- “…the first game to truly deliver the long-sought ‘you are playing a Pixar movie’ experience.”
- ―New York Times, 2007 [source]
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (known as Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction in Europe) is the first installment in the Future trilogy of the Ratchet & Clank series developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was initially released in October 2007 for the PlayStation 3, and was the first game in the series released on the system.
The game follows Ratchet and Clank as they travel to the Polaris Galaxy after planet Kerwan is invaded by Emperor Tachyon, a cragmite who is intent on destroying Ratchet, the last lombax. Ratchet works to learn more about the lombaxes in the hopes of finding the "Lombax Secret" that may be used to defeat Tachyon, while Clank is aided by a mysterious, invisible alien race known as the Zoni who claim to be key to his past.
Tools of Destruction is a return to the third person action adventure gameplay from the original three entries on the PlayStation 2, with elements of shooting, role playing, platforming, puzzle solving and on-rails space combat. Ratchet can collect all-new weapons which can be upgraded through use and now through Raritanium as well as gadgets to overcome obstacles. It introduces as well as a set of Devices, which are rarer, non-up-gradable support weapons. Clank has his own gameplay sections that allow him to command the Zoni to complete stages. Tools of Destruction also introduces a few gameplay elements controlled by the PlayStation 3 SIXAXIS tilt functionality.
Tools of Destruction is a third person three dimensional action game with elements of platforming, shooting, role playing and puzzle solving. The player controls Ratchet, the last lombax alive who wields an arsenal of weapons, gadgets and devices, and carries his sidekick Clank as a backpack allowing him to make use of the Heli-Pack and Thruster Pack. Ratchet has access to his core moveset from previous titles, and obtains an entirely new set of weapons and gadgets, as well as devices, non-upgradeable supporting weapons.
The duo travel between planets of Polaris using the Aphelion, a sentient lombax ship, completing a set of objectives on a planet before obtaining planets for the next planet to progress through the story. Objectives normally require the player to control Ratchet and traverse through a linear section on a planet, fighting enemies on the way and using gadgets to complete puzzles.
Other objectives are varied. For some missions, the player controls Clank as he commands Zoni to complete a set of puzzles to complete a section. At other times, the player flies the Aphelion through an on-rails section to defeat enemies (normally Space Pirates), either flying the ship or controlling the turret on the back as Clank, before defeating a boss at the end of the section and then progressing onward. Ratchet can also participate in the Imperial Fight Festival on planet Mukow, a set of gladiator battles from which bolts can be earned. Ratchet can also collect Leviathan Souls from various planets, traversing open areas to fight Leviathans to obtain their souls and sell them to the Smuggler.
The player can collect bolts to purchase weapons, Raritanium to purchase weapon upgrades, holo-plans that can produce the RYNO IV ultimate weapon when traded with the Smuggler, and gold bolts to buy secrets. After completing the game, the player can choose either to warp back before defeating the final boss, or proceed to replay the game in challenge mode, which allows the player to keep their devices and weapons with all upgrades and fight more powerful enemies. In this mode, Ratchet can purchase the Omega version of his weapons to upgrade them beyond the maximum. As these weapons are much more expensive, challenge mode has a bolt multiplier for enemies that were destroyed before Ratchet takes a hit.
Ratchet begins with ten units of nanotech, representing his health. This is can be increased by earning experience points from defeating enemies, up to 999. Ratchet can also purchase armor from a GrummelNet armor vendor which can reduce the amount of damage taken.
Tools of Destruction features fifteen weapons completely new weapons. The Combuster and the Fusion Bomb are immediately available for free, while others are either purchased from vendors with bolts, discovered on planets, or in the case of the RYNO IV, obtained from the Smuggler once all holo-plans are acquired. All weapons can be upgraded from V1 up to V5, at which point the weapons' functionality changes, and in challenge mode, an Omega version can be purchased, allowing it to be upgraded five more times to VX. Each weapon can be upgraded using Raritanium from weapon vendors to improve it in areas such as its rate of fire, ammunition and damage, with each also including a special upgrade that, once unlocked, change the weapon significantly.
