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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - A portal to perfection


 

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Reviewed on: Playstation 5

Also available on: N/A

Release: 11th June 2021

Rating: PG

Price: $98 - Harvey Norman (Lowest Price)

 

The Playstation 5 is almost 7 months old and finally we have our first real 1st party “next gen” exclusive. I find that more and more these days, games seem to have that real “slow” introduction that I usually find really boring and sometimes I even struggle to stick with a game through this lackluster start. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is absolutely not one of those games. You're immediately thrown into a very unique and fun way of familiarising yourself with the controls. Personally, I have never delved in and played Ratchet and Clank before. I mean I may have played an hour or so as a teen, but certainly nothing that I remember. Regardless, the moment I jumped in I felt this odd sense of a rapport with the characters. This is down to the narration and storyline right from the get go, you're immediately rooting for the 2 main characters.


Graphically, Ratchet and Clank is gorgeous. Featuring 3 different graphical settings: fidelity, performance and performance RT. Fidelity is a 4K resolution mode that is limited to 30FPS and includes all the visual effects you can poke a stick at. Performance is 4K 60FPS, with all those visual effects disabled for a much more stable FPS performance with an improved resolution. Performance RT is a middle ground, its 1440P, 60FPS with visual effects like ray tracing, scene density and lighting effects enabled. To say that Ratchet and Clank is a noticeable step up from the PS4 is an understatement, it's easily one of the best looking games i've ever played. Of course a realistic game such as The Last of Us 2 or Ghost of Tsushima is going to show off the power of the PS5 in terms of graphical fidelity, but Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is honestly like watching a Disney Pixar movie. The animation is clean, the environments are incredible and the little stories in the background really make you feel immersed into the many different worlds you get to explore. In fact, the animation looks so good it's genuinely difficult to tell the difference between a cutscene and actual gameplay. The ray tracing is, in my opinion, done to perfection. A lot of the time since the beginning of this new generation, I have felt that developers try too hard to show off how ray traced a world can be, and end up almost oversaturating the ray tracing a little. Ratchet and Clank however, really nails it. Surfaces that should be reflective are and they are seemingly the perfect level of reflective at that. Visually, Ratchet and Clank will probably be the benchmark for next gen games for quite some time.



While all of the above is impressive, what's more impressive is the way in which Ratchet and Clank utilises the sheer speed of the PS5. From jumping complete dimensions in just milliseconds, to the way in which enemies appear out of nowhere, all the while the game never really struggles with rendering. The entire experience is super silky smooth and is a great advertisement as to what the Playstation 5 is capable of.


One of the things I applaud Insomniac for, is that Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is unapologetically Ratchet and Clank. An issue that I struggle with these days, is that when developers reboot a series in the way that Ratchet and Clank have done with this game, they always try to be something they are not. There's too far a distance between what the die hard lovers of the franchise loved about the originals. This game absolutely does not fall into this trap. It sticks to its roots and merely improves upon it perfectly. This I am a BIG fan of.



The story of Rift Apart is compelling and as mentioned earlier, you're invested from the very beginning. Very reminiscent of almost any animated kids movie on the market, the cutscenes are brilliant and downright riveting. The fact that there's almost zero discernible difference between these cutscenes and the gameplay itself makes for an enthralling time. Like any good children's movie, Rift Apart is packed full of humor, a lot of which I feel might go over a child's head, but it's absolutely one of the funniest games I've ever played, certainly for some time.


According to reports, the main story takes around 15 hours to complete, unfortunately I am only about half way there, but every minute of it has been super fun. I'm not sure what level of replayability the game will have after these 15 or so hours, but I am super excited to find out.



Gameplay wise, the game is SUPER fun, even just learning the controls is handled in such a way that there's never a dull moment. There's fast paced shooting, a more slow paced exploration and there's plenty of little easter eggs and hidden areas to explore if you look hard enough. I don't want to spoil any gameplay elements that you may be unaware of but there's a lot of upgradability to your weapons, there's plenty of little traversal skills to unlock and none of it ever feels repetitive. Every world feels very different, many with completely different species of creatures to observe.


It's hard to find fault with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Honestly no game is perfect, and everything comes down to taste bu