- “…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 and Australia and Ratchet & Clank Future in Japan) is an action-adventure/platforming game. It is the sixth installment in the Ratchet & Clank series, and the first installment in the Ratchet & Clank Future saga. Released exclusively on the PlayStation 3, it is one of the most highly received games on the system. It has garnered high praise for its graphics and gameplay. The story established in Tools of Destruction continues in Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty.
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.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction possesses lush visuals and interesting game play mechanics, although the game itself is not that different from any other Ratchet and Clank game. Clank returned as a playable character where he controls beings of pure energy in metal suits called the "Zoni" to aid him in his platforming adventures, such as giving him the ability to slow down time. They also modified Clank with new abilities, such as the Robo-Wings for flight and the Geo-Laser to cut holes through walls.
The game also featured a powerful new group of "combat devices", which were items that weren't upgradeable like weapons but still aided Ratchet in combat. Such devices were the Groovitron and Mr. Zurkon. They (with the exception of the Golden Groovitron) had a relatively low ammunition capacity, and the only way to replenish ammunition was to buy it from Device Vendors or to bust open Raritanium chests. There were a total of eight combat devices (including the Golden Groovitron).
The game did not; however, feature online play, as the developers felt that other important parts of the game would have to be sacrificed in order to accommodate online play.
Unlike previous games, Tools of Destruction did not support PS2 memory-cards to unlock previous weapons, partly due to the previous installments in the franchise having a much lower polygon-count. Instead, weapons and devices from previous games had been upgraded and were re-drawn instead.
At the 2006 Game Developers Conference, a Ratchet & Clank tech demonstration was shown for the PlayStation 3. The tech demonstration video showed a walk-through of one of the levels from the game. It was a huge futuristic city with greenery grown in places which end up leading to a tunnel. The tunnel has gears rotating inside it with plants growing around; as it looked like the person walking through it had just come out of a dark jungle. The city itself was huge with massive, futuristic buildings and towers with flying cars everywhere. The city was later confirmed to be Kerchu City.
It was revealed at the end of 2006 that the game would use the graphic engine of Resistance: Fall of Man.
In late 2007, the game was released.
The game was universally well received, earning an average score of 89 out of 100 on Gamerankings.com, and has won numerous "game-of-the-month" awards from various different magazines and web-sites. It received 98 out of 100 on PS3M (PlayStation 3 Magazine) and was the highest rated PS3 game for several weeks after its release.
- In Europe, the game had a different cover and was called Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction, due to difficulty in translating "Future" into all the required languages.
- A demo of the game can be found on the PlayStation Network.
- Upon finding him on Planet Sargasso, The Plumber, now with sporting glasses, commented to the duo, "Almost didn't recognize you there in high-def.", which is a reference to the improvement in graphics from the games on the PlayStation 2 to those on the PlayStation 3.
- In the level "Nundac Asteroid Ring", the first seven letters of the Greek Alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilion, Zeta and Eta) were used as teleporters and the first six letters were necessary for a skill point called "Alphabet City."
- It was found that some users could not load the game with a message saying there was not enough space on the PlayStation 3 hard drive, despite the hard drive being far from full. A workaround was released, allowing users to add or remove 500mb of content, after which the game would load normally.
- There was a skill point named "Gotta Catch 'Em All", a reference to the original English slogan of the Pokémon series.
- Throughout cutscenes, in a few brief shots, Ratchet's eyes were aqua, but in another shot his eyes were back to the correct green.
- A developer at Insomniac Games was named Robert Percival, which may or may not have been the basis for the name of the main antagonist.
- The instruction manual for Tools of Destruction was written as a survival guide with Gadgetron HelpDesk hints.
- There is a cheat code that enabled Ratchet to play in his Secret Agent Clank prison gear. He got a message from Gadgetron as well. This was helpful for people who wished to have the Trillium Armor, but still see Ratchet's facial expressions in the cutscenes.
- This is only the second game in the series to not have an anime-styled cover in Japan. (The original was the first.)
- On the cover of the instruction manual, you can find 8 different characters (10 if you count each Zoni separately). They are Ratchet, Clank, Talwyn, Cronk (near Talwyn), Zephyr (also near Talwyn), three Zoni, many Drophyds, and Tachyon.
- The North American cover for Tools of Destruction is the only cover for a Ratchet & Clank game where Ratchet's face is not visible.
- Like Size Matters, this game gave a memorial to former Insomniac Games employee named Dan Johnson, who died and passed away during the production of Size Matters.
- Kerwan was the only planet playable once in Tools of Destruction.
- Players have experienced a lag in the cutscenes, where the audio would not line up with the animation.
- If the player were to use the cheat to make Ratchet's head huge, they could see inside it while swimming.
- This is the only game in the Future saga to have the game start out with Ratchet and Clank together.
- Cut content for the game was an unknown Bounty Hunter and it is presumed to be searching for Ratchet for Emperor Tachyon.
- If you are wearing a different skin that is not Ratchet, after taking off in the newly fixed Aphelion but before starting the first space battle in the Voron Asteroid Belt, Ratchet will appear in his normal skin.
Notes and references