All of this, and we haven't even gotten to the Sixaxis stuff yet. Early on in the game, Clank learns he can sprout wings, so there are a few times when you'll fly around levels while tilting the controller to steer. It's kind of fun, but ultimately pointless. Ratchet can also cut through some surfaces with a laser that you control by twisting the controller, and he can even hack security systems with motion controls by rolling a ball around and conducting electricity. Lest we forget, there are a few times when Clank goes solo. These situations are more puzzle- and platforming-oriented than Ratchet's, and you'll have to use the zoni aliens to help repair items and manipulate bridges. They say variety is the spice of life, but there's such a thing as too much spice.
Although these ancillary modes break up the flow of the game, the core gameplay is so solid that you'll still have lots of fun on this 10-12 hour adventure. Combat is quite satisfying, and though you have to be a bit conservative with your ammo, should you run out it's never too long until you can restock. This lets you focus on happily decimating robots and aliens. Each of the game's levels takes place on its own planet, with its own theme and style. There's a volcanic planet; a jungle level; a floating city; a level amongst some asteroids that has a cool teleporting mechanic; Ratchet's rocky, cliff-filled planet; and a few more adventure game clichÂ£s. There's generally one linear path to a level's main objective, but there's plenty of opportunity for exploring if you're trying to find the game's many collectable items. This isn't a collect-a-thon--many of the items are optional--but you'll still spend a fair amount of time smashing boxes and collecting bolts. If at first you eschew the collectable items but then decide you want to seek them out, you can revisit planets at any time. However, the collecting doesn't slow the game down much, and thanks to clearly laid-out paths and a helpful map, you're rarely at a loss as to what to do next.
You won't have to worry much about dying slowing you down, either, even though when you do die you often have to do large portions of the level over. The game is extremely easy and gets remotely difficult only in the last hour or so. The difficulty will be fine for kids, but anyone who has played a Ratchet game before will likely find this adventure to be too easy. There's no option to change the difficulty setting, but you do unlock a harder mode once you finish the game.
One thing the developer did nail was the game's graphics. Tools of Destruction is probably one of the most vibrant and colorful games you've ever seen. Part of this is due to the lighting, which makes everything look more dynamic, but the game uses lots of pastel colors and what appear to be hand-drawn backgrounds to make everything look like a cross between a cartoon and a Pixar movie. Each level has a unique (though not particularly original) visual style, so you really feel as if you're visiting different planets when you move from one level to the next, not just different areas of the same place. Weapons are made all that more enjoyable thanks to some outstanding particle effects and explosions that don't tax the game's speedy, smooth frame rate in the slightest. With all of the camera pans, explosions, and dozens of characters onscreen at once, it's almost as if the developer was taunting the frame rate, daring it to slow down. Other than in a few brief instances, it never does.
Ratchet don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind.
Ratchet & Clank's audio is solid but mostly unremarkable. The voice acting is quite good, and there are some funny lines to be sure, but even that can't salvage the uninteresting story. Save for the great pirate theme, the music generally stays in the background and is pretty average. Sound effects are suitably bombastic and help bring the combat to life.
Try as it might, Tools of Destruction doesn't achieve the same level of greatness as its predecessors. It's too easy, the story falls flat, and the "throw everything in including the kitchen sink" style of gameplay takes too much of the focus off the tight platforming and fun combat. That said, the gorgeous visuals and generally fun gameplay are enough to make Tools of Destruction worthwhile for the series' fans and newcomers alike.