Developer: Insomniac Games
Gene(s): Platformer, third-person shooter
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the latest outing for Ratchet & Clank that is exclusive to PS5. For the uninitiated, Ratchet & Clank is the much-praised third-person platform shooter developed by Insomniac Games. Ratchet & Clank are the dynamic duo trying to save the world.
The story follows the main characters Ratchet & Clank as they get thrown in between dimensions to defeat the evil Doctor Nefarious. The game features an entire story that requires little knowledge of the franchise, so those new to the series don’t need to know anything about prior games. It’s a standalone game in that sense and the narrative is akin to a cartoon action film with excellent cinematics. The story and plot are developed by completing a series of missions across the galaxy, each different planet having its enemies, characters and unique terrain. The rift apart in the title refers to the interdimensional travel in the game where you will get to play as another Lombax known as Rivet. Story-telling weaves in between the two playable characters, the narrative is maintained between switching characters. The switch between characters is seamless during the gameplay.
The gameplay is centred around fantastic platform action mixed with a third-person shooter. Both game genres are executed impeccably, the action is fast-paced and you have a plethora of guns that give a thrilling third-person shooter. The platform elements are challenging at times with many environments making use of a whole variety of gaming mechanics. Then there are puzzles, inter galaxy travel and a cohesive story underpinning all the gameplay elements. There is also character levelling up and weapon upgrade features too. It isn’t as rich or as in-depth as an RPG but it does add more features to the gameplay, the levelling up is rudimentary in that sense. All these gameplay elements are combined into a cohesive fun game.
Progressing through levels you collect upgrades, bolts that allow you to purchase and upgrade weapons. While this seems like a small feature, I loved the sheer amount of weapons and what they do. The weaponry in the game is brilliant, it adds a whole element of another edge to the gameplay. Every time a new gun or game mechanic is introduced it is done in a well-paced manner, you won’t be overburdened with game controls to learn all at once.
Visually the game does nail the very detailed cartoon look and feel. The main characters are rich in detail and you can see the detail in the fur of Ratchet. Clank is similarly detailed and the use of contrasting colours are used effectively throughout. Every character you encounter is meticulously rendered. The cartoon art style is stunning and vibrant, it gives the world a sense of life.
The voice acting is superb, it does make the characters more relatable and personable. The storytelling mixes all the critical elements serious, funny and incredulous as needed. The cinematics and visuals do give off the sense of a playable movie.
Like with previous PS5 exclusive games, Ratchet & Clank makes use of the haptic feedback in particular. Like Returnal and Astro, the haptic feedback is used for triggering primary and secondary fire types of weapons. It does work well but this was the only real use of it in the game. Vibration and sounds through the controller are used to enhance the gaming experience and cinematics.
The game allows you to choose what difficulty suits you, you can make it as tough or as easy as you want. No grinding required unless you want to.
A day-one patch (performance mode & performance RT) will be released that will allow for dynamic 4K at 60 fps and dynamic 4K at 60 fps with ray-tracing. The game was reviewed with the quality mode playing 4k at 30 fps.
Along with the performance improvements some minor updates will be available in the day-one patch such as photo mode updates, skip cinematic option, accessibility updates and general improvement and polish.
Ratchet & Clank melds the genres of 3rd person shooter and a platform into a fun game and rewarding game. The game is paced well with plenty of upgrades, side missions and collectables to keep you busy in-between the main story. The cinematics give the feel of a cartoon movie and the voice over is superb and it does give the story more credence as it makes it seem more believable. There are a ton of guns to get as you progress through the game and makes the game even more enjoyable. It’s a well-polished fun game that is hard to put down. It’s a fantastic game.