The newest Ratchet & Clank game, Tools of Destruction, blasted onto the PS3 with full force, taking advantage of the PlayStation 3’s technology and pushing the graphics and gameplay up several notches. It’s an altogether fun game that I’m still not finished playing – some of the last Skill Points and Gold Bolts remain elusive.

Today, while browsing the Internet, I was surprised to discover that a new Ratchet & Clank game was announced already. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty picks up where Tools of Destruction left off with a (somewhat frustrating) cliffhanger ending, where Clank was taken from Ratchet by the mysterious robotic Zoni.

Ratchet appears to be flying solo for this one, although the return of Tools of Destruction‘s characters seems fairly definite. His OmniWrench – the nearly worthless hunk of metal he’s been carrying around since the first game – gains some new powers, allowing him the ability to move around objects in the gameworld.

With this new gameplay comes puzzles and exploration. Most of Ratchet & Clank has been fairly geared towards blowing shit up. The first Ratchet & Clank and the most recent seem to be the two games with the most open worlds to explore. (Deadlocked, of course, decided to chuck the platforming out the window, which turned out not to be that great of an idea.) Hopefully, the platforming in Quest for Booty won’t suffer from a lack of Clank, considering you really need the little guy’s extra boost to get around.

Another interesting bit about Quest for Booty: It’s a short game, about four hours of gameplay. The price is significantly lower because of this – $15, last I heard. This has led some people to wonder if this is just some sort of “expansion pack” for Tools of Destruction, but no, it’s a standalone game alright, if a bit short. It’s planned out to be more movielike than its predecessors, and more carefully paced. An interesting approach for a company that was praised for its latest game because it was compared to playing a Pixar movie.

At any rate, here’s hoping that Insomniac isn’t rushing out a game just to make a quick buck, and they’re still the creative, innovative, and funny company they’ve always been. Also, let’s hope we find out where the hell Clank is, the little bugger.

Here’s a few screenshots I found of the game. And for the curious, here’s the official trailer (not so much a trailer as an Insomniac talking with some Ratchet in-between):