The game also features eight devices, which provide support in battle. These include the Groovitron, Mr. Zurkon, Transmorpher and Visi-Copter. Devices cannot be upgraded (with the exception of the Groovitron, which can be upgraded to the Gold Groovitron when purchased), and ammunition is scarce, meaning they are mostly used in emergencies.
Fourteen gadgets are featured in the game, of which five are original. The Heli-Pack, Hydro-Pack and Thruster Pack are automatically owned by Clank, while the Grind Boots and Swingshot are automatically owned by Ratchet. Other gadgets are earned by completing objectives and are required to progress further through the game. Two gadgets, Clank's Geo-Laser and Ratchet's Decryptor, are controlled using the SIXAXIS tilt controller (though this can be changed in the options menu).
In some sections, the player controls Clank, who can command the Zoni to complete puzzles and traverse areas. Zoni control is similar to Gadge-Bot control from previous games, with different powers. The Zoni also fire at enemies, and allow Clank to slow down time on his own, allowing him to bypass otherwise impossible defences. They can be commanded to use Levitate, allowing Clank to hover for a certain amount of time; to use Manipulate, allowing them to fix objects (provided he controls enough at a time); or to use Charge Up, energizing an object allowing Clank to proceed (using up the Zoni in the process).
The player sometimes flies the Aphelion through on-rails sections. The Aphelion can move and aim its weapons anywhere on the screen, but is confined to the set path on-rails. The player is tasked to survive through this section and defeat the boss at the end before proceeding. Along the path, the player should destroy several ships to earn bolts, with larger ships arriving with exposed weak points that can be destroyed to take down the ships. Asteroids can also be destroyed to earn bolts. During these sections, the player sometimes is given control of Clank, who pilots the turret on the back of the ship, and the player must destroy incoming enemies and projectiles to survive. Once the boss is reached, the player must destroy the boss' weak points to defeat the boss and move on.
Tools of Destruction takes place in the Polaris Galaxy, which is ruled by the cragmite Emperor Tachyon. After leaving planet Kerwan, Ratchet explores several sectors of the galaxy, as well as a few locations in space. The Polaris Galaxy was once home to the lombaxes after they had defeated the cragmites during the Great War, but Tachyon had since drove the lombaxes to near extinction. Abandoned Lombax technology can be found on many planets in the galaxy, such as Fastoon, Sargasso and Rykan V. Much of it has been found by Max Apogee, a lombax explorer who kept his findings in Apogee Space Station, now home to his daughter Talwyn. Much of the knowledge of the galaxy is contained within the IRIS Supercomputer.
Emperor Tachyon controls much of the galaxy, with his drophyd armies defending his own territory and searching the galaxy for lombax technology. There are several planets not ruled by Tachyon, with Igliak as the capital. The galaxy is also home to Space Pirates led by Captain Slag, who attack and loot ships around the galaxy from their hideouts such as Ardolis. Several planets are also controlled by the kerchu, some of the galaxy's greatest architects but also fierce defenders of their territory and hostile to outsiders.
At the start of the game, Ratchet and Clank were on planet Kerwan trying to complete one of Ratchet's new vehicles. While Ratchet was assuring him that the vehicle would work fine, Clank received a distress call from Qwark, who was stationed at the Planetary Defense Center. Before Ratchet and Clank arrived at the Defense Center, Metropolis was attacked by an alien race known as the Drophyds, who worked for Emperor Percival Tachyon, the last of the Cragmites. The Cragmite Emperor was hunting down Ratchet, who was thought to be the last Lombax in the known universe and the greatest threat to Tachyon's empire. Tachyon tried to make a deal with the duo, stating that if they both surrendered, the Drophyds would leave Metropolis unharmed. Ratchet and Clank tricked Tachyon; however, and fled into his warship. Having escaped from Kerwan in the warship, Ratchet and Clank were forced into Cryosleep by the ship's autopilot system.
