The Ratchet & Clank series has been around for almost 20 years and during that time has become one of the most popular and well liked franchises on PlayStation. After 2016’s excellent re-imaging of the first game and release of a fully animated film, fans were left wanting more. Then, last year, at the PlayStation 5’s original reveal event, fan’s wishes were answered with the announcement of the next chapter in the franchise—Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Fast forward to a year later and the best game available on PS5 and my favourite game of the year so far, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is here! Let’s take a look at what makes Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart a game of the year contender!
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 5
Developer(s): Insomniac Games
Publisher(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Adventure, Role-playing
Modes: Platformer, third-person shooter
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
An intergalactic adventure through multiple dimensions
If you’re new to the series, you’ll be happy to know that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a brand new stand-alone story line that is designed to make it for newcomers to the series to pick up and play. The game’s story is centred our favourite Lombax, Ratchet and his robotic sidekick Clank.
The evil Doctor Nefarious returns and, not surprisingly, is up to no good. Fed up with always losing, chaos ensues when Doctor Nefarious gets a hold of a powerful artifact called the Dimensionator. With the ability to open rifts into other dimensions, Nefarious sets out to find a dimension where he always wins.
Among the new characters introduced in this game, Rivet, a female Lombax, is my favourite. Ratchet meets her when he and Clank accidentally transport into her dimension. What I like most about Rivet is her personality and interesting backstory. Her origin story slowly plays out and is revealed while you make your way through the game’s main storyline. I hope at some point, that like Miles Morales in Spiderman, we see a game with Rivet as the main character.
Gameplay only possible on PS5
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was made from the ground up for the PlayStation 5 and is evident in many ways. For starters, it’s easy to see that the game’s gameplay has been designed around the PS5’s ultra fast SSD. Travelling through rifts to new worlds is instantaneous and Rift Apart makes good use of that by incorporating into gameplay.
Similar to other games in the series, Rift Apart features plenty of platforming and rail grinding that keeps the action moving. Speaking of keeping the action moving, Insomniac has included several different ways to make your way around and explore each of the vast worlds. For example, by equipping your rocket powered boots you can glide over the surface at blazing speeds. Oh, and did I mention there is a dragon that you can fly on?
What would a Ratchet & Clank game be without crazy weapons? Rift Apart features over 13 different weapons, each with their own unique abilities that you can power up via skill trees. Out of these weapons 4 are new and include the Burst Pistol, Shatterbomb, the Topiary Sprinkler and The Enforcer—my favourite. The Enforcer is best described as a double-barrel shotgun that is similar to that of the Shock Cannon. However, what makes The Enforcer my favourite weapon is the use of the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers. This provides tension and allows you to hold the trigger down half-way to fire one trigger. And, if you pull down the trigger all the way you fire two triggers.
Next-generation visuals and performance
From beginning to end, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart looks absolutely stunning. Virtually every aspect of the PS5’s hardware is utilized to produce some of the best looking environments and character models that I have ever seen. It literally feels like you are playing and controlling a CGI animated cartoon.
There are 3 graphics modes to choose from: Performance RT, Performance and Fidelity. Each offers their own differences such as ray-tracing, 60 frames per second, increased scene density, 4K and so on. Regardless of which mode you choose, the game does not disappoint.
The Ratchet & Clank series is well known for its humorous writing and one-liners, and Rift Apart does not disappoint. The voice acting is top notch and the game’s cinematic sequences help to further immerse you into the game’s story.
Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is a must play and contender for game of the year
Insomniac Games has really outdone themselves with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The game screams perfection in nearly every single way and is worth the price of admission. From the mind-blowing graphics, to the addictive gameplay, to excellent use of the DualSense controller—this game is a true showcase for what the PS5 is capable of.
As a big fan of Rare back in their Nintendo days, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the type of game I’ve dreamt about Rare making. Now, thanks to Insomniac, I don’t have to! The amount of polish put on this game by the developers is second to none! Without a doubt, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is my favourite game of 2021 so far and I feel is a serious contender for game of the year.
+ Don’t have to have played previous games to enjoy
+ Jaw dropping visuals and performance
+ Excellent use of the Dual Sense controller
+ Humorous dialogue and superb voice acting
+ Fun to play side missions
+ Polished game from start to finish
– Controlling the dragon can be difficult at times
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF RATCHET & CLANK: RIFT APART
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.75/5