Top 100 Games of All-Time: #58

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Release Date: October 23, 2007

Platform Played On: PS3

2018 Placement: #50 (-8)

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What It Is:

If you press me, I’d probably say that Ratchet & Clank is my favorite PS2 era series. The only thing that comes close is the PS2 era of GTA games. Tools of Destruction is the first game of the series on the PS3 and it was everything I wanted in a PS2 to PS3 upgrade of the series. Up Your Arsenal and Deadlocked had done different things with the franchise that I felt were to its detriment (UYA tried to add multiplayer, Deadlocked removed the planet-hopping exploration and focused more on combat) but Tools of Destruction was a return to form.

Ratchet & Clank games are 3-D platformer shooters about the two titular characters and every game mixes crazy weaponry with fun platforming and occasional spaceship battles. Sometimes you control the two separately – and while most people think Crack in Time has the best Clank gameplay, I really like the manipulating of Zoni that is his main signature in this game. Tools of Destruction also adds Raritanium upgrades to weapons, giving weapons additional oomph. They also bring back the Grind Boots in this version, and the grind rails make up some of my favorite set pieces when I play R&C games.

Why It’s Important To Me:

There were several different PS2 era “mascot” platformers – Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper – but I only played R&C and stuck with the franchise. I’ve owned every R&C game except the mobile ones – even the co-op focused All 4 One – and the characters and gameplay just hold a very special place in my heart. Most people say Crack in Time is the best of the PS3 games but I’ve always preferred Tools of Destruction just because of how good it felt to have a “classic” R&C game that got back to its roots.

It introduces R&C staples like the Groovitron and Mr. Zurkon, two of the greatest devices in the history of the franchise. It also has some of my favorite weapons including the Buzz Blades, the Tornado Launcher, and the Negotiator. I also love the Shock Ravager, but in terms of R&C whips I prefer the Plasma Whip of Up Your Arsenal (the one thing I prefer from that game). All in all it’s a blast of a game and the sum of its parts makes it one of the best in the franchise, in my opinion.

My Strongest Memory:

I really enjoy “on rails” platforming gameplay. In the Donkey Kong Country series, my favorite levels are the mine cart/roller coaster/etc. levels where you have to time your jumps to  jump between tracks or over pits, etc. Ratchet & Clank’s grind rail sections activate the same pleasure centers in my brain, so after them not being present in Up Your Arsenal and Deadlocked I was super excited to have them back in this game. I cannot overstate my giddiness when the first grind rail setpiece on Kerwan happened. Simply bringing them back may be a large reason why I hold this game in such high regard.

It’s been a long time since I played Tools of Destruction so I don’t remember much about the specific plot (other than the Zoni and it setting up Crack in Time) unfortunately. But I do still hold the gameplay and weapons/devices in high regard in comparison to other entries in the series.

Why It’s #58:

It’s a Ratchet & Clank game, so it represents a beloved series for me. It deserves a higher spot even if my memory of it is fuzzy. I guess I need to pull my PS3 out from storage and replay this again. Or maybe an HD Rerelease of Tools of Destruction and Crack in Time on the PS5? Insomniac are you listening? Do it!

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