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Game review: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5)

By Damian Seeto
Wed 9 Jun 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The Ratchet & Clank franchise started way back in 2002 and it’s one of the few platform-style games that have stood the test of time. While some platform franchises have come and gone over the years, Ratchet & Clank has managed to still stay relevant. 

Insomniac Games has been pretty busy since the talented developer has now released three different video games exclusively for the newly released PS5 console. The first two games released last year were Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Now we see the release of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart makes its debut on the PS5 platform this month in June. This is the first Ratchet & Clank title since 2016, although this time Rift Apart shows off some new cool features that only the PS5 console can deliver. 

The first major thing you will notice when you play Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is how amazing the graphics look like. Ratchet & Clank on PS4 looked decent five years ago, but Rift Apart is on another level visually. 

Whether it’s the actual gameplay or the gorgeous cutscenes, Rift Apart literally looks just as good as an animated Hollywood movie. I may even go as far as saying that this game is the best looking PS5 game I’ve ever played to date. The game looks prettier than the likes of Demon’s Souls and Returnal. 

Before I talk about anything else, let’s discuss what the game is about. At the start of the game, Clank has made a special ‘Dimensionator’ gun that allows people to travel to different dimensions. It’s supposed to be a gift for Ratchet, but the evil Dr. Nefarious steals it from the pair. 

While Ratchet & Clank pursue Dr. Nefarious for the device, the pair get separated when they travel to another dimension. Dr. Nefarious now lives in a dimension where he’s the ruler of the world. As for Clank, he’s separated from Ratchet and meets a new female Lombax named Rivet.

There’s more to the story as the game progresses, although I won’t spoil it for you. All you need to know is that in Rift Apart, there are now two main playable characters. Both Ratchet and Rivet have their own set chapters and both characters pretty much share equal screen time. 

One cool gimmick of this entire game is that the levels can change dramatically thanks to the dimensions getting fractured. For example, in one level there is a section where a base is littered with a lot of fancy enemy robots. However, this level can change where the environment looks rundown and abandoned where only one creature prowls the area. 

The levels can change instantaneously thanks to the power of the PS5. You don’t have to wait too long for loading times as all the levels can generate within seconds. It also does not matter how many characters there are on the screen at one time as the gameplay never slows down or lags. 

In terms of gameplay, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart still retains the fast shooting style of gameplay that the series is renowned for. Both Ratchet and Rivet have access to a dozen of different and unique weapons and abilities. 

Some weapons are the usual ones such as guns, bombs and missile launchers just to name a few. One favourite weapon of mine is called ‘Mr Fungi’ and this allows you to shoot out little mushroom men that help distract enemies from firing at you. 

Aside from weapons, Ratchet and Rivet also have a cool grappling hook that allows them to swing to higher platforms. There are also many sections in the game where they have to grind on rails and avoid any huge obstacles that are standing in their way. 

If you find yourself running out of ammo, you can still use the iconic wrench that allows you to do melee attacks. You can even throw the wrench if you need to attack enemies from a safe distance. When Clank is with you, you can also glide down to platforms so you can have a safer and softer landing. 

Outside of the combat, there are some puzzle elements added in to vary the gameplay a little bit. One puzzle section makes you control a cute little robot that has to kill viruses. The other puzzle section you have to control Clank as he needs to hack into a system to open doors using different orbs. 

While none of the puzzle elements are very difficult, players do have the interesting choice of skipping these sections altogether. I recommend that you only skip these sections if you are struggling to figure out what to do. Other than that, it’s still worth trying to see if you can solve the puzzle elements. 

While I did enjoy most of what Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has to offer, I’m only disappointed by a few things about the game. One aspect that disappointed me is the fact that Ratchet and Rivet don’t have any unique or different abilities to differentiate themselves from their gameplay levels. 

I thought having a new character like Rivet will allow you to have different weapons and skills. Alas, both characters just share the same abilities and weapons.  Another part that annoyed me about the game is that some of the shooting elements can get a little too repetitive. 

The repetitive shooting parts can get annoying if you are running out of ammo. Some of the boss fights force you to empty your bullets and you may have to use your weaker weapons instead to fight back. While most boss fights aren’t too hard to play through, I thought some fights dragged on for a little too long. 

Aside from a few minor flaws, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is still a fine addition to the long running series. It may feature some of the best looking graphics I have ever seen in 2021, plus the game is mostly enjoyable. This game is a must-have if you are lucky enough to own a PS5 right now. 

Verdict: 9.0/10

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