I'd never played any Ratchet & Clank games before giving this one a test drive - and now it looks like I'll have to add the other games to my library. I can barely sit here and write this review, because I want to keep playing!
You play as Ratchet, the last known survivor of a catlike race known as the Lombaxes. Clank is your robot buddy, who spends most of his time strapped to your back, offering advice, or using a well-placed propeller to slow your fall. Your nemesis is Tachyon, the last survivor of the Cragmite race, who will accept nothing less than the complete domination of the universe.
Most of the time you'll be running around as Ratchet, trying to collect bolt points or Raritanium crystals to power up and purchase new weaponry. Every once in a while you get to play as Clank, and unlike other games where secondary characters may not be very fun to play, Clank has unique abilities like being able to slow time and control other characters. With a seamless menu, you can choose weapons, deploy items, wear costumes, take flight, and more. Your goal is to discover the Lombax secret, and stop Tachyon's tyrannic reign of terror.
(1) The graphics are very crisp and clear, even on a non-HD television. The visuals are similar to the type used in the original Crash Bandicoot game, but with a Blu-Ray redux and a 3-D environment to explore.
(2) There is little bit of every kind of gameplay. Want to lay waste to hordes of enemies with a flamethrower? You can do that. Want to collect trinkets to upgrade your weapons? You can do that. Want to dance like a pirate and shake your booty? You can do that. Want to go rail-sliding like a skateboarder? You can do that. Want to avoid surface-to air rockets with the Sixaxis controller while free-falling? You can do that. Want to shoot down enemies in a spaceship? You can do that. Want to make your enemies dance to a disco ball before sending them to meet their maker? Yep, you can do that too!
(3) Having infinite lives. This game is designed to keep you entertained and keep you playing until the story ends... with infinite lives, you can keep trying to jump that chasm, fight that boss battle, or duck that laser until success is in your grasp. Kudos to the game designers for including this feature.
(4) The humor. From the computer countdown "Oops...3-2-1!" to Qwark's pleads of "I'm too handsome to die!", Ratchet & Clank had me chuckling all the way from the opening credits to the end titles. Some of the jokes remind me of the game Blasto - and there's more than one character presenting the jokes here.
(5) The secret goodies. It's no surprise that video games are less about high scores and more about unlocking secrets these days. There are secret weapons, character skins, hidden areas, and using a style similar to Resistance: Fall Of Man, there is a long list of "skill points" to unlock, which skyrockets the replay value. The requirements are not always clear, but there are more than enough internet sites to help you out.
(1) The camera angles. Unfortunately, there are a few places where the "behind the back" camera angle can get stuck and the shaking becomes nauseating. Thankfully there aren't many of these, so it can be overlooked.
(2) The skill points. Yes, this is a positive, but it is also a negative. Most of the skill points are really fun to earn, but a few are next to impossible to achieve without an astronomically high level of patience. Those infinite lives will come in handy for the hardcore gamers.
(3) Weak boss fights. Almost every boss in this game can be defeated with little difficulty. While some people may feel games like God of War are too difficult, I think there should be a middle ground - and this game almost feels too easy at times.
In closing, if you had fun playing games like Blasto or Crash Bandicoot, you'll have a great time with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. The rating of E+10 means that pretty much anyone can play the game and enjoy it.