At a Sony press event earlier this week, we got our first look at Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction since the game's unveiling back in March. While void of any major news regarding the title, this presentation gave us a taste of a new level and a look at a new weapon and gadget. The game still looks beautiful, but for now we'll get into the specifics.
In the new area, Cobalia, Ratchet and Clank (well, mostly Ratchet, since Clank serves as little more than a backpack here, though Clank will be playable in a couple of his own levels) land after their spaceship has crashed and have to deal with a bunch of space pirates. The setting looks somewhat similar to first level shown, Kerchu City, with lots of bright colors, vegetation and giant shiny industrial buildings, though Cobalia has more of a wilderness feel with water surrounding many parts of the environment.
On the gadget side, Insomniac showed off the new Visi-copter, a floating toy helicopter of sorts that players maneuver with the PS3's tilt controls and can use to shoot at enemies from areas Ratchet can't reach. Because the Visi-copter takes over your view of the screen, currently the game requires players to stash Ratchet in a safe place before triggering it, but the developers are looking into this and may decide to give Ratchet a shield or something to make things more user friendly.
SCREENS: Click the image above to check out all Tools of Destruction screens.
For weapons, the following were on hand: Combustor, Fusion Grenade, Tornado Launcher, Plasma Beasts, Flamethrower, Buzz Blades, and Gelanator. The Gelanator is a gun that creates giant square jello structures you can build up, climb on, and use to reach specific areas or cross dangerous gaps. It also looks pretty cool.
The big question about Tools of Destruction at this point is if there will be any big feature introduced that will make the gameplay feel significantly different from what's been in past Ratchet games. The single-player campaign seems to be appropriately meaty with over 20 levels, and the new graphics engine unquestionably makes the game seem fresh, but it feels like there might be something big in the wings that Insomniac has yet to reveal, given the straightforward nature of what's been shown thus far.
Sony's plan is for the game's hands-on debut to take place at E3 in June, so we'll definitely be on the lookout for any details we can round up in the meantime. If you're looking for more on the game this very second, head on over to our videos page and check out the new footage of the game's Kerchu City level.