May 11, 2007 - Sony Computer Entertainment will hold a massive (and we're talking huge) San Diego press event next week that will highlight dozens upon dozens of upcoming PS3, PSP, and PS2 titles. Among the truckload of games on hand will be Insomniac's Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction -- which will also be making its public debut for the very first time. What can we expect to see and what other elements of the game will be addressed? Tools of Destruction creative director Brian Allgeier granted us an early interview to let us know -- and some of the revelations his made were quite surprising...
IGN: There have been four PS2 games and a PSP title in the series already, in developing R&C Future how is Insomniac pushing the franchise forward and using the new hardware to make the most of the Lombax and his robot?
Brian Allgeier: After having completed four Ratchet and Clank games, we felt that we really pushed the franchise to the PS2's limits. We had our best pre-production period yet during development of Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, which gave us some extra time to play with the PS3 technology and think of how we could evolve the franchise. It has been really exciting for us to be able to envision a much richer and detailed universe. The quality of the lighting combined with our highly detailed surface technology has helped to create a convincing world where there's lots of activity and places to explore. In addition, more sophisticated character techniques allow us to create characters that are more detailed, more expressive and more fun than ever before.
Many of the things that players have enjoyed from past games have benefited from the new technology as well. We've incorporated Sixaxis into some of our weapons, for example. The Tornado Launcher is one such weapon that can be used to fire out whirlwinds that the player can guide by tilting the controller. They can do this while simultaneously evading enemies and even using other weapons. This is something that we could not have done on past games without losing control of Ratchet.
IGN: A little known fact about the development of Tools of Destruction is that you're heading up the Ratchet team completely while Ted focuses on the Resistance franchise. Can you talk a bit about how your role has changed from previous games and what's different about making this game for you compared to the previous titles?
Allgeier: Those are certainly some big shoes to fill! Fortunately, Ted still checks in very frequently on the project and offers a lot of great advice. Though I've led the design on the PS2 franchise since the first R&C game, I now have some new responsibilities as creative director, which involves directing the overall creative vision for Ratchet & Clank Future.
While much of my role as lead designer has stayed the same, I now review the story, art, and animation aspects of the game. This role is fairly new for us and it's been working out well to have one person who makes sure that the story, gameplay, and visual direction are in alignment.
IGN: With Sony's Gamers Day coming up next week, the time is nigh. This will be Ratchet's "coming out" party. What do you guys have in store for the show and what are you going to focus on?
Allgeier: We're excited to share a work-in-progress glimpse into Tools of Destruction at Gamer's Day. We're going to talk about our vision for the next-generation of the franchise and why it involves dancing centipedes. We're also going to show examples during gameplay of ways we're trying to make Ratchet Future the most vivid and vibrant Ratchet and Clank game yet. As for specifics, we'll be revealing a new weapon and gadget, along with a new level.
IGN: How long will the demo be and which section of the game is it taken from?
Allgeier: The presentation will be relatively short, though we'll also be showing new content in the Arcade afterwards. The gameplay shown in the presentation will be from Kerchu City, which occurs roughly 2/3 the way through the game. The new level occurs toward the game's onset.
IGN: How many weapons will we get to toy around with?
Allgeier: Depends. Do you have a license to operate them? You'll get to see more than five weapons, but that's all you're getting out of me for now.