Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: June 11, 2021
Total Playtime: 17 Hours – Platinum Trophy Obtained.
Insomniac Games are just on a constant roll with releases throughout the past few years. In 2018, they released the Marvel’s Spider-Man game for PS4, along with the DLC that came out recently after the release of the main game. Then in 2020, they released Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for the PS5 and at the same time they released Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales for both the PS4 and PS5. Now, 7 months later, they come out with Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart for the PlayStation 5. They know how to put out not just a quantity of titles, but also a quantity of them. It is truly one of the many reasons why these guys are one of my top 3 favorite developers that PlayStation Studios has under their umbrella of developers. PlayStation was very smart to pick up these geniuses back in 2019 after the tremendous success of Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart starts out when you are in the main city during a festivity to celebrate the heroes of the world. As seen in many of the trailers of the game, Dr. Nefarious steals the re-built dimensionator and causes lots of chaos to occur. You go through the beginning of the game, and then the real experience starts. In this game, you are not only playing as Ratchet, but also as the new female Lombax named Rivet. Close to the beginning of the game, Clank gets separated from his best friend Ratchet and must go with Rivet. Rivet doesn’t like robots from a memory that you find out at close to the end of the game, so she is cautious of Clank and what he says when they first meet. Eventually, she gets to understand him and when she does the story gets really good. They, Rivet and Clank, fix up the communicator to get in touch with Ratchet, and once this happens the story gets so good. Throughout the game, you meet others that are dimensional counterparts in Rivet’s dimension and some of them have very interesting plot lines. The overall plot line is to be Nefarious and stop his evil at work. The story isn’t the best part of the game, but even saying that it is still extremely good.
Now, jumping away from the story to the gameplay, there is actually quite a lot of variety throughout this title. There are two main aspects to the gameplay, platforming and third person shooter. In the game, you can either fight with a close up attack with a physical weapon or a large variety of guns. None of these weapons feel like they are just a copycat of one another for the guns and I am glad about that. One of the weapons turns your enemies into plants and shrubs that make it easier to kill them since they can’t move for a short time. Another weapon is something that was in the 2016 game, the Pixelizer. This turns the beautiful looking enemies and objects into things that look like they are from the PS1 days, and I think it looks cool; however, it’s definitely one of the more weaker choices. Shatterblast, Negatron Collider, Drillpack, and the Peacemaker are some of my favorite weapons that you unlock throughout the game. All of the guns are upgradeable and you should upgrade them since they are more powerful the more you upgrade them. The levels of the weapons also increase over the course of the game when they use them, like a rpg. I will say this, some of the enemies seemed repetitive and I would have liked a little bit more variety, but that is only a small nitpick I have with the game from the combat. Everything was very smooth and responsive and I loved the combat.
There are so many different things that you can complete in the game that isn’t part of the main story. There are different side missions that require you to complete objectives by collecting certain items, destroy a certain number of enemies, and more. Besides the side missions, there is the Battleplex challenges. These are missions that take place at Zurkie’s, a location that is explored very early on in the game. The first of these 15 missions are required to progress through the main story, but the rest of the missions are completely optional and unlock overtime. These are challenges where you must defeat a certain number of enemies, survive a certain number of waves, only use specific weapons, among some boss fights. These were fairly straight forward and provide you with a lot of rewards that can be used within the game, or required if you are trying to get 100%. I wish there was some more variety of the types of side missions within the game because they felt a little repetitive at the end.
Besides the fighting scenes, there are different types of puzzles that can be completed the game. One of these was the Glitch challenges and these were actually decent. They don’t do anything super magical for me, but they have a nice break in the traditional combat of the Ratchet series. This challenge requires you to control a little robot where you must shoot and kill different viruses that are infecting certain machines that block progress to certain areas. Another set of puzzles that you can do in the game was the Clank dimension puzzles. Some of these were fairly challenging and require a little bit of thinking to manipulate the different orbs to get a few holograms from point A to point B. Pocket dimensions are also throughout the title, and most of these are optional to complete and most of them require you to complete some platforming challenges. Most of these are skippable if you can’t, or don’t want to, complete them. I really enjoyed both of these and they are fun, but they are definitely not for everyone.
