At the end of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Clank is kidnapped by the mysterious Zoni, a race of “time beings” that had helped Ratchet and Clank through their adventures in R&CF:ToD. A small (four hours of gameplay) sequel was released on the Playstation Network called R&CF: Quest for Booty (not yet reviewed). In R&CF:QfB, you are introduced into some new game play concepts (which carry over to the full sequel). Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, though, is the full sequel to R&CF:ToD.
The bad things right off the bat: No pirates. No Talwyn.
Things that take a while to grow on you: For me it took me a bit to get used to playing Ratchet for a while as he searched for Clank, and then any time he “warped” to the next system, you’d play Clank through for a bit.
Cool things: Space combat! System exploration! If you’ve ever played Chronotron, some of the Clank sequences are going to remind you of the style of game play – lots of “Okay, this version of me does this while this other version does this,” and it may very well have you up late at night trying to work it all out, rerecording yourself doing things again and again to get other selves a little farther along so that you can get to where you want to go. Some of the new weapons take a bit of getting used to, and can take a bit to realize that they are actually quite useful.
Much like R&CF:ToD, you will find yourself revisiting past destinations in an effort to collect everything (particularly when you get that handy tool that tells you where it all is), in order to say you’ve collected everything and also to open a special system. Oh, and when you visit the Clock to collect all of the bolts, be aware that one of the maps can be misleading as to where one of the Gold Bolts is.
Death can be as forgiving in R&CF:ACIT as it was in R&CF:ToD – you aren’t sent all the way back to the beginning unless it’s absolutely fair to do so.
Weapons don’t have the same style of upgrades in R&CF:ACIT as they did in R&CF:ToD – no Raritanium collection in this game. Instead, you have to hunt down mods, and even then only for some of your more “basic” weapons. The good news is that some of these mods give your older weapons new life – your gun will take on new capabilities, and your grenades have new options. Like R&CF:ToD though, the more you use a weapon the more dangerous it becomes.
Oh, one other really neat thing: When you get a new weapon, the game designers include a nice introductory “cartoon” about the weapon – like an ad from Grummelnet congratulating you on your new purchase.
I (not quite “blindly”) spent nearly $60 for this. Having been craving a new R&C game for a while (and almost getting to the point of finding cheap copies of the earlier PS2 R&C games and hooking up the old PS2 to the TV), I think it was money well spent. However, you might want to wait just a little bit to see if the price comes down a tad.
In some ways things are a tad more simplified in R&CF:ACIT than they were in R&CF:ToD, but this was to make way for additional game play styles and options. All in all, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time is a worthy successor to Tools of Destruction.
(For more information regarding the overall plot and specific plot elements, I suggest reading the Wikipedia article and seeing if anyone’s updated it from time to time.)