Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is a shining example of the power and awesome potential of the Sony PlayStation 3.

It is a testament to what can be accomplished by pairing extremely talented programmers with a highly skilled cinematic team, and the synergy that results. Ratchet & Clank Future - Tools of Destruction shines as an example of the burgeoning medium for melding cinema with gaming interaction, and points toward the future of entertainment.

First and foremost, Ratchet & Clank Future - Tools of Destruction is a brilliant video game. This was my first console experience with R&C (I loved Size Matters, available for the PSP), and I'm hooked.

As you start out in Festoon City, don't be surprised if you're quickly overwhelmed at the scope of the first level. The city landscape is beautiful, and highly active.

Vehicles race across the screen in the distance as you fight your way through Festoon, battling robots (piloted by small fish aliens) along the way. The attention to detail is stunning, featuring a spectacular array of colors, and a highly interactive environment. If it looks like you can do it, you probably can.

Anyone with gaming experience has no doubt come across games with levels where you thought it could have worked better. Maybe you thought you could climb on a ledge, or jump across a chasm. In this game, if it looks feasible, give it a shot. You can climb and jump to your heart's content.

The game often rewards you for this - and handsomely. The game's two forms of currency are bolts (used to buy new weapons and gadgets) and raritanium (used to upgrade weapons). These are found sufficient abundance throughout the game. Worth noting: after beating the game, a player is given the option to play through again with a more difficult setting. In this mode, as you rack up kills without taking damage, you're awarded a multiplier for bolts and raritanium collected.

If you find yourself short on bolts or raritanium, you can visit the gladiator arena. The arena offers several challenges, ranging from boss battles to being restricted to a single weapon. You can play through the challenges as frequently as you wish, at any point, and more challenges become available as you progress through the game.

What a great thing - the developers did everything imaginable to make sure you enjoy playing the game. Sure, some hardcore gamers might be turned off, but the rest of the world can enjoy going back to the gladiator arena at our leisure, or if we just want to collect some extra bolts or raritanium.

In addition, you can revisit planets you've already conquered. Other nice touches by the developers include letting you use rocket boots to race around the world instead of making you walk or run across long open spaces, or using Clank's wings to reach the top of a building or other structures just to explore.

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