The PS3 needs a hero. For every game like Heavenly Sword that demonstrates what the console’s capable of, along comes an unmitigated disaster like Lair that shakes our confidence in the new console. But now that Ratchet & Clank are on the scene, Sony’s big hunk o’ plastic finally has an action adventure worth shouting about.
Like previous games in the series, the main appeal of Tools Of Destruction is its diverse gameplay; the action is staged across a wide variety of sprawling levels, each crawling with imaginative enemies, structures that can be blasted into dust, and dozens of fun mini games that keep the action fresh and exciting. Richly detailed graphics help elevate the experience beyond the odd couple’s outings on earlier consoles, and the larger levels also mean there’s more opportunity to tackle challenges in an order that suits you, rather than being forced along a narrow, linear path.
But what really sets TOD apart from the competition is its inventive weapons and hilarious set pieces. As well as a range of outrageous rocket launchers that fire missiles at multiple targets, the game also features guns that hurl blob-like creatures to attack enemies and a disco ray that makes monsters dance themselves into a frenzy, the ability to upgrade weapons and make them deadlier also helping to keep the carnage from becoming stale.
Amazingly, TOD also does a fine job of harnessing the Sixaxis’ motion-controls during the myriad flight sequences, showing that the PS3 pad can ape the Wii’s gesture-based gaming if used correctly, and making a game like Lair seem even clumsier.
A love of cartoon humour is essential to enjoying this game - and you may want to knock a star off the final score if gratuitous surrealism and animated hijinks leave you cold - but TOD is still one of the most inspired and enjoyable PS3 romps to date.
Reviewed by David McComb