I’ll make no secret out of it. I’m a huge fan of Sony’s ‘mascot’ games. You know…like Jak and Dexter (bring them back please!), Sly Raccoon and company (again, where are the new games?!) and of course, Ratchet and Clank. Whenever a new game in these series gets announced, I get giddy with excitement. I’ve tried to temper my anticipation ever since Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was shown off at E3 but it sure as hell didn’t work.
Not one bit.
Thankfully, SIE put my suffering to rest last week, when they graciously offered a review code for the game!
Now that I’ve finished the game, is the latest Ratchet & Clank worth it?
Find out by reading on!
What is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart?
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the latest game in the Ratchet & Clank series. A single player third person action platformer with light RPG elements, it’s developed by series developer Insomniac games and published by SIE. It’s also a Playstation 5 exclusive.
The game picks up some time after the last game ended, with Clank having repaired the Dimensionator (a device that can open portals to other dimensions) and about to present the device to Ratchet as a gift when Dr. Nefarious swoops in and nabs it.
Ratchet manages to damage the device, causing it to go haywire and open a portal to another dimension, taking Ratchet and Clank (along with Nefarious) along for the ride.
To be honest, it’s a really generic plot. The whole game is pretty much you out to stop Nefarious, repair the damaged Dimensionator and get back home. Nothing to write home about. I wish there was more depth to it but there isn’t. It’s not a major detriment (after all the game’s not an RPG) but a stronger story would’ve been much appreciated.
To its credit, the story’s not without its awesome parts. It’s also funny enough that I was chuckling (if not outright laughing) at certain points. I especially love Zurkon Jr’s dialogue! He’s the reason you should be watching the Weapon Preview videos in the game! The robot is hilarious and awesome!
Incidentally, that’s also what the game is like!
This is pure Ratchet & Clank and it’s a formula that rocks.
Travelling from world to world is fun, especially since each new world you visit has something new to offer! You’ll never feel bored because no world is alike!
Like previous games, there’s a light experience system in the game for both Ratchet (and also Rivet) and every weapon. Ratchet (or Rivet) gets more HP as he levels up, so he can take more hits and keep on going. The weapons grow more powerful with use too, which unlock more perks and at Level 5, evolve to more powerful versions of themselves.
As weapons grow, they also unlock more upgrade slots and perks.
You’ll need Raritanium to unlock them though so you’ll have to scour the stages for these hidden stones. While they’re really well hidden and hard to find early on, you’ll later be able to unlock an optional upgrade that highlights them (and every other collectible) on your map screen, which is great if you’re looking to collect everything and/or unlock the Ryno.
Those are great incentives for you to keep on killing pretty much everything in sight.
As much as I love the system though, some of the weapons are incredibly boring to level. The rapid fire ones in particular.
XP growth rate seems to differ with all the weapons; some gain levels after only a few kills, others take a ton of enemy deaths to level up.
This discrepancy means some weapons (particularly the ones with limited ammo) get stronger faster, while those with a ton of ammo (mainly the rapid fire weapons), take a while to level up.
I love the system but I found the rapid fire weapons seem to be a bit underpowered. The lightning gun and the saw blade gun (I forgot the names) take a TON of ammo to kill anything except the weakest of enemies, which makes them annoying to use because you’ll be shooting and shooting and shooting before ONE enemy goes down.
That’s not the case with some of the other weapons though, particularly the Ryno.
Hands down, that’s my favourite gun in the game!
You need to get all the Resistance bots to unlock it (just like in past games) but when you do, it’s the most destructive gun in your arsenal. It literally rips a hole in space time and chucks out a random object that blows up in a HUGE explosion. Fully upgrade it and you get MULTIPLE portals that drop stuff that blows up!
Awesomely, there are MULTIPLE Easter Eggs for platforming fans that emerge out of the portals opened by the Ryno, such as Jak, Sly Cooper, his van, a monster from Horizon and even the mascot from Sunset Overdrive!
Apart from shooting stuff, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart also has the usual platforming and mini-games.
These take the form of hacking using a program called Glitch or Clank (or Kit) going solo to solve some puzzles. Both are pretty cool but I love the hacking mini-game more. Glitch is a cool character and I just LOVE her personality.
In the hacking mini-game, Glitch will have to defeat viruses by blowing up their nests.
The problem is these nests are protected by shields, which Glitch will have to find switches for to lower them. On top of that, these switches can sometimes be on the ceiling, which means that Glitch will need to walk on walls (and ceilings) to find them.
It’s a bit unique from Ratchet’s gameplay style, especially as Glitch as unlimited ammo for her gatling guns.
Clank’s (and Kit’s) sections are the complete opposite. There aren’t any enemies at all.
What you need to do is to lead an army of Clanks to the exit. Simplistic in theory but obstacles abound. You’ll need to find special balls (that will allow specific platforms to turn into lifts, give speed boosts and other powerups) to aid them.
I liked these sections, but I also feel that they slowed the game’s pace waaaaaaay down. They’re more cerebral (especially the later puzzles) which is a refreshing change from the shooting, but they don’t really fit in with the rest of the game.
They’re not optional too so if you’re stuck on particular puzzle, you’re forced to go online to seek help.
There are also collectibles to nab! I really enjoyed going for all the Armor pieces, Resistance robots and the Gold Bolts. The collectibles are numerous enough to be satisfying diversion, but not too many that finding them all becomes a chore.
Armor is the easiest to collect. There are multiple armor sets in the game, with 3 pieces (helmet, chest and boots) parts to complete a set.
Most of them are cool, but looks aren’t the only reason for you to want to get them. All of the armor sets have benefits to give to Ratchet and Rivet. These include extra XP, more bolts and best of all, more Raritanium!
Like I talked about earlier, get all the robots and you unlock the Ryno, the best gun in the game. You also get some lore entries, but nobody cares about that.
The golden bolts on the other hand unlock special features! These include new skins for Ratchet’s and Rivet’s weapons (such a keyblade!) but the best thing they unlock are CHEATS!
Get enough bolts and you can unlock Infinite Ammo and Health, which makes the game helluva easy!
The best part? Using the cheats does NOT disable trophies! BOOYAH! I love using the Ryno over and over again without worrying I’ll be running out of ammo!
Even better, once you beat the game, you’ll unlock Challenge Mode. You’ll start from the beginning with all your credits and weapons, with new features like tougher enemies, a Bolt Multiplier that gives you more bolts the longer you don’t get hit or die and the ability for weapons to be upgraded to their full potential; Level 10!
If that’s not incentive enough to replay the game, I don’t know what is!
Now, let’s get to the elephant in the room…the visuals.
Good news on that front.
I’ve been playing on Fidelity mode, with all the features turned on at 4K and the game still plays like a dream. Yes, it’s 30FPS, but it’s a rock solid 30FPS. Even when things get really really insane with bolts flying around, particles effects everywhere, tons of enemies swarming and ray traced lighting!
All the screenshots in this review is from that mode. Beautiful, right?
What’s really impressive though, is the Performance RT mode. This gives you a lower resolution BUT comes with Ray Tracing AND 60FPS gameplay.
This is THE way to play. Sure, the visuals aren’t as sharp but the game’s still a damn looker and an unmistakable Playstation 5 game.
Does it detract from the awesomeness though? Not at all! It’s barely noticeable!
The Bottom Line.
Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is a solid reason for getting a PS5.
The visuals really make it seem next generation (even if you’re playing on the Performance RT mode), and the series’ trademarked gameplay style is still incredibly fun and engaging. There are some really minor issues that I hope Insomniac will fix, but nothing major that will detract from your enjoyment of the game.
Whatever you might think of the series, the bottom line is that this is certainly a Game of the Year contender.
Yup, it’s that good.
You have a PS5? You NEED this game.
- Incredible visuals.
- Fun gameplay.
- Loads fast!
- Leveling system.
- Challenge Mode!
- Cheats don’t affect trophies!
- Plot could be better.
- Not enough unique weapons.
- Some weapons are useless.
- Leveling some weapons take a loooooooooooong time.