Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating and My age rating.

Gameplay sum up: There are eighteen planets, which are navigated by a planetary map, and reached with Ratchet's starship. After fighting they're way to the end of a planet, Ratchet and Clank will come across a holo-vid pointing them to their next objective, and in turn the corodinates to the next planet. The base gameplay consists of landing on a planet; breaking dozens of crates (filled with bolts, health, and ammo); killing and collecting bolts from downed enemies (currency for buying your weapons and armor); jumping and hovering (with the help of Clank) from platform to platform, grinding on rails, walking on magnetized walls and swimming; and upgrading your weapons, resulting in increased fire power and new abilities—after you complete a planet, you move on to the next one.

Beyond the basic formula, one planet gives you access to the arena, where you can compete in multiple matches, which pit you against dozens of opponents, with a variety of objectives (like beat enemies before time runs out, don't get hit even once, finish the round before you're knocked out by gas, etc.); A few key moments put you in the shoes of Clank, who can enter smaller places than Ratchet, and activate devices by commanding fellow robots (with attack, follow, etc.) to further progress certain levels; and there are a few on-rail (meaning you can only move a set amount, while it takes you through the level like a rollercoaster) starship battles in space.

And new to this game, is the addition of several Sixaxis (the built-in tilt control in every PS3 controller) mini-games like: using the Decryptor to open certain locked doors, which will bring you to a mini game where you have to complete a tilt ball puzzle by tilting a mini circuit board; use Clank's wings to fly through rings and tilt the remote to steer Ratchet in the air; cut through certain walls by tilting the remote and moving the cutting laser along a set path; and while freefalling to a planet, you use the remote to tilt Ratchet and dodge incoming missiles.

Alcohol reference: One area has you fight in a robot pirate bar, with neon signs showing the pirates tipping glasses of grog into their mouths. You also overhear pirates singing about grog in a few of the levels, and after destroying one of their outposts, a pirate states, "We hadn't even finished building the pub yet!

Animated blood: When you shoot or hit the main enemy (Fish Drophyd), they fall out of their robot suits and start to flop on the floor (as they're fish). If you shoot or hit them with your wrench, they will disappear into a (very) light splatter/puff of orange/yellow goo. Another enemy (who are oversized bugs) will explode into a moderate splatter/puff of yellow/green goo. They will also leave behind large droplets of green, jello-like goo (but this is used as ammo for a certain weapon). A bigger version of this bug will explode into a large amount of bubble gum colored/looking (blue, purple, pink) goo when you destroy it. "Blood" (more like goo) effects and enemy bodies disappear in a few seconds. Other than these listed above, there are no actual red colored or gratuitous blood effects.

Crude humor:

  • While Ratchet and Clank are talking to Captain Qwark, the main villain appears on a nearby screen, and states to Qwark, "Hurry up and get over here! I have boils that need lancing!" (Qwark's his hostage servant) Qwark then whispers to them in a silly and desperate tone, "Pray for me!"
  • While Ratchet and Clank are hiding from two enemy pirates, you overhear the pirates sing a breif song about, "Me hearties sing chant-ies of girls in loose pant-ies," and when they enter, the lead pirate states, "Ah, what be that foul smell?!" His subordinate then says, "Arg! (in an apologetic tone) That oyster chili be disagree with me somethin' fierce!" But the pirate leader quickly dismisses this, and says it's not that--he smells Ratchet.
  • While flying over an enemy base, Ratchet's ship is hit and starts to go down. One of the side characters asks, "Do you rookies have the stones to make a HALO jump? Clank (a robot) then asks Ratchet, "I do not understand. What are stones, and do I have them? Ratchet replies, "I'll tell you later...and no."
  • While Ratchet and Clank talk again with Qwark, he (Qwark) pulls out a device and says, "I found this in Tachyon's underwear drawer (with Ratchet holding his nose in disgust, while waving his hand in front of the device), I thought it would help?" (Which it does; it's the clue to the next planet's location).
  • In a few, certain areas, you have to disco dance with three other pirates to prove you are one. A mini-game plays out where you have to match up your moves with the other dancers. One of the moves during this dance is to "shake your booty!" which (by shaking your remote) will result in your character turning around and shaking his behind towards the camera.
  • Feeling sorry for himself, Qwark talks about how he doesn't deserve his buff body, and he starts to list what they are, as the camera focuses on each area he talks about. It then does a tight shot of him touching his behind as he says he doesn't deserve his, "Impeccable glutes, and bulbous bottom!"

Fantasy violence: (This is the fifth in the series) A strange, small and boisterous creature called Emperor Tachyon has taken it upon himself to rid the world of the last Lombax in existence: Ratchet. Ratchet doesn't know why Tachyon wants him dead, but he intends to find out. To make matters worse, Captain Qwark, the quasy (famous) "super hero" has gotten himself kidnapped by robots, and now these same robots, led by Tachyon, are invading the galaxy. It's time for Ratchet and Clank to stop them, and along the way, discover more about Ratchet's Lombax heritage...

The story itself is full of silly, slapstick, sarcastic, and clever humor, with many comments like, "Ah! Kill'em all! Sell their kidneys." Or, in-game ads for an arena event states, "Mad for mayhem? Crave carnage? Adore destruction? It's the greatest, bloodiest, goriest (no, there's no gore) battle in the universe! (in quick hushed voice) Rated 'M' for mature..." There are also disco dancing robot pirates and many other silly things. So in other words, it is sarcastic and a bit over-the-top, but pretty harmless, cartoony, and all done in a fun, light tone.

The violence is very fantastical, with mass explosions, crashes, constant fire from the enemy, utter mayhem and frantic chaos. And although you will fight a variety of wild creatures, the majority of your enemy consists of several different types of robots. Ratchet will be fighting them with a couple of dozen (fully upgradeable) weapons. The majority of these weapons have exaggerated and ridiculous fire-power, like a plasma ball shooter, one that launches mini tornados, another shoots multiple spikes, nuclear hand grenades, etc. Ratchet can also attack enemies with his wrench. When Ratchet disposes of an enemy, it will explode into a cloud of bolts (currency), metal (if it's a robot), colorful firework-like particle effects, and/or puffs of smoke. Beyond this, the overall tone of violence is mild, the cutscenes' action is comparable to Looney Toon's over-the-top antics, and the actual gameplay is no worse (in fact, maybe more mild) than the sometimes chaotic and moderately violent cartoons kids watch today.

Language: After Ratchet aquires a certain weapon, the database narrator refers to the weapon as "whoop a**." While Ratchet fights in arena matches, Qwark (who narrates the matches) will sometimes say, "There comes a time in every challenger's life, where he discovers that he is completely and utterly sc**wed!" A later scene shows Tachyon crash into a wall while trying to make a cool get away, prompting him to say in frustration, "Oh...son of a...hold on."

During a dire situation, Ratchet states, "We are so sc**wed!" While Qwark practices his pirate "AR!" he blurts out, "You saucy wench!"—but immediately covers his mouth in surprise. At one point a space pirate says, "Me wee cannon balls!" A description of one of the arena events reads: "You killed his family. You framed him for murder. Okay. Maybe not. But he's p**sed anyway." Other than these, there are a couple of slang and mildly disrespectful terms like fool, wench (used again by a robot pirate), suck, and shutup.

Content review posted: 08/24/08

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