Within the game, there are many different things that are collectables. One of the many collectables that are in this game are the famous gold bolts. These are little collectables that you can find throughout all of the different worlds; some of them are harder to find than others. Another piece of collectables are robots that have data stored on them that give more to the lore of the story in the game which I thought was cool. Most of the time, they are out of the way and something that requires you to explore the map overall. There are also little orbs that are collectables on one specific planet that talks more about the dimensions and the Lombax species; they also hint towards other properties within the PlayStation family, which I thought was a awesome touch. There are also nine teddy bears that are scattered throughout the worlds and these were very hard to find unless you look at every detail in the game. There are also armor pieces that you find throughout the game. Some of these are unlocked through the Battleplex arena, some of them are found through side missions, or throughout the 9 worlds Don’t want to spend all the time looking for all the collectables but you want them all? Good news, there is a treasure map that you can get in the game that shows you everything and where they are… except for the teddy bears.
Last thing that I want to mention before I get into the visuals and music of the game, is the DualSense. Now, seeing how this is a PS5 only title, I expected a lot of the DualSense controller. I got to say, it delivers for certain. The way in which they use the dual sense in the weapons and how you control them by either a full trigger or only a half trigger pull is very impressive. I am always a sucker for the HD rumble that is in the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, but the rumble in the PlayStation DualSense is absolutely incredible as well. I loved the way the team incorporated both of these features of the controller into the gameplay. The PS5 controller, may take over being my favorite controller based on the haptic feedback and the rumble combination. Also, something that I should say about load times within this game; there practically are none, except when going from world to a new world in the ship, and that is like 5 seconds max.
The visuals are just what you might expect from a PS5 only title. There are three different modes that come with this game for graphics, and I actually did try all three of them out. The first one is fidelity mode, and this one has amazing visual qualities at a resolution of 4K with ray-tracing while capping the frame rate at 30fps. The second one is performance mode, and this one has less of a visual quality that still looks amazing, but it does not have any kind of ray-tracing while making the frame rate at 60fps. The third one, is a mode that makes the game run at an even lower resolution, but has ray-tracing turned on and also have the frame rate at 60fps. I mostly like to play games at a higher frame rates when I get the chance to, so that’s what I mainly played on. I played a good 70% of my time with the game on performance ray-tracing mode and I didn’t see too many dips in visuals or frame rates. I did play about 10% in performance mode, but honestly I couldn’t keep playing without the ray-tracing once I saw the reflections throughout the world. The rest was on fidelity mode and it looked stunning, but I needed to up the frame rate.
The music has so many different levels and sounds that make the game even more fun while I am playing and traversing looking for all of the different collectables. Some of the vocals and beats that are within the game are actually catchy and you just want to stop and listen to the music. Within each of the levels and sublevels of the gameplay, the tunes work to coincide with what tasks that you are trying to complete and no two feel similar. Some songs are more upbeat and uptempo, while others are slower paced and provide a darker ambiance to the world which you are trying to save. No song overstays its welcome since a lot of the time the music balances out with the fighting sequences that you participate in. The musical score is top notch, and I always appreciate when they get the score right for a game. If you want to listen to it, it’s available to stream on Spotify, but it shines in the game even more than it does on it own; and that says a lot since it is very good on its own.
Overall, the whole package is just one outstanding piece that any fan of a Ratchet and Clank game needs to play. Any fan of a third person shooter, platformer, or just a fun game overall should also play it. Is it the most challenging game? No, it really isn’t. Even on the harder difficulty settings which I decided to test after finding playing on normal was too easy, the higher levels were not super challenging. Maybe if I played the game from the start on hard mode it might have been different. I personally think this game is one of the best games that have come out of PlayStation Studios in the past couple years. If you can get this game, and have a PlayStation 5, it truly is another masterpiece that Insomniac Games have created and is worth every penny of the $69.99 MSRP. I am excited for the next creation they make, whether it be a sequel to an IP that they have worked with before, a different one, or a brand new IP.
Want to check out a video review done by Chipz? Check out what he says about the game and if he thinks it’s worth the time and money. Please note that this isn’t my review in video form done by him, but his own personal thoughts on the title.
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Review Score: 8.5/10