E3 '07: Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Hands-On

Rail-sliding with Ratchet and Clank in their first next-gen console appearance.

Insomniac Games scored a PS3 launch hit with their shooter Resistance: Fall of Man, but for their next game they're going back to more familiar territory with the first outing of dynamic duo Ratchet and Clank on the PS3.

Click to enlarge!

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is a PS3 exclusive, and sees the resilient Lombax and his mechanical partner go back to their tried-and-true mix of platforming, combat, and over-the-top weapons. We played the new game's opening level at E3 07, which at the beginning has Ratchet and Clank busily trying to repair a broken machine while in the heart of the futuristic, space-age city of Metropolis. A call from Captain Qwark breaks their peace, however, with the lantern-jawed character bringing news that aliens from another galaxy were invading Metropolis in search of the last known remaining Lombax--namely, Ratchet. From there, Ratchet and Clank sets off across Metropolis in an effort to get away from their alien attackers.

The gameplay in the demo level of Future is classic Ratchet and Clank. Players still use Ratchet's oversized wrench as their primary weapon, swinging it at enemies to destroy them. The enemies in this first level ranged from small, basic robot foes with domed fronts, to larger, floating enemies with saucer-shaped heads and large javelinlike arms. These larger enemies also, when destroyed, release a small bloblike creature that eventually explodes.

While most enemies in the opening level could easily be accounted for while using the wrench exclusively, we did get to see some of new wacky weapons people can expect in this game. One of the highlights was the Transmorpher, a weapon that turns your opponents into...penguins. Another new addition was the Grooveatron, an area-effect bomb that sends everyone in its blast radius into a disco-style dancing frenzy--which obviously prevents them from attacking you while simultaneously becoming sitting ducks for your trusty wrench. The way to access these special weapons remains similar to previous games--pressing the triangle button on the PS3 controller brings up a radial menu, where players can choose a weapon to set as the default by using the left analog stick.

Perhaps the most significant gameplay additions we found so far in Tools of Destruction were on the platforming side of the Ratchet and Clank formula. At one stage in our demo level, Ratchet fell off an exploding bridge, and had to slowly glide his way down to the street below. The gliding was controlled using the PS3 controller's Sixaxis movement detectors--tilting Ratchet from side to side and back to front moved him in those directions and away from any dangerous obstacles. Another feature saw Ratchet using long rails to slide on, similar to what we saw in an earlier preview of the game. In the Metropolis sliding sections, Ratchet had to slide along long metal rails, jumping from one to another to avoid approaching trains and enemy attacks. Avoiding these obstacles proved to be quite easy, as Ratchet never seemed to build up too much speed and enemies would telegraph which rail would be attacked long in advance. This is the opening level, however, so we're expecting these sections to become progressively more difficult later on in the game.

Click to enlarge!

Visually, the game is already looking mighty impressive, with huge draw distances both horizontally and vertically across the wide expanse and deep chasms of Metropolis. The series' trademark bright colors are back, but the level of intricate detail in both the environment and enemies are noticeably improved. The game's developers tell us that character models been significantly ramped up--as an example, Ratchet's face alone in Tools of Destruction features 90 moveable joints for better expressions, far more than the Lombax's whole body in previous games.

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is looking to be another top-notch entry in the series, and we're keen to grab some more playtime with the game to find out what other new additions the team at Insomniac has in store. The game is slated for release in Q4 this year.

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Discussion

204 comments
mmofnbs
mmofnbs

Just played the demo from the ps store and wow is this game fun. Looks beautiful and let me tell you there's no one else like insomniac to make ridiculous over the top weapons. The Groovetron is by far the funnest addition- you can't beat a robot disco frenzy. If you have a ps3 buy this game, if you don't have a ps3 get both.

dibbitson
dibbitson

this game looks awsome! i've been a fan of the ratchet and clanks and this looks sooo good! can't wait! thers alot of good games coming out in late 07 and early 08 like playstation home, burnout paradise, littlebig planet and now this! arghhhh! too many choices! (count that, 5 exclamtion marks and i wasn't being stupid with it - beat that! - 6)

Hamsterwaffle
Hamsterwaffle

Gahzoo, you missed an animal out, the cows! from size matters! silly! count that. 3 exclamation marks. beat that if you can.

bamaman92
bamaman92

Groovy! I can't wait to get this game!

Neo1O1
Neo1O1

I've never played the Ratchet & Clank series, as I'm more of a Jak & Daxter fan. But I don't think I'll be passing this up when it drops in October. I'm dying to experience some hefty colors on my new PS3 & this game seems like it's going to deliver.

MrCooler
MrCooler

Man, why is PS3 do expensive... I'll have to take another job, so I can play the best platform game ever... Again :)

geigehenry19
geigehenry19

I'm with you mixhawkeye! I'd get a ps3 just so I could play this game. I love R&C. They are just too fun to miss!

mixhawkeye
mixhawkeye

this actually makes me want to go out and buy a ps3...im gonna be jealous if someone else has it when its released and I don't! This game looks amazing visually and looks like so much damn fun.

gahzoo
gahzoo

the Grooveatron, an area-effect bomb that sends everyone in its blast radius into a disco-style dancing frenzy three words: OH MY GOD transmorpher:first chickens,then sheep,then ducks,then farm animals,now penguins, wat next?

