Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart made its worldwide debut during Sony’s PlayStation 5 reveal stream last June. From that moment forward, the universal question on everyone’s mind was how soon could we play Insomniac Games’ next major video game release? After the overwhelming success of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the next question would be if Rift Apart could be just as special as that game was?
Currently in my second campaign playthrough and inching closer to the platinum trophy, I can confirm that Rift Apart isn’t just a phenomenal entry in the series but it is also an absolute must-play if you own a PS5 console right now. Here are more of my in-depth thoughts on why you shouldn’t miss out on Ratchet & Clank’s latest adventure.
Saving The Galaxy One Rift At A Time
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a third-person shooter platformer and the sixteenth installment in the popular franchise. The story kicks off with our favorite dynamic duo attending a celebratory event in their honor that is abruptly interrupted by Dr. Nefarious and his goons. Clank attempts to gift Ratchet the Dimensionator, a device that would allow the pair to open portals to other dimensions in search of other lombaxes. Unfortunately, Nefarious gets his hands on the Dimensionator and as our heroes attempt to take him down, they are separated from each other, and the device takes damage, instantly opening up various pocket dimensions throughout the galaxy. To make matters worse, Nefarious is an Emperor in one of these dimensions and ends up forming a team with his Dr. counterpart in order to finally beat our beloved duo.
On a positive note, these alternate dimensions do introduce us to a few new protagonists with one of the most prominent being a female lombax named Rivet. Voiced by Jennifer Hale, Rivet is initially thought of as Ratchet’s equal, but as we learn more about her backstory and characteristics, these unique factors allow her to stand out from everyone else. Rivet finds Clank early in the game and ends up working alongside him across several missions. Ratchet is also paired with an alternate version of Clank but I don’t want to spoil those details as that particular character plays a big role in moving the storyline forward. Eventually, Ratchet & Clank do end up reuniting and working with their new friends to stop both Nefariouses from running amok in the galaxy.
In my personal opinion, Rift Apart was a thoroughly exciting and entertaining story from start to finish. In many ways, the narrative reminded me of my own childhood memories and all the fun I had watching my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Writers Sam Maggs and Lauren Mee did a fantastic job at creating charismatic and meaningful characters that I feel everyone will grow attached to rather quickly. How these characters are then developed over the course of the adventure is equally fascinating and left me very curious to see how the next entry in this franchise will build upon everything that was established in this game. In short, even if you’ve never played a Ratchet & Clank game before, Rift Apart will leave you with some nostalgic feelings back to a time when things were simple, innocent, pure, and carefree.
Gameplay is the absolute bread and butter of the overall Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart experience. From Sunset Overdrive to Marvel’s Spider-Man, Insomniac Games has truly refined its signature formula for creating the perfect balance between exploration, combat, and traversal maneuvers. Your journey starts out by visiting various planets as either Ratchet and his partner or Rivet and Clank based on what the narrative entails at the time. All 9 planets that you explore have main objectives, side quests to embark on, a fair share of collectibles, and in some instances very important gadgets such as the Omniglove that allows you to use Phantom dash and Hover Boots that give you the ability to soar to new heights for a limited time.
After you complete the story-related objective for any given planet, you can continue to explore that planet and acquire any/all collectibles that you might have missed along the way. Here’s a list featuring the number of items and collectibles that you can expect to pick up as you play through the campaign.
- 7 Gadgets
- 8 Unlockable Armor Kits
- 25 Gold bolts
- 10 Spybots
- 12 Lorbs
Gold bolts, Spybots, and Lorbs are the three main collectibles highlighted on the map key of every planet. Pocket dimensions are scattered throughout various sections of each planet and can be explored by pressing L1 and manipulating/tethering towards the rift. Once you enter a pocket dimension, there is a brief puzzle obstacle course you’ll have to traverse through and upon completion, you may unlock a piece of an armor kit. Miss Zurcon who was last seen in the State of Play presentation back in April is readily available on every planet to take care of all your weaponry needs depending on how much Raritanium that you have. Similar to Into the Nexus, these rare minerals are used to upgrade weapons and can be found hidden throughout various sections of every planet.
One final point that I want to make about the gameplay is that Insomniac does a great job of adding some variety to the overall experience. While Ratchet & Rivet spend a large majority of their time engaging in combat with various types of enemies and bosses, Clank has to use his critical thinking skills to solve dimensional anomaly puzzles. Likewise, another companion that joins Ratchet on his missions is tasked with wiping our viruses impacting systems they need access to. This balanced approach to gameplay keeps things fresh and reinforces the fact that every protagonist plays an important role within the story.
Another Outstanding DualSense Showcase Title
When PS5 launched last November, Astro’s Playroom made absolutely perfect use of the DualSense controller despite it being labeled as a free tech demo. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the true embodiment of what’s capable when developers utilize all the power of the DualSense for a full-fledged title. Everything from the sensation of firing different types of weapons at adversaries to traversing on rails and performing backflips in the air while casually dodging incoming attacks just feels right. The scope of this imaginative world, how you move about it, and the creative approach to stylistic weapons all reminded me of what I loved about Sunset Overdrive and if you enjoyed that game, then you’re definitely in for a treat.
Graphically, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is an insanely beautiful-looking video game. The level of detail in everything from the character models to cinematic cutscenes and level design is simply jaw-dropping. You can play Rift Apart in Fidelity mode (30fps), Performance mode (dynamic 4K/ 60fps), or Performance RT Mode (dynamic 4K/ 60fps + ray-tracing enabled). Regardless of if you play on 30 or 60fps, the game looks fantastic and more than meets the standard of what to expect performancewise from Insomniac titles.
The voice acting and use of sound throughout Rift Apart remain top-notch throughout. If you own a pair of PULSE 3D wireless headsets then you’ll have the benefit of hearing every distinct sound as it was intended in all its glory. Composer Mark Mothersbaugh who last worked on Skate 3, delivers the perfect score to match the tone of both the universe and its characters. Check out one of his songs above to get a general idea of what to expect.
It took me roughly 15 hours to complete Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart mainly because I was very meticulous about getting every collectible, finishing the side quests, and exploring all the secrets on every planet. It may take you a shorter amount of time but it is worth mentioning that if you’re after the Platinum trophy then you’ll definitely need to put more time into the game after completing it. When you beat Rift Apart for the first time, you unlock a challenge mode that allows you to replay the campaign with all of your previously acquired and leveled-up weapons. There also are Omega versions of certain weapons available after you beat the game and once again, you’ll need to keep playing in order to get those last few trophies. With all that said, this is one platinum trophy that is well worth getting and is also a lot of fun doing so.
A Multiverse Masterpiece
From storytelling to gameplay and graphics, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is nothing short of an incredible experience. Insomniac Games have learned a great deal from working on their previous titles and in turn, have created something special again that simply doesn’t miss a beat. If you own a PS5 and decide to miss out on this game, then you would be doing yourself a great disservice.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for the PlayStation 5 provided by Insomniac Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment.