Our Score – 10/10
Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart is the latest entry in the long-beloved Ratchet and Clank franchise. The silly yet solid 3D platformer makes full use of the PS5’s offerings to take the series to a whole new height. From ray tracing to almost instantaneous load times, Insomniac has pulled all stops to create what is truly a showcase title for the next-gen console.
Not only is the game a visual benchmark, but it also sets a high bar for future games when it comes to managing load times. Using the PS5’s state of the art SSD to its full advantage, A Rift Apart constantly showcases how much can be achieved from a technical standpoint, closely incorporating it into the game’s design. The plot of the game revolves around the characters falling through different dimensions, and the game regularly sends them flying to diametrically opposite environments – from a dense forest to an underwater lab within a span of seconds. In the past, these transitions would have been bogged down by loading screen after loading screen or long cutscenes. But here, all of it is happening in realtime, thanks to the ultra-fast loading times. Not only does it allow the devs to move through complex scenes quickly, it also keeps the players immersed as they don’t have to wait for anything to load up.
Underneath all the technobabble, Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart is still very much the same 3D platformer that we’ve come to love and enjoy over the past years. The PS5 just makes the experience so much more enjoyable, it’s hard to put it down. Whether you’re breezing through a wasteland in the jet boots or grappling your way through interdimensional portals that pretty much pull your target locations towards you, every bit of the game is teeming with personality, which is only enhanced by the next-gen console experience.
In the past, creators have had to rely on a lot of clever tricks to make their worlds seem life-size, but we’ve finally gotten to a point where it’s possible to do so without hiding behind camera magic, and A Rift Apart is the perfect example of that. The densely populated city renders all its assets in realtime, and you can feel every element because it’s not a part of an illusion.
Another amazing feature that the game shows off wonderfully is the Dualsense controller. From the adaptive triggers that give each weapon a distinct feel to the haptic feedback changing the controller vibration depending on the surface the player is walking on, gives the player yet another reason to just explore and try as many new things and locations as possible. It adds a whole new layer of curiosity to the warm and comfortable nostalgia that is still in the heart of Ratchet and Clank.
The technical stuff put aside, it’s an amazing feat how Insomniac games have successfully mastered the genre of 3D platformers. A Rift Apart is the sixteenth title in the Ratchet and Clank franchise, yet it offers so much that it doesn’t feel like it. Sure, you have all your familiar elements – a colorful and vibrant world, a cast of silly but endearing characters, an approachable if not simple good vs evil plot, but it goes so above and beyond with its host of gameplay mechanics and impressive features that it becomes really easy to recommend it to anyone. It will definitely be an important part of any major PS5 showcase for a long time, and for all the right reasons.