Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review (PS5)
Ratchet & Clank have been a staple for the Playstation for many years now, Rift Apart takes that same formula, humor, and fun we know and love and puts that next-gen polish on it that only Playstation 5 can provide and makes a basically perfect game.
The game begins with a giant parade celebrating the heroics of Ratchet & Clank over the years. You travel from giant parade balloon to balloon as they give you a brief overview of the history of Ratchet & Clank which is a decent way for people to get caught up if they are new or forgot the story. At the end of the parade, Clank is to present Ratchet with a device known as the Dimensionator which would allow Ratchet (the only Lombax) to search out for his people. However, Dr. Nefarious steals the Dimensionator and tries to use it to find a dimension where he always wins. He subsequently accidentally damages the fabric of space and time. After traveling through several dimensional rifts, Clank eventually arrives in a dimension where he meets Rivet, who refers to know Dr. Nefarious as “Emperor Nefarious”. Rivet and Clank must then reunite with Ratchet and figure out Nefarious’ troops.
For those not familiar, Ratchet & Clank is an action platformer chock full of shooting chaos, insane weaponry, and lots of laughs along the way. Overall it’s a family-friendly game that is just as entertaining to watch as it is to play. You travel throughout the galaxy, and other dimensions, from planet to planet to complete objectives before moving on to the next location. Not quite an open-world game as your objectives are clearly mapped out with little side quests. However there are tons to explore and collect to customize your characters, unlock special filters, skins, and such with Golden Bolts, and get loot to upgrade your weaponry. Largely the same as the game has been throughout the years.
Where Rift Apart separates itself is in the technology behind the PS5 that makes it all possible. This game is an absolute STUNNER to look at, from lighting effects to all the action on the screen to all the movement and everything, the game NEVER slowed down at all. No frame drops, no resolution drop, NOTHING. Insomniac was the steal of the century for Playstation with how well the Spiderman games and Ratchet & Clank play, look and feel.
The Dualsense is used to perfection as well, and dare I say it, after playing this game I can say, is the best controller in the industry right now. The game uses this technology in so many subtle ways, that just makes the game so much more enjoyable. Early in the game you are looking for a secret nightclub and the only hint you have is to follow the beat, once you get even remotely near it you can hear the thump of the bass. But soon enough you feel the bass in your hands and as you get closer and closer it gets stronger and stronger, it’s something so subtle but perfectly executed. Obviously, the game is full of shooting and exploding and everything you feel through the controller but not in the fashion we have been used to over the years where it’s the same vibration every time but each weapon and explosion feels different as it should. Even from movement when your character runs you feel each footstep on the right side of the controller to echo your movements. It’s something so simple but made my enjoyment that much more. The weapons also function differently on whether or not you half-press or full-press your triggers depending on what you are doing. Half-press may lock in your target and full press launches, there is a shotgun that is a single barrel with a half-press, double barrel with the full press, etc, etc. Overall Insomniac really is using the Dualsense to enhance the gameplay vs feeling like a cheap gimmick (which is very easy to do nowadays).
The other technical marvel with this game is the actual functionality of the rifts as well, signaled by purple to yellow holes in the game you can trigger your character to pull into it and essentially warping through the stage. It is done completely fluidly, the mere thought that the system is capable of rendering all this while the action is on the screen is amazing. There are zero delays from when you grab the portal and go through it, the game instantly keeps the action going from a different perspective with no loss of action or anything. In later portions of the game, there are stages where the rifts are more plentiful. Not going to lie, I deliberately would hop from rift to rift without fighting anyone simply to test the limitations of the system, and I couldn’t slow it down or break it.
The introduction of Rivet also is very welcomed in this game series which has largely been unchanged for a while. Her character is very fun, well written, and acted, it almost feels as if she was always there. She doesn’t play any differently than Ratchet does, as they are mirrors of each other, but she definitely feels like her own character. I will not spoil any of the story for anyone, but I can say from beginning to end this game is a fun, and easy-going romp through the galaxy in every way shape, and form.
All in all – this game is utter perfection. If the Playstation 5 was more available this game would 100% be a system seller for Sony. It is the technical showpiece we were hoping for with the next-gen technology. I cannot recommend this game any more than that, it is purely enjoyable for any type of gamer out there, at any age. From graphics to tech, to writing, audio, there is little to pick at here which makes it hard to review. Just go out and get the game already folks, if you have a PS5 this is a no-brainer, it does all the cool technical stuff that Astros playground did but in a fully fleshed out game instead. If you don’t have a PS5, well when you do get one, make sure to pick this up, you will not regret it.