A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game has heavy doses of cartoon-like violence. Players destroy bad robots and kill evil aliens using science-fiction weaponry that includes a thermonuclear rocket launcher, rapid-fire razor blades, and an electric whip. Defeated robots disappear in small explosions and bested aliens wink out of existence in a flash of light, sometimes leaving behind puddles of green or orange blood. The game's humor revolves around the violence: Many of the weapons are designed to be funny, and villains often joke about our heroes' impending deaths.
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What's it about?
Meet Ratchet: A cute and furry little mammal who just happens to have the biggest arsenal of gadgets and guns this side of the Milky Way. He's also the last of his kind, and that's apparently reason enough for nasty galactic tyrant Emperor Tachyon to want to hunt him down in RATCHET & CLANK FUTURE: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION, a game that sees our hero exploring the universe to learn about his past as he fights off an invading army of robots and aliens. The heart of the game is Ratchet's stockpile of odd and innovative gear, like the Groovitron, which makes nearby enemies stop attacking and bust a move, and the powerful Tornado Launcher, which creates twisters that suck up bad guys like a nuclear-powered Hoover.
Is it any good?
After a couple of wayward entries in Sony's popular Ratchet & Clank series, the latest entry in the series goes back to its roots, delivering simple but inventive running, jumping, and shooting shenanigans. Detours from this formula are brief and involve enjoyable arcade-style Mini games, such as spaceship combat missions, and controlling Ratchet in freefall using the PlayStation 3's motion-sensitive Sixaxis controller. Tools of Destruction is possessed of a genuine -- if somewhat crude -- wit that's more common in film than in games. Virtually every line of dialogue is a joke (or a set-up for one), and many of Ratchet's gadgets -- like Mr. Zurikon, a robot helper that hurls insults at bad guys -- are as funny as they are useful.
The transition between the Hollywood-quality animation of the narrative sequences and the actual game is seamless, making it seem like you are playing in a computer-animated movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fantasy and science-fiction settings and how they differ from the real world. Which did you enjoy more: Ratchet's action-based missions or Clank's puzzle-oriented levels? Being a robot, Clank has a side quest in which he discovers he has a soul. This might lead to discussion about what a soul is and what sort of creatures have one.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.