Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart – Review, a journey through dimensions on PlayStation 5
Here is our review of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, a game that shows teeth, nails and ears, but with the handbrake on.
Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is finally ready to hit the shelves, and after Returnal and Demon’s Souls the title Insomniac Games is preparing to have all the eyes of the public on, being a new PlayStation 5 exclusive. It had been years that we had not returned to play the role of the famous lombax: the saga over time seemed to have lost its way, probably also due to not particularly brilliant chapters such as Q-Force, but after a long pause, finally, a main episode of the series returns, which officially continues the story from where he left it. Regardless, as you’ll find out in the review, Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a title that it works and has fun, which does not renew anything of its classic formula but which at the same time introduces those few elements that give a slight breath of fresh air to the series. The final feeling, albeit excellent, leaves us a bit perplexed, with the feeling that the development team has pulled the handbrake slightly, without really going too far to try to do something really innovative. There are phases in which we can clearly see how the development company wanted to give a little more “dark” tones to the adventure, giving maturity to the story and to the characters. The result is good, but that final push is missing which makes everything highly impactful. Despite this, it is still a crackling return for Ratchet and Clank: historical fans will surely find themselves at home, with the addition of abundant fan service and an avalanche of references and citations to past chapters.
Someone fix that Sizer!
The main story of Ratchet and Clank it had stopped at Nexus, even if the actual events of that chapter did nothing but postpone the main tasks of the duo: to find the Lombax that had left their dimension. Rift Apart starts from this concept, Clank wants to help Ratchet to find his race, which is why he decides to give him the Dimensioner, a weapon capable of creating dimensional rifts that allows access to alternative universes. However, what should have been a beautiful day to remember will turn into a nightmare, given that the Doctor Nefarius will try to get hold of the Dimensioner. After an unfortunate fight the invention explodes, ending our heroes in a dimension where the evil Nefarius always wins. Here they will meet Rivet, another lombax who is in fact Ratchet’s counterpart from another universe. With the help of the girl, our heroes will have to adjust the size, defeat Nefarius and save the universe again.
The general level from the plot it is good and does not differ in a particular way from what we have seen in the past, between hilarious jokes and adrenaline moments, the general story goes smoothly without too many hitches. As you will encounter other dimensional counterparts of historical characters throughout the story, we would have expected more interaction with them, this is probably there flaw bigger. The developers have focused a lot on characterizing the main characters, leaving however the supporting actors too in the background, which certainly do not shine for originality compared to the past. It would have been nice to see a greater care for them too, who instead remain mere extras who add nothing more to the story. A very positive thing, however, is how the team has structured a couple of specific moments in the story, also showing some dark clippings that do not clash overall. However, from these we would have expected a net change of register, where instead they turned out to be alone brackets that shortly after they report the story in its comfort zone. Of all the introductions, Rivet is certainly the best one, given that it has a well-recognizable character and distinctive features. So do not expect the definitive story, but everything still flows well even with small smudges.
Feel at home
Even from the point of view of the gameplay, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart does not modify anything in a really concrete way, there are small additions but really nothing special: throughout the story there you will alternate between using Ratchet and Rivet, however, the two share the same weapons and skills. The “real” innovations are linked to the addition of another type of dodge and the free use of Hoverscarponi, special footwear that allow you to take quick and long-lasting shots, useful for covering great distances in a short time. Even the various worlds They were characterized very well, especially as regards the level design. There will be collectibles hidden in truly unthinkable places, reachable only by certain paths, these can offer ideas on the plot or pieces of armor useful to give additional bonuses to both protagonists. Having greatly enlarged some game areas, has given the team the opportunity to insert more elements on the map, even if these are then limited to the aforementioned collectibles, some secondary missions and dimensional portals to be completed with the mini-challenges inside. (not particularly complex).
Each planet has its own characteristic and structure, you will never feel the sensation of déjà vu between one setting and another, and you will be offered many small “experiences” to be taken individually. There will be larger areas which will have to be explored and some smaller ones and drive, but try to check every corner because you can never know where there will be a secret. So, as far as the “secondary” issue is concerned, the Insomniac Games title is well taken care of and the activities present, albeit fairly standard, will give you several hours of carefree entertainment.
The gameplay overall remained unchanged, except that the targets of the Swingshot, although present, have been replaced for the most part by dimensional gashes. These at least in the intensions had to represent possibilities in the combat phases, but in a more concrete way they are not used that much. There have been no occasions in which we have exploited them in a particular way, everything has remained summarily standard, and it didn’t seem like a gameplay mechanic so decisive and amalgamated with the entire play structure. They offer a quick and easy way to step away by enemies if surrounded, but there is no better passage than the one created by weapons. Precisely the latter are undoubtedly the flagship of the production, fun and varied really offer many ideas. However each weapon remains enough situational, there is no real perfect mix to combine their uses as it will always depend mainly on you and personal tastes. Enemies also seem to have a good AI, as they will surround you and communicate with you during the battle depending on your actions.
Is Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart promoted?
From a technical point of view Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a feast for the eyes, on the screen there are an inhuman amount of detail and also the various planets are characterized with a truly manic quality. The ray tracing inevitably makes everything more beautiful, as does the destructibility of the environment which is further highlighted during the most chaotic battles. The DualSense makes a great impression: finally this revolutionary pad of PlayStation 5 is starting to be exploited in the right way and we hope that it will continue like this in the future. The game runs smoothly and smoothly, although for the record we have to say that towards the final part of the story it has encountered some small bugs, but nothing that cannot be fixed with a patch. Also good sound, both from the game audio and what comes out of the pad, players will also find some rearranged historical music, which we are sure will take a nice trip back to the memories of the historical fans of the series.
In conclusion Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart convinced us but with some reservations, years later we still found the same game waiting for us and, albeit with some improvements, we cannot even speak of a clear step forward. What emerges, however, is that Insomniac Games at one point really thought about taking the longest step, but something stopped it. Don’t get me wrong, the game is good, fun, entertaining and we can’t wait for the public to enjoy this adventure, but citing a very popular term right now, we are faced with the classic more of the same. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, but we always expect something more from the exclusive PlayStation 5, especially if the same software house that gave birth to Marvel’s Spider-Man is developing them. However, one thing is undeniable: Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a game made and packaged for fans, those who follow this unlikely couple from day one will find their match. There are in fact many quotes that make you smile, especially because they inevitably bring back memories. The whole adventure can be completed easily around 15 hours maximum, also giving space to some of the secondary activities that can also be resumed in the Challenge Mode, or the now classic New Game +. Rivet is the real breath of fresh air of the series, but after an excellent chapter like this we believe the time has come to give a definitive turn to the series, get out of the standards of the comfort zone and bring Ratchet and Clank to shores still to be explored, perhaps showing in a more concrete way that maturity that, in Rift Apart, can only be seen at times.