: 04-23-2011 17:35
Reviewer: Eoghan

Type: PS3
Genre: Action platformer
Developer: Insomniac Games

When Ratchet and Clank first popped into our disc drives back in 2002, we didn’t realise what we were getting into. Today, Ratchet and Clank stands as one of the best reasons to buy a PS3. After Gladiator (Deadlocked, for the US people here), which took the gameplay in a new direction, fans were unsure as to what to expect in the next game. What Insomniac presented us with blew our minds.

Gameplay: Tools of Destruction was the first Ratchet and Clank game to hit the PS3, and made excellent use of the immense power of the machine. TOD’s gameplay is the tried and tested R&C formula, with a few fresh twists. TOD harks back to the first game, and puts a heavy emphasis on platforming. Gunplay still remains a large portion of the game, but as with the first game, the platforming takes centre stage. You will be leaping across chasms, using your swingshot, gliding with your heli-pack and thruster-pack and much, much more. The flying sections from Going Commando are back, except this time you control movement with the Sixaxis. Also returning are the space battles, also from Going Commando, albeit much more developed and easier to control this time round. An innovative new feature to the gameplay is your Geo-Laser, a device that allows you to cut through weak spots in walls. This gadget is controlled by the Sixaxis, allowing you to truly immerse yourself into the game. The trademark crazy weapons and gadgets are back with a bang (well, multiple bangs if you buy the right upgrades) and the new devices section. Devices are immensely powerful, expensive to use items. Mr. Zurkon and the Groovitron are my favourite. Mr. Zurkon is a robot who follows you around, wreaking havoc along with you! For series veterans, he is quite similar to the Sand Mice from the first game, only a while lot more powerful. The Groovitron is the most original thing the series has seen in years. You fire a disco ball up into the air, which the enemies in the area are forced to dance to. What do you do then? Blow stuff up!

Graphics: Back in the days of the PS2, the series was applauded for its visuals. TOD is no different. When it came out, TOD set a benchmark for graphics for this generation of consoles. The opening level, the classic Metropolis, is absolutely breathtaking. As you take your first steps in the game, you see ships flying to and fro, explosions here and there, bolts flying around and not with one hint of lag. One of the more startling moments comes in Metropolis aswell: as our duo hit the grind rail, they go past a fantastically high building. Seconds later, the building crumbles to the ground, as it cracks and crumbles realistically, smoke flies up, and I honestly had to check that nobody had changed the channel to a Pixar movie while I wasn’t looking. Guns look great, as does the carnage they cause! Ratchet and Clank themselves look the best they ever have. You can easily see the individual hairs in Ratchet’s fur, and the shine and dirt on Clank during the CGI cutscenes, and during gameplay! Insomniac show that they are confident in the graphics they have produced, as in a meeting with famous plumber, he remarks to Ratchet and Clank: “Didn’t recognise you in high def!”

Presentation: The Ratchet and Clank games have always been presented well, with easy to navigate menus, and little touches here and there that make life easier for us gamers. In Gladiator, a second Quick Select wheel was optional, to avoid pausing and to make the game flow. TOD brings this to another level, giving you three Quick Select wheels, In which all the games weapons and gadgets can fit, eliminating that annoying process of having to pause to take out a more obscure weapon. The well known R&C humour is back, and I can honestly say that this game has the funniest script since Going Commando. The maps look better than ever, but strangely enough, you can’t zoom in, and you can no longer press the X button to bring up your mission list. Apart from that, presentation is the best it has ever been.

Lifespan: Gold bolts, holo-plan pieces, skill points, weapon upgrades, challenge mode……lifespan? You bet there is. The sheer amount of content available here is staggering, and I would highly recommend this game to anybody who is looking for a solid game that will keep them going for not weeks, but months. Sadly there are no trophies. TOD was released before trophies became mandatory, and Insomniac have decided not to release a patch.

From reading the review you will get the idea that TOD is an incredible game. And you would be correct. It is an incredible game. I am a massive Ratchet and Clank fan, and having played all the games up to TOD, I can safely say that it is the best. When I first played the demo, I was stunned. I didn’t think that a game could be that good! And also, be aware that the scores are no fanboy scores, but looking at the game from a reviewer’s perspective.

Gameplay: 9
Graphics: 10
Presentation: 9
Lifespan: 8
Overall: 9
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