"Review Copy Provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment"
The Ratchet and Clank series is now 20 years old and one of the few remaining original IPs from Sony that is still around today with newer entries being made. After 15 mainline entries and with the last game released being a remake and tie-in with the movie that released that same year, there were doubts that the franchise would return. Until the announcement and reveal of the PS5 in 2020 with one of the main titles focused on being Ratchet and Clank looking better than the series has ever before. As a fan of the franchise, I had so many questions from “is this a reboot of the franchise or a sequel?” to “what has Dr. Nefarious done this time to bring my boys back out of retirement?” but above all “WHEN CAN I PLAY THIS?” was the question I needed immediate answers to. And here we are with the game fully released and the question remains of if this entry lives up to the legacy of the franchise or does it force the series back into retirement? Let’s find out!
Rift Apart kicks off with Ratchet and Clank being recognized for their heroic deeds until Dr. Nefarious arrives to steal the Dimensionator in an attempt to find a universe in where he always wins since he is tired of always being thwarted by Rachet and Clank. After a chase sequence, Dr. Nefarious ends up accidently activates the Dimensionator which leads to the fabric of space and time being damaged and dimensions rifts being open all over the universe. Clank is pulled into a dimension where he’ll end up meeting another lombax named Rivet who speaks of Emperor Nefarious who doesn’t seem to be the same person as Dr. Nefarious. Meanwhile Ratchet ends up in another area in this same dimension and is searching feverously for his companion Clank and ends up running into Dr. Nefarious pretending to be Emperor Nefarious and then has to escape the Emperor’s lair to continue his search for Clank and to resolve the problems the rifts are causing universally.
The controls are buttery smooth and incredibly intuitive. You have a button for jump, melee, Phantom Dash, weapon select, Hoverboot, sprint, fire, aim, and Rift Tether/Swingshot. You start the game off only able to jump, shoot, and melee; as the game progresses, you’ll gain access to the ability to dash ala Mega Man X style with the Phantom Dash (which you can also do in midair), a set of hoverboots that allow you to speed up and run fast just like Sonic, and even more as the game progresses.
The core of the gameplay revolves around you running around exploring the open world environments and platforming finding new areas to see and characters to interact with along with enemies and environmental things to melee with either your wrench or hammer, and shooting; you will do A LOT of shooting which is a staple of this series. You will gain access to so many different weapons from shotguns to throwable grenades, plasma rifles, and more which allow you to bring the pain to all of your enemies that dare challenge you.
In every world you go to you will run into a merchant that allows you to not only buy new weapons but also upgrade the ones that you currently have and be able to give them more ammo capacity, attack range, more radius, increased rate of fire, and more. There’s also customization with the different armors, boots, and helmets that you will gather along the way with each one having a different look to them along with various stat buffs and bonuses.
There are sections in the game that are essentially hoard modes with you going through wave after wave of enemies that will get increasingly harder to fight. The bosses all hit like a tank and will require you to observe them and the patterns that they exhibit because if you don’t then you will be getting wrecked constantly especially when you have ADDS (an MMO term for smaller enemies that accompany a boss) that can get pretty annoying especially if you run into a certain set of dual bosses later on in the game that will make your life hard.
Alternating between playing as Ratchet and Rivet will have you seeing that there isn’t really much difference between them other than being a cosmetic skin as they are functionally the same and utilize the same weapons and stats which carry over from one to another with the only real difference being Ratchet has a wrench and Rivet has a hammer and mechanical arm.
The newest addition to this game is the rift system and mechanic that has you jumping dimensions and distances by either just running into the rifts or pressing L1 and jumping into a rift that’ll take you either a short distance or into a new dimension overall. It’s a very neat mechanic that I find to be pretty epic overall.
If you’ve ever wanted to play a game that looks like a Disney or Pixar Studios movie then this is the game for you as this game is single handedly the absolute best-looking game not only on the PS5 but also of the new generation of consoles that has humanoid animal characters and fully utilizes the power of the PS5. No matter if you are playing this game on a 4K display or a 1080 Display; it simply looks AMAZING!
As someone who’s played Ratchet and Clank over the last 20 years from the series being on the PS2 all the way up to the PS4; the games have NEVER looked this good before. The level of detail not only in the characters but also in the environments is absolutely amazing with a level of vibrancy that I have not seen in any other game to date. Seeing the levels of detail in the fur of Ratchet and Rivet to the individual furs and then seeing the inflections of their faces and clothes in motion is just amazing.
Seeing Ratchet and Rivet dimension hop by jumping into rifts is awesome and seeing how there is essentially no loading times needed to render the different environments between where you are and the rifts due to the near-instant loading of the PS5’s SSD loading speeds; it is truly something you just have to see to believe.
You have the option of selecting between 3 different graphical settings:
Fidelty gives you
4K resolutions with HDR at 30FPS
Increased scene density and VFX
Performance RT gives you
1080p resolutions with HDR at 60FPS
Adjusted VFX and scene density
Performance gives you
1080p resolutions with HDR with increased details at 60FPS
Removes ray-tracing and lowers VFX and lighting
All in all; this game is STUNNING and a great way
This game takes full advantage of the Tempest 3D AudioTech of the PS5 allowing you to get completely immersed in the game’s ever expansive world. Every little detail from explosions to Ratchet and Rivet’s feet landing from a jump to every spoken line of dialogue is just insanely crisp and detailed.
The voice acting in this game is very well done and every character is incredibly believable in all of their line delivery no matter how goofy and or serious the lines delivered are. Ratchet and Clank sound like their normal zany and witty selves with Dr. Nefarious is as crazy and goofy as ever. The newer characters such as Rivet are perfectly casted and fit right into this series world with Rivet being able to not only bounce off of but being just as charming as Ratchet is. Ratchet is voiced by James Arnold Taylor who previously voiced Final Fantasy X’s Tidus with Rivet voiced by legendary voice actress Jennifer Hale. The voice cast is simply epic!
I only have one real complaint with this game and it’s the fact that I can’t have 4K with ray-tracing AND 60FPS and have to sacrifice visual fidelity for higher performance. This has become a thing with consoles since the release of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X which give you the option of one or the other and while I understand why this is a option available to console gamers I do find it frustrating that we can’t have both visuals with the performance. I find that going between 4K 30FPS and 1080p 60FPS has me having to adjust how I play the game due to the difference in how the game runs with the different frame rates, I always tend to pick performance over visual fidelity in games when I play on consoles.
That’s it for my complaints
It’s hard to believe that the Ratchet and Clank franchise has been going since 2002 on the PS2 and has had an ever evolving long running story that has not gotten long in the tooth. Ratchet and his companion Clank are just as lovable and endearing now as they were in the 2002 original and by bringing in new characters such as Rivet you just get more characters to enjoy in future installments. With easy to pick up and play controls, an open-world planet hoping adventure, 2 playable characters in Ratchet and Rivet, insanely good graphics and performance, incredible humor, and infinite levels of replayability; Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is an absolute MUST OWN if you own a PS5 and also one of the best games of 2021 hands down!