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Hands-on: Ratchet & Clank Future

First off, does Ratchet look this good? The answer is clear: yes. But, is that enough to make the upcoming PS3-exclusive Ratchet & Clank Future worthwhile? Not necessarily.

As innovative and new as the graphics may appear, the gameplay feels identical to previous iterations of the Ratchet series. Of course, that's not a bad thing -- the franchise has rightfully earned its legions of fans. However, we couldn't help but feel as though we've played Tools of Destruction before. It feels more cinematic than before, but we were running, gunning, and swinging our wrench as though nothing had changed. Some may point to the new Groove-a-tron weapon, a colorful new weapon in Ratchet's arsenal. But, there are no significant gameplay ramifications: enemies will simply dance, instead of attack Ratchet. There's also a free-fall sequence, where the player must tilt the Sixaxis controller to navigate Ratchet past flying cars. But, these tilt controls do little to add a feeling of innovation to the series.

The polish of the game's presentation is certainly commendable, but we were puzzled by the lack of an adequate targeting system. The on-rails platforming, a series trademark, had us bored. Jumping left or right to avoid oncoming trains was tedious, at best. The utter simplicity of the sequence had us feeling like we were simply going through the motions. We're also disappointed to know that Insomniac has opted to remove a crucial component of the franchise in this latest rendition: multiplayer is gone.

Tools of Destruction might not end up being a bad game, but it did very little to convince us otherwise. We're sure that hardcore Ratchet fans will love it for its story, which will focus on the mysterious origins of its star. Although playing it safe might work for Insomniac and its fans, it's pretty obvious to us that team spent a lot more time focused on its graphics technology than what really matters: gameplay. As it is now, Tools of Destruction is an uninspired experience, one that feels like a backwards step for the series.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Wow, for once I don't agree with PS3fanboy's opinion. Personally I think they should stick to the same type of gameplay, cause other games when they try too hard to add in new additions, it loses sight of what made the original games good to begin with..

Posted at 2:44AM on Jul 16th 2007 by MisterTwoTurbo

2. If its not one thing its the other. If they focused on gameplay you guys would be bitching about how 360 games look better. pff.

Posted at 2:48AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Lp47

3. I was worried about this..

Posted at 2:54AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Naruto_sensei

4. I've never played a Ratchet game, so it'll be new to me. This hands-on sounds a bit unnecessarily harsh. It's like saying "all RPGs have hit points, boo!" or "all FPS titles have first-person shooting, boo!" If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'll be looking forward to this one.

Posted at 3:08AM on Jul 16th 2007 by ndoerr

5. =o
This hands on sounds like a review for a finished game... I agree that some elements probably feel like same ol same ol - but isn't that the point for a sequel? It's not as if Insomniac heralded it as the greatest achievement in the history of mankind. It's R&C! i feel as if Andy may be a hater for the furries this time... o=

Posted at 3:45AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Consolcwby

6. OTOH, GT5 is also going to suck because it has CARS! When are they going to drop that tired old gameplay that consists of having to drive(!) everywhere and evolve it into something with a more bionic-ninja-puzzle slant? With teleporters so you don't need to drive!

Sony sure are in trouble if all their devs are stagnating this much.

Posted at 3:47AM on Jul 16th 2007 by ck

7. dude of all the other sites, even 1up!, had really positive things to say about this game, ps3fanboy was the only one who had anything negative to say, i mean come on even g4 had something positive to say

Posted at 4:15AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Mishi

8. What's wrong with a standard platformer? There aren't any whatsoever on the PS3 and when the first of its kind is as incredibly polished as Ratchet & Clank Future, I can only be thrilled. Another thing, Andrew Yoon has only seen one level. He should have known that the R&C series has a lot of variation so there'll be plenty of other things to do. It seems to me that Andrew just doesn't like action-platformers that much.

Posted at 4:33AM on Jul 16th 2007 by ymmv

9. I highly favor the focus on single player. I hardly played the multi. Not every game should do multi just because it can. The last couple of Ratchet and Clank games it was obvious the single player suffered because of the need to allocate resources to multi.

I much prefer single player Ratchet and Clank and for everyone else, there's Resistance as well as a host of other games coming out.

And I'm sorry, but as a huge Ratchet and Clank fan, the fact that the gameplay seems about identical to past efforts is a huge plus to me. You get it right, you keep it right.

Posted at 4:42AM on Jul 16th 2007 by moneyforjam

10. i would love to play it even or rather because it's ratchet ok you jump and shoot but what would you want to do in plantform game >? as someone wrote in every GT you drive a car lol at that :) and i agree with someone else that there is so little platformers and sudennly you whine about game that it's platform game great looking but platform. i think that ratchet fans will love it. and people how doesn't know it will love it too because gameplay will be new. so what's the problem ?

Posted at 4:54AM on Jul 16th 2007 by kra

11. This isnt ps3faboy's guys, its joystiq's hands on impressions, ps3fanboy just copied and pasted their article onto their own site. Take a look here. http://www.joystiq.com/2007/07/16/joystiq-impressions-ratchet-and-clank-future-ps3/

Posted at 5:01AM on Jul 16th 2007 by vickers

12. Andrew, your usually so happy go lucky and optimistic. Can it really be this bad, say it aint so…
But I have to agree with a lot of these comments that this Ratchet and Clank is not a game where innovation is completely necessary, as long as it maintains the core gameplay that made the original such a classic it will be great! If the next one or the one after that doesn’t innovate at all, then I would begin to be concerned.

Posted at 5:07AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Luke

13. Holy lord! the amount of detail in the cityscapes is astounding! I downloaded some HD footage on IGN, and my jaw was gaping the whole time!

I've never played any R&C games, so this will be a treat for me!

Posted at 5:20AM on Jul 16th 2007 by motorer

14. The Scandinavian game site Gamereactor, says that it was a very good game, and I think/hope the same, and hope you're wrong! :)

Posted at 5:48AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Jakob

15. Damn... Why does every game have to revolutionize the genre. Halo has had the exact same gameplay for three games now. No one, and I mean no one, is complaining about that. It is a great thing that they're going back to the series roots. How can that be bad?

Posted at 7:04AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Colin

16. I've never played a RC game.. so, im looking forward to this.. and, its an RC game... why are you surprised that its an RC game? Its like turning Zelda into an FPS just to revolutionise it.. WHY?

Posted at 7:46AM on Jul 16th 2007 by humpty

17. I don't mind if plays same old, but i would like some really difficult bits thrown it. Something like the handgliding from R+C2 or most of Jak2.

Posted at 8:16AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Aysir

18. Errr what a suck ass review, if it isn't innovative it's not a good game? Then about 99% of all games are bad.

I don't understand, you liked NG:Sigma, and gameplay wise it does anything new over the original.

I bet when you play Killzone 2, it'll look good but it won't do anything new. So what's the big deal.

Posted at 8:44AM on Jul 16th 2007 by Naaiif

19. I never played any of the Ratchet & Clank series on anything so this should be a great first look for me. h

Posted at 9:12AM on Jul 16th 2007 by wonway01

20. "The polish of the game's presentation is certainly commendable, but we were puzzled by the lack of an adequate targeting system."

Was there a targeting system in the previous incarnations? I mean *before* obtaining the Lock-On Mod for your weapons?

Posted at 2:17PM on Jul 16th 2007 by ouj

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