The PlayStation 2 was a console full of fine platformers and the birthplace of some of PlayStation’s most beloved exclusives. One of those exclusives was Ratchet and Clank. Released back in 2002 the franchise was a hit with players and critics alike. It has seen various sequels, spin-offs and even a movie.
Despite a flurry of releases in the days of the PS2 and the PS3 we only saw one Ratchet and Clank game appear on the PS4. A re-imagining of the first game in the series that allowed everyone to get familiar with the lovable Lombax and his robot companion.
To hear that the game was making a comeback, and would be a year one release for the PS5, was not something many would’ve predicted. Yet here is Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. How does it deliver in showing off the new-gen console? Does it feel like a Ratchet and Clank game? The best way to start answering those questions is with…
How it Plays
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart plays like a third-person platformer with shooting elements. At the beginning that fact may feel a little disappointing. Rift Apart doesn’t reinvent the wheel but then, did the wheel really need to be reinvented?
The game is a bit slow to begin with when it comes to taking the training wheels off. Once you start to build up your arsenal of weapons and unlock abilities you’ll soon be jumping around battles and having a whale of a time if you’re a fan of action-platformer games.
Guns range from practical to ridiculous and you’ll need to get used to using them all if you want to survive the battles you take part in. Some weapons work better on certain enemies than others and finding your favourite is part of the fun. For me, I liked turning enemies into shrubbery before getting in close and blasting them with my close-range weapons. I also made the most out of support weapons – they’re great at keeping enemies busy whilst you plan your next move.
I ran into a few issues whilst playing, character models glitching slightly and enemies getting stuck on objects, meaning I had to hunt them down to clear the wave. None of this was enough to vastly alter my enjoyment of the game though and I’m hopeful a patch will help sort a lot of them out.
One of the big things about the game is the Rift Tether. It allows you to jump through rifts and move about a fight with ease. The issue is… it’s kind of just a fancy grappling hook. One that leaves you more disorientated after using it than enemies most of the time. It can be handy for getting out of a crowded area or when you want to get in close to an enemy standing near one, but it will depend on your playstyle how useful you find them.
Bosses, for the most part, are quite repetitive. They have their variables but you’ll come across many that are just “the same but slightly different”. It’s not the end of the world and a lot of the bosses are fun, forcing you out of your weapon comfort zone and utilising your arsenal to its full degree, but it would’ve been nice to have a few more boss types.
When you’re in the swing of things and find your flow you’ll be having a great time. Each world you explore has its own uniqueness to it and the cast are extremely likeable.
Story and Characters
The characters in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart are just a small part of what makes the overall package such a delight to play through. The story is a bit of an underdog story that utilises new characters and old in a way to lead to plenty of wonderful moments.
There are a few odd blips along the way, for example, characters referencing each other before they meet and some sidequests being slightly less fun than others, but there’s so much to see and do that it should keep you entertained for hours.
Ratchet and Clank are as lovable as ever but Rivet and other new characters really are a delight. All lead characters are allowed to have the room to have fragility and have their moments to shine.
Graphics and Sound
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart looks stunning in Fidelity mode, which is what I played in. The texture of the characters, the variety of the worlds and the way the rifts work are visual spectacles that feel like an experience you couldn’t get on last-gen due to how quick they all load together and work.
The games audio is also lovely. High quality voice acting coupled with a great soundtrack and sound effects mean you’ll be in for a treat if you’re playing with a sound system or headphones.
There’s plenty of accessibility options in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. From changing the size and background to your subtitles to altering haptic feedback, colours and more. There’s also various difficulty options so you can enjoy the game at whatever level you want to.
One of the most interesting things the game does organically is make it so you can use weapons with just one trigger. You can hold it down slightly to aim or charge your shot and then push it down all the way to let it rip!
You can get a better look at the accessibility options in the game by looking at video below from the 15:51 mark.
Is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Worth Your Time?
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a great addition to any PS5 games library. The worlds, the characters, the cutscenes all look great and it’s one of those games that is just fun to play. Stepping through rifts into a completely separate world works seamlessly and it’s a technical marvel in that part.
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it makes sure that the wheel provides the smoothest experience you can get. This is the Ratchet and Clank you’ve grown to love over the years brought into a new generation of gaming. Fans of the original series will love it and fans of platformers will definitely find something they enjoy. It has its flaws but with collectables to find, side quests to complete, a story full of great moments and more it’s a game that will keep you entertained until the very end.
Featured image: Insomniac Games
Reviewed on PS5 by a code provided by PR.