Some time later, they crash-landed on planet Cobalia in the Polaris Galaxy. While unconscious, Clank had a vision where he was flying in a strange city with a group of mysterious robots surrounding him saying, "His past is inside." The vision ended when Ratchet woke him up. The duo made their way to a spaceport, where they met the Smuggler. The Smuggler told them that he would take them off Cobalia if they got the nearby Gelatonium Plant working again. After they agreed, he gave Ratchet the Gelanator. Ratchet and Clank were able to get the plant running again. The Smuggler gave the ride as promised, but only took them as far as Stratus City on planet Kortog.
The Smuggler ejected Ratchet and Clank onto the surface of Stratus City after a lifeform scan detected a Lombax signature on his ship. After fighting through the city, the Zoni upgraded Clank with the Robo-Wings. Using this new gadget, Ratchet and Clank flew to the Hall of Knowledge (with a Zoni's guidance). There they had to flee the planet via an escape pod to the nearest planet, Fastoon, revealed to be a Lombax planet.
When the two landed on the devastated planet, Ratchet wondered where all the Lombaxes were. Clank explained that the planet was deserted years ago. They found an old, destroyed ship named Aphelion. After finding five Lombax Flight Components scattered around the area, Clank made his way through a Raritanium Mine with the help of the Zoni, and obtained the sixth and final one. The duo repaired Aphelion, who told them what happened on Fastoon. Upon Ratchet's request, Aphelion played a Holo-Vite that they had received, which told him about the Imperial Fight Festival on planet Mukow.
They found after fighting in a tournament that Qwark had sworn loyalty to Tachyon. Qwark gave Ratchet a video as a prize for winning the tournament. The video revealed that Tachyon was plotting to search the entire Polaris Galaxy to find the "Lombax Secret." Tachyon thought the secret was hidden in the Apogee Space Station in the Nundac Asteroid Ring.
Upon arriving at the Nundac Asteroid Ring, they found the Smuggler, who gave them the launch code to a pod that would take them to the Apogee Space Station. Ratchet and Clank rode the pod to the station's Maintenance Hub and traversed it to reach the station's interior. There they fought through the security system and almost made it to the final room's entrance to find the door locked. The Zoni upgraded Clank with the Geo-Laser, allwoing them to cut the wall open. Two old robots, Cronk and Zephyr, tried to attack Ratchet, but ended up running into each other. Talwyn then appeared and threatened to send Ratchet through the airlock. Upon realizing that Ratchet was a Lombax, she told Cronk and Zephyr to lower their guard. Talwyn then told Ratchet of her father, Max Apogee, and how space pirates had raided the station and stolen a pyramid-shaped artifact. Ratchet recalled the Smuggler mentioning space pirates that inhabited planet Ardolis, and on a hunch the duo flew to the Pirate Base.
Ratchet and Clank made their way to the base's treasure room and recovered the artifact, but were forced to hide when Captain Slag and Rusty Pete flew to the room on a sail barge. Slag's sense of smell helped him determine that there was a Lombax in the room. Talwyn then appeared and threw a smoke bomb when Ratchet and Clank dropped down a hole and made their way to the Skull Radio Tower. Outside the tower, they met up with Talwyn, Cronk and Zephyr. Talwyn couldn't make the artifact work, and when she handed it to Ratchet, it hovered over his hands. When pressed one of the sides, a 3D map of a planet appeared, which Talwyn recognized as Rykan V. They then flew to the planet, but were forced to first fight through a fleet of Slag's ships in the Rakar Star Cluster.
Ratchet, Clank, Cronk and Zephyr performed a HALO jump and fought through Tachyon's forces, arriving and separating at a spaceport. At the spaceport, Ratchet and Clank bought a modified Gyro-Cycle from the Smuggler. They then made their way to a room with the Gyro-Cycle, where they met up with Talwyn, Cronk and Zephyr. Ratchet unlocked the door to the room, which was filled with nothing useful, except an ancient HoloVid projector. The projector played a video that revealed to them that the Lombax Secret was a helmet called the Dimensionator and gave them their next lead on the Dimensionator's location.
