Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Review

Ever since the trailer debuted, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart has been poised to play the role of the PlayStation 5 showpiece. Designed from the ground up for Sony’s next-gen console, the latest entry in the long-running third-person action platformer series set two goals: awesomeness and fun. And despite a little familiarity in the narrative department, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart more than succeeds in those efforts. As the 16th installment in the Ratchet and Clank series, there’s a lot of history to build on in Rift Apart. Fans explore the history of Lombax, time paradoxes, and several other funny situations that serve as perfect action platforming fodder. They know exactly what they’re getting into when it comes to the Ratchet and Clank series, and Insomniac Games usually doesn’t shy away from that. There’s a familiarity to the setup in Rift Apart that hits all the expected notes, though without many surprises. As the title suggests, Ratchet and Clank are once again separated but working together for a common goal. Ratchet sometimes flies solo before meeting a new partner named Kit, while Clank is paired with Rivet, the mysterious female Lombax voiced by video game veteran Jennifer Hale. R&C find themselves in another dimension thanks to Dr. Nefarious and they must find a way to get home while fighting the likes of Pirates, Goons, and native monsters. Rift Apart has much of the same planet-charting excitement as previous games, just with next-gen polish. The humor is still on point and there are plenty of fun characters to meet along the way, and there are some great moments for longtime fans of the series. It might sound routine, but Rift Apart has enough heart to help keep things moving and enjoyable. Rivet is a great addition to the roster, bringing new dimensions to the characters of both Ratchet and Clank through their interactions, while also creating his own story. The alternate dimension concept is mined for all it’s worth and Insomniac makes sure to pack plenty of story beats for longtime fans. At its core, Ratchet and Clank emphasizes family fun and Rift Apart is no different. Although the characters have become defacto mascots for Sony, Ratchet and Clank the game has always been about the arsenal and Rift Apart takes things to new heights thanks to the PS5. The old standbys (or riffs on the old standbys) are still there but the ingenuity shown for the new and modified weapons is simply astounding. With the power of the PS5, simple weapons take on a ton of personality thanks to the destruction they can cause. Battles are simply dazzling in the way particle effects splash across the screen, and the interplay between different types of weapons is always exciting. Juggling weapons is a bit clunky with the two-page weapon wheel, but it’s not a huge hindrance in the grand scheme of things. Oftentimes players will find a few favorites among shooters and stick to those. But in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart there are so many fun weapons with different functions that it’s hard to choose. There are damage-only weapons like the massive Devastator shotgun or Warmonger rocket launcher. Crowd control weapons like the Shatterbomb grenade and Topiary Sprinkler, which completely cover enemies with foliage. And weapons that are purely Ratchet and Clank, like the helper minion Mr. Fungi and the aptly named Pixelizer. Players may be spoiled for choice but the game actively encourages the use of each weapon through its XP-based leveling system. As players use the weapon they will earn XP for it and unlock 5 different levels, before the final form changes the weapon in some clever ways. Each level unlocks new nodes on the upgrade board such as more ammo reserves, faster fire rate, and damage, as well as more unique upgrades obtained by unlocking all nodes around it. cut apart rattle and rattle Switching between more than a dozen different weapons helps keep each enemy encounter fresh but looking fantastic. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a stunning game to look at, from every conceivable angle. Ratchet and Clank designs have never looked better with fur textures in the former and reflective metal textures in the latter. And each planet that players visit has a unique design and style. Many of these environments should be familiar in terms of their tone and theme, but players have never seen them rendered in this detail. Then, when the game starts moving, it kicks into another gear. When the platforming, the gunplay, the signature rail-sliding, and the boss battles come together, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is second to none. Insomniac showed off the PS5’s potential with some incredible sequences in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart blows those out of the water. There are several set pieces in Ratchet and Clank that, while linear in approach, feature so many explosive moments that it’s dizzying. Obviously, the dimensional rift is a key marketing point for the game, but even the more traditional R&C segments like grinding the rails are dialed up to 11. Yes, in many cases, the sequences that it’s more about the visuals and less about the gameplay, but that’s not a concern for now. A chaotic gunfight is usually just the other side of these brilliant set pieces. Even though Ratchet and Rivet are just trying to use their arsenal to survive, the game has a lot to look at and admire. The variety of enemy types and attack patterns will always keep players on their toes, and some cool movement abilities like the temporal dash and the “rift tether” help those character quickly get out of danger or step aside for better angles. Once players become familiar with the various moves, battles become balletic dances of destruction made even better by the way that every enemy takes damage in battle. The boss fights push this concept even further, as the larger enemies begin to tire of the more punishment they take. Insomniac also does a lot of cool things with scope and scale when it comes to larger encounters, giving the feeling that players are taking down a platoon of baddies or truly destroying a massive enemy. Rift Apart tries to break up some of the gameplay with more puzzle-oriented segments, many of which involve Clank. In these Lemmings-esque sequences, the game deviates from gunplay and platforming to offer something slightly different. There aren’t many of them, but these sections help keep Ratchet and Clank from feeling too predictable, while also engaging the player in new ways. rivet with hoverboots Much of the focus of Ratchet and Clank: The Rift Apart’s promotional material is on the dimensional rifts and while they are a key element of the story and visuals, they are not essential to the gameplay. There are moments where Ratchet/Rivet jumps dimensions, but they are scripted or necessary to progress. Those moments where the game pulls players through the cracks are visually cool and technically impressive, but they’re not nearly as prevalent as some might expect. In addition to being incredibly diverse, each planet in Rift Apart usually has a few side activities and collectibles for players to pursue. The main campaign is only about 8-10 hours and is fairly linear, but there’s a lot to do in each environment beyond progressing the story. Raritanium is scattered throughout each level and is used for upgrades. Gold bolts are once again the game’s signature collectible and unlockable bonuses like big head mode and wrench skins. Pieces of armor are hidden in pocket-sized, small platforming puzzle areas that seamlessly pull the player out of the main level. And it wouldn’t be a Ratchet and Clank game without a collectible tied to a special weapon. With a minimal difficulty level, a new game style option+, and all of the aforementioned goodies to hunt down, there’s plenty of mileage to get out of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. But even if players just want the basic experience, they’re in for something special. Along with taking full advantage of the PS5 for stunning visuals, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart makes full use of the DualSense controller to deepen immersion. As in Returnal, the game uses adaptive triggers to simulate two types of trigger pulls, usually half down for one option and a full pull for the other. It also has a more individual force feedback pulse based on the character’s interaction with the world. Whether it’s the subtlest of buzzes as Ratchet collects every last bolt on the ground or more aggressive vibrations as the world around him falls apart, DualSense helps personalize those interactions. It’s not too different from what other PS5 games have done with the controller, but it’s effective nonetheless. rift apart platforming review Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart doesn’t shy away from the charm and humor of the series and it ticks all the boxes that fans would expect from a new game. Slick animation, bombastic gunplay, action-packed platforming, and some fun puzzles have been the keys to the series’ success and Insomniac Games isn’t going to change that formula now. What the developers did was use the power of the PS5 to make everything bigger, more refined, and full of detail. As far as next-gen exclusives go, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart hits the most important note. It’s visually striking, mechanically sound and diverse, and it takes advantage of the bells and whistles tied to the new platform. Some may be disappointed by the story, but overall, the dimension-hopping adventure is exactly the kind of fun experience that Insomniac Games has been delivering since the beginning. At a time when there aren’t many games that highlight the power of next-gen, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart represents the next big step for gaming. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was released on June 11, 2021 for PS5. Today Technology was provided with a code for this review.

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