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

I am a huge fan of the ratchet and clank series though gladiator was not as good as the rest. I will definatley get this and I must get the one for the psp soon!

grdwalker
grdwalker

i cant wait i have all the ratchet and clanks so far. this one looks good to keep up the trend.

bagmup
bagmup

Great game series,looks like i'll lose my ps3 to the kids for a while ahwell

tikiz
tikiz

The series rocks!!!! I cant wait for this game!!!

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

I love this series!!! Its a classic in the making and I can`t wait to play this.

ShweyGamer
ShweyGamer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

assman137
assman137

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

shibipocanibo
shibipocanibo

@thug_angel123: Naughty Dog is Jak's developer, not Insomniac, and they're paying attention to Drake. But I'm sure we'll see another Jak game soon. However, seeing as how Insomniac and ND are practically zygotic twins, you'll be seeing Jak's face at least once in R&CF:TfD.

Chaosjak93
Chaosjak93

I wonder if the Giant Clank missions are gonna be more challenging then previous games

thug_angel123
thug_angel123

damn iwas expecting a sequel to jak but R&C doesn't sound that bad..

Willy105
Willy105

Sony shouldn't be left alone in the platformer war. Just because the main competitors are Mario Galaxy and Banjo-Threeie, it doesn't mean Sony should be left behind.

assassinX01
assassinX01

". . .Transmorpher, a weapon that turns your opponents into...penguins." !@#$%^$@#$@#$!!!! why the hell didn't they put that in Resistance:Fall of Man!? That's like my dream gun.

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

What is the appeal of this game series?

gahzoo
gahzoo

YES!!!Finally!me being a R&C fan ive been w8ing for 1 4 ps3

Katosepe321
Katosepe321

anyone know why this game is called Ratchet and Clank Future??

goodemon
goodemon

oh yesss. I can't wait to hear about multiplayer. W00t

perryelvandrez
perryelvandrez

Can't wait for this one to hit the PS3 finally !

Stuartlil17
Stuartlil17

I love the whole series. I hope this is just as good (or better) than up your arsenal.

TheUndyingOne
TheUndyingOne

uhh... 12Dan12, did I catch you insulting Clank? No matter how little he does, Clank could kick your ass. (btw, I know you didn't say he couldn't)

Chaosjak93
Chaosjak93

There should be Online Space Battles

dhalsim311
dhalsim311

Seeing this game just makes me want to play through them all again. It sucks tho because the first one is so hard to find at game x change and gamestop.

dmastor
dmastor

gosh i want this game i don't feel that bad that i don't have a ps3 because i never played the first 3

verdugoRE4
verdugoRE4

The RAC series are excellent. Now that it has the PS3 to back it up, I'm hoping that Tools of Destruction turns out to be one of the series best. I have a great feeling it will.

aragon245
aragon245

Good ol' Ratchet and Clank. I'm just hoping they can out do Up Your Aresenal, that's going to be tough.

12Dan12
12Dan12

does anybody notice that the robot hardly does anything useful in the whole series

desanvium
desanvium

This series is a classic example of "it if ain't broke..." - go back to what works, guys. I'll be happy to see the result in glorious 1080p.

icytower
icytower

Not my cup of tea sadly, it looks like a good game series.

Kar3
Kar3

the graphics are really a step up from past games. gameplay hasnt changed much but thats what made the game good as well as the humor. as long as they stick to this formula future ratchet games will turn out ok.

shariq7
shariq7

soooooooooooooo coooooooooooooooool

MC_Raptor
MC_Raptor

it's so smooth and crisp, yet bubbly and soft!!!! i can't believe how much graphics have improved!!!

vuvussi
vuvussi

The Ratchet and clank series has improved so much. Personally i like the first one best but i think this Ratchet and clank will be the best one in the series. Reasons, Great Graphics, Humor, Gameplay and environments This game will rock!!!

Freestyle_20
Freestyle_20

gonna rock im buyin a ps3 for this killzone 2 and heavenly sword fifa pro evo and gta of course

Victor_N
Victor_N

As time goes we see how the PS3 is slowly moving up in the ranks..It might still not be in the first places in terms of sales just yet but you'll see how this console kicks nintendos and microsofts ass. Just look at the PS3's upcoming titles and alot of other stuff that will come out for the PS3. R&C is a must buy game which I will have for sure and I already have my PS3 and I cant wait for games like MGS4, killzone2, R&C, heavenly sword, Lair and damn I can keep going LOL

fjereide
fjereide

this is the game that makes me consider buying a next gen console since it cost a fortune in Norway were i live. I love the R & C games it was the first game i played on ps2 and i love it

xBoomjx
xBoomjx

This is going to be the best ratchet and clank game ever.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

I've played all of the ratchet and clank games and each one was amazing! I will definately get this as these games kickass!