They then traveled to planet Sargasso, where they tried to find the testing facility mentioned in the video. The Smuggler pointed out a destroyed launch pad for the Robo-Wings and sold them a Decrypter to fix it. Ratchet successfully got the pad working with the Decrypter and the duo flew to the facility with the Zoni's guidance. Once at the testing facility, Ratchet and Clank encountered The Plumber once again. The Plumber gave them a 3 ¾ Centicubit Hexagonal Washer, and then left by flushing himself down a large toilet. Qwark contacted the heroes on their way back to Aphelion claiming that he may have found a clue.
After battling through another tournament on Mukow, Qwark showed them a video displaying IRIS, the largest supercomputer in the Polaris galaxy, which he believed would know the Dimensionator's location. After downloading the coordinates to IRIS's location, Clank went inside the computer to repair it. The Zoni appeared yet again and Clank had a vision of Talwyn being locked away in an unknown prison. Ratchet learned about Tachyon's origins. Tachyon was frozen as an egg and eventually found by Lombax Trillium miners on the Kreeli Comet who then raised him on Fastoon. However, once he learned of his Cragmite heritage and origins, he waged war against the Lombaxes.
The duo traveled to Zordoom and freed Talwyn from her cell. Once Ratchet and Clank got back to Aphelion, Talwyn contacted them and said she had found Cronk and Zephyr in the scrap compressor. They continued on towards planet Jasindu, first having to fight through Slag's fleet near the Verdigris Black Hole.
After dealing with the pirate fleet, Ratchet and Clank landed on Jasindu. They made their way to a grind rail and traversed it while a giant robot controlled by a Kerchu tried to kill them. Upon destroying the robot in an arena, Ratchet found the Dimensionator. However, Captain Slag and his pirate fleet arrived, stole the Dimensionator and threatened to kill Ratchet and destroy Clank if they followed him. Aphelion tracked Slag's Fleet to the Ublik Passage.
The heroes willfully followed the pirates and defeated Captain Slag. Ratchet was then given the "honor" of becoming the new captain of the space pirates by Rusty Pete. Ratchet refused, though, and said he just wanted the Dimensionator. Qwark popped out of a pirate crate, took the Dimensionator and vowed to throw it into a black hole while fleeing in an escape pod. Rusty Pete, still claiming Ratchet to be the captain, revealed that the escape pod would land on the Cragmite homeworld on Reepor
Ratchet, Clank, Cronk and Zephyr performed a HALO jump and fought through Tachyon's forces. With Cronk and Zephyr in control of two large cannons, Ratchet, Clank and Talwyn tried to find a way inside the stronghold. After splitting up, Ratchet and Clank made their way to a raised platform and found Tachyon wearing the Dimensionator with Qwark under his throne's leg. Tachyon summoned the Cragmites from exile, knocking Ratchet unconscious and separating him from Clank. Clank found his way back to Aphelion with the help of the Zoni, who showed him another vision of Ratchet standing in front of a portal on Fastoon before a muffled scream was heard. Meanwhile, Ratchet traversed his way back to Aphelion and found Talwyn and Zephyr repairing a broken Cronk. Ratchet was devastated when he began thinking that Clank had perished. Clank flew down with the Robo-Wings and the duo was reunited. Aphelion said that her sensors had picked up a Cragmite armada rapidly approaching Meridian City on planet Igliak. Talwyn told Ratchet that Meridian City was the capital of the Polaris Galaxy and that they needed to hurry while she and Zephyr repaired Cronk.
Ratchet and Clank then traveled to Meridian City, fought off Tachyon's forces, Gyro-Cycled through the Sector-3 Construction Zone, flew through a tunnel and finally found Qwark cowering in a closet. Clank then believed that Tachyon may be headed for Fastoon, based on his vision from the Zoni. Ratchet willingly agreed to go there, finally seeming to believe Clank about the Zoni.
Ratchet, Clank, Cronk and Zephyr performed another HALO jump and destroyed five Magna Cannons so Talwyn could land. Once they fought through Tachyon's Cragmite army, Ratchet, Clank, Talwyn, Cronk and Zephyr arrived in the Court of Azimuth. Tachyon then revealed that the Lombaxes had taken shelter behind the walls and used the Dimensionator to flee to another dimension when Tachyon initially invaded Fastoon in the Great War. Only two Lombaxes stayed behind, the keeper of the Dimensionator and his infant son, Ratchet. Ratchet's father was revealed to have been killed by Tachyon, but not before sending Ratchet to Veldin. Tachyon opened a portal to the Lombax dimension and gave Ratchet the chance to join them. Ratchet; however, realized that no one would be safe as long as Tachyon had the Dimensionator, and vowed to destroy the gadget. Ratchet and Clank battled Tachyon (with some assisting gunfire from Talwyn, Cronk, and Zephyr). After injuring Tachyon, the Dimensionator opened and sucked all three into another dimension. After Ratchet and Clank defeated Tachyon, he declared that only he knew Ratchet's real name, his father, and his purpose before being sucked into a black hole. Ratchet attempted to use the Dimensionator to escape the crumbling dimension, but realized that the Primary Reflux Coil for the device was missing. Clank used the 3 ¾ Centicubit Hexagonal Washer The Plumber had given them on Sargasso to repair the Reflux Coil. Ratchet and Clank used the now-working Dimensionator to return home. Ratchet awoke surrounded by Clank, Talwyn and Cronk and Zephyr.
Back on Apogee Space Station, Rusty Pete tried to teach Qwark how to become a pirate, and Cronk and Zephyr reenacted the battle between Ratchet and Tachyon. Ratchet wondered if Tachyon told the truth about his purpose and father. Clank told Ratchet that Tachyon was telling the truth and that Ratchet had filled his purpose by vanquishing Tachyon. The Zoni appeared once more, this time visible to everyone. They trapped Clank in a psychic field and took him through into a dimensional portal. Ratchet tried to stop the Zoni, but the portal ejected him to the ground. The Zoni then mid-melded Clank and he willingly went with them.
At the 2006 Game Developers Conference, a Ratchet & Clank Future tech demonstration was shown for the PlayStation 3, featuring a large, futuristic city resembling Metropolis, with a blimp showing the Ratchet & Clank logo. In September 27, 2007, Insomniac announced that the game had gone gold, meaning it had completed development, and that a demo would be released on PlayStation Store, with the game's full release coming the following month. Due to quickness in the factory, some retailers obtained and sold copies earlier than the official October 30th release date. Due to the difficulty translating "Future" in some languages, the game was released in Europe simply as Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction.
The game was made in memory of Dan Johnson, a former Insomniac employee who tragically died before release, with the credits dedicated to his memory.
The soundtrack was composed by David Bergeaud.
|GameRankings||88.74% (based on 76 reviews)|
|Metacritic||89 (based on 70 reviews)|
Reviewers mostly praised the story, with Eurogamer calling the storyling "excellent" while IGN praised the story for having Insomniac's "most intriguing and diverse universe yet". However, GameSpot was more critical, saying that the story "falls flat" and "isn't very interesting".
Critics praised the gameplay and the variety of weapons, but criticized the easy difficulty. IGN concluded that the gameplay of previous games had been "refined to award winning levels", but says that gamers "may be disappointed in Future's difficulty". Eurogamer noted that the enjoyment players will have depends on "if you got on with the previous Ratchet & Clank games", but claimed that it "isn't ever an especially challenging game" and that the developers did "little to innovate the gameplay in any meaningful sense". GameSpot called the game "extremely easy" and claimed it gets "remotely difficult only in the last hour or so", and praised the shooting and platforming gameplay while criticizing the variety of mechanics in the game, claiming that it "takes too much of the focus off the tight platforming and and fun combat".
IGN claimed that the game had "surpassed Going Commando as the best game in the series", and was the "best game of any series on the PlayStation 3 thus far".
- ↑ GDC 2006 Ratchet & Clank Future teaser trailer (on Insomniac Games channel) YouTube. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Goes Gold, Demo Coming! PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Coming Soon(er) PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction GameRankings GameRankings. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Metacritic Metacritic. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction Review Eurogamer. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review GamePro (archive). Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review GameSpot. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review GameSpy. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review IGN. Retrieved January 9, 2018.