Sony's best-selling Ratchet & Clank series makes its PS3 debut with a return to the play mechanics and sly humor introduced in the 2001 original. Incorporating both shooting and platform jumping segments, Tools of Destruction finds Ratchet on a personal mission to stop a Lombax-loathing emperor from destroying his species. Droll sidekick Clank accompanies his feline-like friend on an action-packed trek across the cosmos. The duo will visit and explore new 3D worlds, from a prehistoric land inhabited by towering dinosaurs to a swamp-like world crawling with insects. To bring the planets to life, developer Insomniac Games created an enhanced version of the graphics engine used in Resistance: Fall of Man, the company's first PS3 game.
Once again a number of inventive weapons and gadgets are available to defeat the comical creatures populating each planet. The Transmorpher temporarily changes enemies into waddling penguins with a keen fashion sense, while the Groovatron forces foes to get down and get funky. Jiggling gelatin cubes are generated with the Gelanator, which Ratchet can use to reach higher areas. Several cinematic events are woven into the action for diversity, from grinding atop twisting rails to engaging in space combat while traveling across fixed paths. Along the way players will encounter several new characters that shed light on both Ratchet and Clank's pasts.
The motion-sensing Sixaxis controller is even put to use in selected areas, including weapons, moves, and puzzles. The Tornado Launcher, for example, fires a twister that can be "steered" toward a target by tilting the controller, allowing Ratchet to move independently with the analog stick. Players must also tilt to avoid objects while freefalling, to manipulate circuit panels, and to even fly with Clank's robo-wings -- one of several new abilities the little robot acquires as he progresses. While Tools of Destruction does not feature a multiplayer mode, solo players are encouraged to revisit areas to unlock bonus content and other surprises.