Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
“Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a pure superhero spectacle that makes the most of PS5 hardware.”
Lots of weapons
Support Overeager DualSense
Insomniac sure knows how to make a superhero game. Over the past few years, the studio has released two excellent Spider-Man titles with death-defying action sequences and big-budget movies that would make Kevin Feige jealous. So it’s no surprise that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a fully filmed video game of the Marvel movies.
It’s a natural evolution for one of Sony’s most enduring first-party franchises. While it started out as a standard 3D platformer in an era where Sony was creating animal mascots, it has only increased the galactic spectacle over the past two decades with each new console. With Sony’s most impressive hardware to date on PS5, Insomniac Games can finally mold its Hollywood and turn the duo into convincing pint-sized Avengers.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a technical powerhouse filled with thrilling platformers and bustling environments. Its arsenal doesn’t quite reach the creative levels of previous installments, but the vibrant visuals make for a fun summer blockbuster.
Marvel’s Ratchet & Clank
Like the previous games in the series, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is an action-heavy third person platformer. Popular Lombax hero Ratchet scours the planets for collectibles while encountering a host of enemies, while the Clank robot solves interspersed puzzles. That’s always been Insomniac’s winning recipe, and the secret sauce hasn’t changed much here. Things are a bit bigger and flashier, but the core gameplay is still a solid foundation.
Playing through a real world feels like glowing through another Hollywood action movie.
The main difference this time is that the game plays around with alternate realities. Ratchet finds himself lost in a dimension where his rival Dr. Nefarious has finally gained control of the galaxy. It wouldn’t be a “mirror world” story without doppelgängers, so the game features a second Lombax named Rivet, who the player controls at every other level. Functionally, she’s identical to Ratchet, like a missed opportunity. Equipment, weapons, and upgrades are shared between both Lombaxes, so it feels like playing the same character with planet-to-planet color palette swapping.
It’s hard to complain about it too much when the minute-by-minute Lombax gameplay is so much fun. Each level is a finely crafted amusement park filled with fun rides. When players aren’t looking for secrets or blowing up enemies, they’ll rush off ramps on a bug’s back or grind on roller coaster-like tracks as explosions blast out in all directions.
That’s where superhero DNA really starts to become apparent. Playing through a real world feels like glowing through another Hollywood action movie. That can make the experience feel disjointed at times, as the game’s strangely convoluted story seems like a way to justify piecing together dozens of different ideas. But like any good blockbuster, it’s best to sit back and let the burst of colorful sensations unfold.
No superhero movie is complete without some side work. Clank parts are sparse, but the rate of change is perfectly fine. They revolve around simple ball puzzles in which Clank must safely guide himself to the exit using orbs that can make them accelerate, jump, and more. More interesting side quests come from Glitch, a miniature mech that Ratchet deploys to fight micro-viruses. Those are the small shooters that have some of the mind-bending movements, effective haptic feedback, and the game’s most captivating original characters.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart It’s not the most engaging narrative adventure out there, but it offers the same thrills as Insomniac’s Spider-Man games. The hero is just a little further.
Light, camera, acting
The Ratchet & Clank series sets itself apart from other mascot performers with its emphasis on action, and that’s true here. Rift Apart gives players a selection of guns and grenades to experiment with. The game does a great job in encouraging players to use all of them instead of picking one and calling it a day. Every weapon can be leveled up, which expands its personal upgrade tree. I find myself cycling between the muzzles of my guns in every battle, really driven to see what each can do in final form.
Compared to previous entries, the arsenal this time is a bit tame. There are plenty of returning favorites, but some of the new weapons feel creative like tools like the Groovitron or the Qwack-O-Matic, which turned enemies into ducks in Up Your Arsenal. The most memorable tool is the Topiary Sprinkler, which temporarily turns enemies into shrubs. It’s one of the few weapons that plays such an important role in the dramatic combat that the series excels at.
I find myself cycling between the muzzles of my guns in every battle, really driven to see what each can do in final form.
It looks like Insomniac played it straight out to make better use of the PS5’s DualSense controller. Many firearms have alternate firing or firing modes that use the controller’s adaptive triggers. For example, the Headhunter sniper zooms in closer depending on the stiffness of the left trigger. Not every gun uses that idea, but the guns add a bit of depth to the shot.
It’s an interesting use of technology, but admittedly it can be a tricky spot. And I mean a literal one. The trigger resistance becomes physically tiring. With a weapon like the Ricochet, the player needs to press the right trigger multiple times to defeat the enemy. It was so hard to pull the trigger that I found myself having to switch to my middle finger just to give my pointer a rest. Profit really nailed the gunplay design around its alternate firing system-adaptive triggers, but I imagine many players will find themselves turning the feature off entirely here.
The gun levels are perhaps a bit overwhelming to match the PS5 itself, which is something we’ve seen in games like Destroy AllStars. Even with those quirks, the fight was happily chaotic. When I electrify a creature with a gun, I create the perfect moment of “comic mischief” where my smug foe shakes in place like a cartoon character after sticking a fork in. Sockets. Shooting a creature is always rewarded with some kind of detailed animation that’s fun to watch.
If Profit is the best showcase of PS5 controller, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the game that best represents the console. It’s a visually pleasing game that plays like a CGI movie. There were moments where I didn’t even realize I had regained control of the character after smoothly exiting a cutscene. The detailed worlds are so intricate that they look like they belong in a pre-rendered piece of cinema.
In many ways, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the best example of how powerful this current generation of consoles is.
Take a location like the game’s open world, a small part of a bustling city. It’s not just a few important buildings with some NPCs mixed in. The sky was filled with cars flying overhead and neon signs flashing in the distance. For an even simpler fun, smash a box wall and enjoy the bead blast that ensues as hundreds of wood chips and bolts fly out in all directions.
The real star of the show is the PS5’s SSD, which is fully utilized by Insomniac. Ratchet and Rivet receive a tether that can be used to compress through portals, repeatedly teleporting them forward in a technical magic trick.
That’s especially useful for the whole alternate dimension angle. There are “pocket sizes” dotted throughout the levels, taking players to a completely different stage of challenge with zero load times. Whenever games try to come up with such tricks, there is always some secret seam that it uses to hide the wait. Just look at God of War, it uses a mystical area to hide loads between areas. If those moments took place behind the scenes Rift Apart, they are completely invisible.
In many ways, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the best example of how powerful this current generation of consoles is. It delivers the spectacle above all else, creating its own version of the game’s own “cinematic magic”. I just wanted to dig into a bag of popcorn during the adventure.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is another great PS5 exclusive that really shows off the hardware’s capabilities. It’s a visually detailed background with three incredible Iron Man movies. Filming is a bit of a pain due to some of the over-exciting DualSense integrations, which is a literal pain, but Insomniac has produced a colorful blockbuster filled with good, story-style mischief. old picture.
Is there a better option?
If we consider this a superhero game (it is), it’s on par with Marvel’s Spider-Man. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury offers a bit more reasonable value in terms of the performer.
How long will it last?
The story goes on for about 10-12 hours and I hit 100% within 15. There are good reasons to replay as weapons can be leveled up more the second time around.
Should you buy it?
It’s correct. It’s another powerful exclusive to the PS5 series and one that really gets the most out of the system.