There’s something special about the Ratchet & Clank series. A certain level of charm is infused through each entry and so, whenever a new instalment is released, fans are left wondering just if the creators at Insomniac Games will be able to live up to the high expectations set out before them. With Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, they’ve gone above and beyond what many of us thought would ever be possible.
Built from the ground-up for PlayStation 5 consoles, Rift Apart immediately draws in the gamer with stunning haptic feedback and adaptive triggers via the DualSense controller, as well as fully-enveloping 3D audio. Oh, remember loading times? They're all but non-existent here. I don’t recall a single time in my countless hours of play that I was left waiting. For me, that’s one of the most beautiful features of new-gen gaming.
So, where does our journey begin? Our titular lombax and robot heroes are being celebrated in a gigantic parade thanks to their efforts in bringing down Dr. Nefarious and scuppering his plans of world domination. When Clank presents Ratchet with a gift however - the Dimensionator which he hopes will help his friend find fellow lombaxes at some point in time - everything goes wrong. Dr. Nefarious makes his return, clumsily destroys the Dimensionator and is transported, along with Ratchet and Clank, to an entirely-new timeline.
There, Nefarious rules through fear and ultimate power. He is the supreme leader and anybody who goes against him is eradicated. This dimension is also home to Rivet, a friendly female lombax who quickly finds her journey intertwining with that of Clank, whilst Ratchet is left to navigate this unique world on his own.
What is perhaps the most impressive element of this offering, are the stunning graphics on display. Every character model, no matter how minor to the story, has been designed with a clear passion for detail, whilst the locations are all fully-fleshed, gorgeous settings that will quickly feel like home.
Each cutscene feels as though it’s been ripped straight from an animated series, with witty dialogue and humour woven through expertly. Those conversations trickle through into the main game; you could be exploring a new area and learning about what drives its inhabitants by simply eavesdropping on their conversations. It’s an extremely immersive aspect of the game that should be celebrated.
Developers have also done an incredible job of adding new features to their platformer combat; whilst it’s very reminiscent of that which longtime Ratchet & Clank players will be used to, there are new mechanics, including a rift jump that acts as a dodge, to make sure you up your game. As for the roster of weapons, there is an arsenal that any army general would be proud of. Combining the various guns, bombs and everything else makes for some explosive and frantic, yet always-entertaining results.
With puzzles to solve and viruses to get rid of in a mini-game of sorts, there’s never a dull moment. Gameplay changes from one minute to the next, ensuring the player is kept on their toes throughout.
Rift Apart is nothing short of a masterpiece. If you’ve been lucky enough to pick up a PS5 console, then you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t grab a copy of this game.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is available now, exclusively for PlayStation 5. Female First was given a code for the game in exchange for a fair and honest review.