Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart PlayStation 5 Review

Insomniac Games constantly delivers on memorable adventures and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is no different, reaffirming why this studio is one of the best in the business.

By Grayshadow, Posted 13 Jun 2021

Ratchet and Clank has a long and rich history among PlayStation gamers. The iconic series has survived the test of time for 3 generations and started anew on the PS4. Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a brilliant combination of all the games starring the charismatic Lombax Ratchet and the noble robot Clank with a truly next-generation experience while introducing a new set of heroes. It's one of Insomniac Game's best works and easily a contender for Game of the Year 2021.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart,NoobFeed,

Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart takes place years after the events of the reboot of Ratchet and Clank. Ratchet and Clank are celebrating past successes but have run into a rut after years of no major heroics. Ratchet gets his wish when Dr. Nefarious attacks the heroes and steals Clank's gift to Rachet from Clank. A powerful weapon called the Dimensionator that causes the heroes to fall into another dimension where Dr. Nefarious rules.

It doesn't take long for players to take control of Rivet, a Lombox and member of the Resistance fighting against the Nefarious of her dimension called Emperor Nefarious. While bring Rachet's dimensional counterpart Rivet's personality reflects more of the original Ratchet. She's more brash and accustomed to working alone, eventually breaking those walls as the adventure continues. There are plenty of characters that serve as mirrors to Ratchet's dimension and as you progress you'll meet more of them while trying to stop Dr. Nefarious and set things right. The only main issue I had was with the game's finale which fell short and instead leaves on a heavy cliffhanger with a question asked throughout the game that we get little information on. It's hard to discuss without spoilers but once you reach the end you'll see what I mean.

The story carries the same charm and humor fans of the franchise love. Clever writing and funny jokes create moments of pure joy but the game knows when to take itself seriously. With moments that slow down the action to discuss pressing personal issues. And thanks to the PS5's fast-loading the leap between cinematic cutscenes and gameplay is near-instant. Especially during the action sequences. 

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart,NoobFeed,

Insomniac took the combat system from Ratchet and Clank PS4 and build upon it. Ratchet and Rivet are nimble and easy to control but now have more mobility options. Both can strife and the player has complete control over how high their jumps are, including a double jump added to the mix. Players can now dodge using the Phantom Dodge either on the ground or mid-air and have access to a variation of the charged boots from Ratchet and Clank Going Commando. Unlike those boots which propelled Ratchet forward with limited movement options here, you can propel yourself at great speed with easier controls.

Shooting has been improved greatly. Instead of just hip-shooting, you can now aim and thanks to the PS5's haptic triggers you can alternate between different firing styles. For example, the Blast Pistol can shoot a single slow but precise shot when pressing the trigger halfway or into a quicker 3-projectile rapid-fire when held down. Insomniac went above and beyond to use all the features of the PS5 controller from the vibration when hovering to small unique sounds each time you switch your weapon.

Ratchet and Rivet will have access to a multitude of weapons and each can be upgraded through use. Each time your weapon lands a hit it'll receive experience points that increase the weapon's damage and adds effects. Weapons can be upgraded to level 5 during the first playthrough and level 10 during the second once you purchase the Omega version of each weapon. Further upgrades can be added through Raritanium found in the environment. The entire upgrade system encourages you to combine and experiment with each weapon to maximize damage and thanks to the quick swapping option you can assign your favorite weapons to the D-pad and switch between your current and previous weapon with the triangle button.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart,NoobFeed,

There's a ton to purchase but bolts, the game's currency, are provided at an adequate rate. You earn this by defeating enemies and breaking crates. By your second playthrough, you should've earned enough to purchase everything. Especially in Challenge, which is New Game Plus, that multiplies all bolts earned by how many enemies you defeat without getting hurt.

Enemy variety of healthy with a diverse selection of troops serving under Nefarious and native creatures. Each new planet houses new enemies to fight in combination with known enemies that travel the cosmos. The AI does its job and fighting is fun thanks to the wonderful weapon selection. This coupled with excellent boss fights and you have a thrilling selection of enemies to fight.

Outside of combat there 2 optional objectives. The first is Clank solving dimensional rifts by picking up orbs that alter gravity and power up objects to guide "possibilities" of himself to the goal. It's a combination of Going Commando's robot puzzle and the time rifts from Enter the Nexus. These are part of the story but you can skip them if you wish. The other is a third-person shooter where you take control of an anti-virus program named Glitch while she destroys viruses infecting certain computers. Insomniac went the extra mile to give Glitch an entire sub-objective, fighting against a sentient virus Ratchet is unaware of since he cannot communicate with Glitch and Glitch's desire to help those in need. Outside of that, you have arena battles of 3 cups containing 5 battles each that provide extra rewards.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart,NoobFeed,

The planetary selection offers a wide array of locations to fight on. During the game players will take control of Rivet or Ratchet, whatever one is doing on one planet at the other is doing on another. This helps create a sense of comradery between the 2 despite not interacting much. They're always working on a common goal and building a trusting relationship to get the job done.

Most planets offer linear selections with branching paths some will offer more open-ended objectives. Thanks to the hover boots you can easily travel throughout the landscape during these areas, best of all the game highlight any notable objects or locations you find. This includes Golden Bolts that unlock cheat codes, Raritanium deposits, spy bots, and dimensional breaks that house special armor. The armor provides a permanent boost regardless if you're wearing it, allowing the player to mix and match with the custom colors available. The mask is removed during cutscenes to highlight Rivet and Ratchet's facial expressions.

In terms of visuals and performance, Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart currently provide the best example of what the PS5 is capable of. Transitions between within levels are instant and at times insane, with Ratchet and Rivet using dimensional rifts to leap across the environment and sudden changes. It's like Enter the Nexus but even quicker with more control as you leap between different sections of the level. Visuals alone are insanely intricate, it's almost like watching and playing a Pixar film. On visuals and performance alone this game would get a perfect score and that's not taking into consideration the incredible lighting, shadows, and textures. 

The audio within the game is simply perfect. A masterwork of musical scores that each complements every situation whether melancholy or intense life or death battles. The sound design matches the visual and performance of this title and highlights what next-generation games should be like.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart isn't perfect. When you get to the point when your arsenal can easily destroy dozens of enemies, the game can glitch spawning them in. I encounter several times where the game spawned an enemy inside something and I couldn't get to, forcing me to restart. These are minor issues that rarely happened but were present enough that I reduced my performance to ensure it didn't.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a prime example of what next-generation gaming should be like. The technical quality is out of this world and the added features provided by the PS5 controller adds to the experience. Even with these technical advantages Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart provides another amazing adventure and maybe one of the best games in the long-running series. With top-notch performances, and utterly amazing gameplay that keeps rewarding you. Insomniac Games constantly delivers on memorable adventures and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is no different, reaffirming why this studio is one of the best in the business. 
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s):
Publisher(s): Sony
Developer(s): Insomniac Games
Genres: Adventure, Action
Themes: Science-Fiction
Release Date: 2021-06-11

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