Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction - Review [PS3]

This is the first Ratchet & Clank game that I've played and I really think I've been missing out. When you start you are thrown straight into the action with little in the way of a story. I thought it was going to be light on narrative but a rather strong story starts to develop as the game progresses. Along the way you will meet up with several characters like smugglers, space pirates and a female companion for Ratchet.

This is a platform game but not in the normal sense. Along with traditional platforming sections you get a heavy emphasis on shooting, hence the name Tools of Destruction. When the developer titled it 'Destruction' they weren't kidding. The selection and size of weapons on offer is amazing. Weapons range from fireballs, razor blades, massive bombs and tornados. In keeping with the humour in the story line there is some funny weapons like the disco ball. Use this and the enemies will be so busy dancing they won't be bothered with what you are doing.

I briefly mentioned humour above but I must elaborate on that. Several of the cutscenes have laugh out loud moments. The writing and voice acting in these scenes is of a high standard. There are also some nice touches throughout the game - want to get into secret pirate areas? Then don a pirate outfit and dance a jig to the satisfaction of the guard. Hilarious.

If you get bored with platforming and shooting enemies there is relief on hand in the form of space combat levels. They are nice and short so as not to overstay there welcome but they are fun. There are also little mini games like circuit breaking, which is implemented in a better way than it was in Mass Effect. There is also a neat gameplay twist when you get to play as Clank. Without access to Ratchet's amazing arsenal you do get some neat tricks unique to Clank. Using his bullet-time style time manipulation skill is really great fun.

I really must praise the value for money that the game offers. I frequently thought that I must be nearing the end of the game only for the story to move on and more levels introduced. Every level is very large (each is unique and extremely well designed) and there are a large number of them. There is also an RPG element to the game. With each weapon and device you get you can enhance them and you can also power up your armour. For further challenges the developers have added in hidden challenges to each level. If you complete them you gain points to unlock hidden extras.

Nothing short of spectacular. The graphics, while of a totally different style to Uncharted are equally impressive. This is comparable to an interactive Pixar movie. Also impressive is the number of enemies on screen with no deterioration in frame-rate.

This game has a wonderful soundtrack. Much of the background music sounds rather grand and epic but it matches perfectly with what is going on onscreen. On top of that you have excellent voice acting and cool sound effects.

The controls are wonderfully well implemented. With so many weapons on offer the selection menu is very well integrated into the game. The implementation of the Sixaxis controls are also the best I've seen yet on the PS3.

With the length of the game and the sheer number of enemies to defeat there is a decent challenge on offer. I really enjoyed my time with this game, more than I thought I would because I thought I had outgrown platform games. However with the mixture of humour, top quality presentation and outright fun gameplay it won me over. Recommended.

No comments: