Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review
A new benchmark in next-gen gaming has arrived on the PlayStation 5 with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, my full review.
The duo of Ratchet & Clank has been synonymous with the PlayStation experience since making their debut in 2002. Nearly 20 years later and this legacy has culminated masterfully in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. It’s fitting that the next chapter in the franchise was announced at the PlayStation 5’s original reveal event, setting the stage for an exciting reunion. The next chapter in the storied franchise has arrived and it is spectacular. After spending dozens of hours with the game, it stands out as the benchmark in the next generation PlayStation experience. The jaw dropping visuals, massive worlds and unforgettable characters make Rift Apart an instant classic and a must play.
"After spending dozens of hours with the game, it stands out as the benchmark in the next generation PlayStation experience."
A multi-dimensional storyline
The story centres around a plucky Lombax, Rachet, and his trusty robotic sidekick Clank. These intergalactic adventurers need to work together to stop an evil emperor from destroying their universe.
Things go awry when a powerful artifact called the Dimensionator falls into Doctor Nefarious’ hands. This weapon can open rifts into other dimensions allowing the evil Doctor to wreak havoc across multiple planes of reality. His aim is to wipe out all organic life across the galaxy with this newfound tool. You’ll need to traverse across different dimensions and explore multiple worlds to restore order to the universe.
If the story sounds complicated, or you are worried about missing something by not playing the all the past games, don’t fret. Newcomers and returning players to the series will find the adventure has been crafted to suit all audiences. Whether going in fresh or a weather veteran the adventure is sure to delight with charming characters and dazzling vistas. The series has always been synonymous with funny writing, even the trophy names have cute pop culture references. There is a lot of action and hilarious one liners providing fun for audiences young and old.
"Newcomers and returning players to the series will find the standalone adventure has been crafted to suit all audiences."
A Riveting addition
One of the best additions to the series’ universe is a new female Lombax named Rivet. Ratchet meets her when he is accidentally transported into her timeline. Rivet is an excellent addition to the motely crew with her own interesting backstory. Even though the story is a high tempo thrill ride, her origin story is revealed in clever ways in between all the action. I really enjoyed playing as Rivet and I hope she headlines her own game in the near future.
"Even though the story is a high tempo thrill ride, Rivet’s origin story is revealed in clever ways in between all the action."
Jaw dropping visuals
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart looks stunning in all regards, it's a fast paced, interactive masterpiece.
It’s mind-bending to watch the sheer number of things taking place onscreen, all at once. Rift Apart features some of the most incredible environments and effects I’ve ever seen in a video game. It’s a beautiful dance of destruction and chaos, especially during battle sequences, it’s an absolute feast for the eyes.
"Rift Apart features some of the most incredible environments and effects I’ve ever seen in a video game."
All elements of the environment feature ray tracing and ultra-high-resolution assets. The particle engine is also constantly working overtime with explosions, rain, smoke and more. The game features 4K graphics at a blazing fast 60 frames-per-second, whether standing still or in a breakneck sprint I have yet to see any slowdown in the game.
Moving mountains and shifting dimensions
What’s more impressive is that even with all these graphical bells and whistles running, dimension hopping is flawless. Thanks to the PlayStation 5’s SSD full maps load at the start of a level, I never once saw a loading screen. This means that when you approach a rift and hop through it, the world around you completely changes in an instant. The changes are not small either, we are talking about entire areas and slices of new biomes being transported instantaneously. If you are looking for a technical showcase of what the PlayStation 5 hardware can do, look no further.
For the first time in the series’ history the game features its own photo mode. This addition lets players dig even deeper into the world’s stunning vistas.
In a hectic battle scene, I was able to freeze frame the action and zoom in on the character’s faces. The level of detail is phenomenal, the reflection of bright laser flashes and explosions could be seen in character’s eyes. I spent hours with the photo mode for this review and will be spending dozens more in the near future. The mode also features stickers and frames so you can customize photo presentation even more.
"In a hectic battle scene, I was able to freeze frame the action and zoom in on the character’s faces. The level of detail is phenomenal, the reflection of bright laser flashes and explosions could be seen in character’s eyes."
As a long-time fan of the series, I am happy to report the wild weapon selection has been ratcheted up in many new ways. The game features over 13 weapons, each with their own unique attributes and hilarious quirks. Weapons also have their own robust skill trees that let you upgrade the hardware with both passive and active buffs. The best part is you can upgrade and customize to better suit your play style.
All the firearms make creative use of the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The “Blackhole Storm” gatling gun for example uses the trigger resistance to emulate the rapid click of firing high velocity rounds at a target.
The “Cold Snap” launches a projectile to freeze enemies, when used in combination with the hammer you can shatter enemies encased in ice. This action emits a shrill sound from the haptic motors. It really feels like you are striking ice with a hammer and having it shatter, I could feel the acoustic resonance through my hands.
"This action emits a shrill sound from the haptic motors. It really feels like you are striking ice with a hammer and having it shatter, I could feel the acoustic resonance through my hands."
Some of the armaments even have a personality all their own, figuratively and literally speaking. For example, when you release the “Mr. Fungi” grenade, smack talking mushrooms emerge to fling explosive projectiles at your enemies. They are great at drawing fire away from you and are always good for a laugh. The weapon selection does not disappoint and continues the series’ fine tradition of an over-the-top arsenal.
"The weapon selection does not disappoint and continues the series’ fine tradition of an over-the-top arsenal."
Out of this world gameplay
Much like the titles in the Ratchet & Clank series that came before it, gameplay is arcade-like and high energy. There is a wide variety of platforming, parkour and rail grinding sequences to keep things fresh and fun. I really found the “on-rails” segments drew heavily from the developer’s classic game Sunset Overdrive.
"There is a wide variety of platforming, parkour and rail grinding sequences to keep things fresh and fun."
There are also clear gameplay influences from the studio’s experience with the stellar Spider-Man franchise. This is especially apparent in the blend of cinematic sequences that seamlessly crossover into gameplay. It creates a more emotional rollercoaster during high intensity parts of the game like chase sequences and epic battles.
When it comes to player mobility and vehicular combat the game offers fun ways to get you moving. From Gerty the Dragon to rocket powered boots there is no shortage in the different ways you get to navigate and battle in these vast alien worlds.
Final thoughts on Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Rift Apart features addictive combat, jaw dropping graphics and showcases the unique features of the PS5 hardware. The story, gameplay experience and characters offer an incredible adventure you shouldn’t pass up. The game does a great job of showcasing the PS5’s unique hardware via DualSense feedback, 3D audio and lightning-fast load times. Not only has it met my expectations but exceeded them in many ways creating a new standard for graphical fidelity and immersive gameplay. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart has arrived bringing with it an undeniably next-gen experience that sets the new golden standard in gaming.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Pros
+ A benchmark in graphical fidelity
+ Interesting story told from two perspectives
+ Some of the most detailed environments ever seen in a video game
+ Superb, high intensity combat
+ Greater immersion with clever DualSense integration
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Cons
-Mini games sometimes break up the action
Overall Game Score
A copy of the game was provided by PlayStation for the purpose of this review.