Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Hands-on Impressions
Here's what we thought of the game!
Ratchet and Clank are making their way into the world once again! Originally released in 2021 for the PlayStation 5, our iconic heroes are making their way to The Dimension of PC gaming for the first time ever with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart! Take control of everyone's favourite Lombax to partake in a celebration dedicated to your and Clank's heroic deeds... but Dr. Nefarious is never too far behind, and this time, Clank's innocent gift to Ratchet might just become a new adventure for our heroes.
After a ceremony goes awry, the Dimentionator (a device that allows our protagonists to travel through dimensions) has been destroyed and has created a lot of rifts between the worlds. During a battle, Ratchet and Clank are separated and taken to an alternate dimension where Dr. Nefarious is successful and has become the emperor of the universe. With our iconic heroes separated, there are several goals you'll have to complete: find Clank, find and defeat Dr. Nefarious, and return everyone back home.
In the meantime, Clank accomplishes one of Ratchet's goals (and the entire purpose of building the Dimentionator) by meeting another Lombax and what seems to be Ratchet's multiversal counterpart. After Rivet reluctantly takes him along, you'll get the opportunity to learn more about this mysterious dimension from the point of view of a heroic local that opposes the tyrant emperor that has overtaken their world.
The story is short, but the elements present are lovable and heartwarming. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart doesn't bother itself with drama and serious moments, instead embracing a lighthearted narrative that is all too obscure in our day and age. Following the steps of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 exclusives of back in the day, this third-person title focuses a lot on the gameplay and adventure aspects, but the narrative is never neglected and gives you a cast of lovable characters to root for.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is ready to be explored and experimented with. Taking part over multiple hours of content, you will set out on various planets playing as various protagonists (you won't only be controlling Ratchet in this title) as you fight back the evil forces while using a wide arsenal of weapons at your disposal. Truthfully, the gunplay is way more advanced and fluent than it has any business being, and it offers an incredible combat experience.
Whenever you aren't fighting, however, you can explore the world with various movement abilities (and even more that you unlock throughout the game!) in vibrant, diverse planets with different scenes and things to explore! From gliding to dashing and running, every world has different features that you can use to your advantage, ensuring a new gimmick is introduced, if even for a little while.
All new to the franchise, however, is the rifts left behind by the Dimentionator. There are two types you will interact with, some that you can use as platforming elements that spruce up combat and others that unlock a pocket dimension. Although it's stupidly fun to use the rifts to platform and fight, the pocket dimensions are the real highlight...
Collectibles & Classic Gameplay
There are just too many things to explore and get in this game. Pocket Dimensions give you the opportunity to complete a short and sweet puzzle that give you a reward out the other side, which can either be a collectible, a spy bot to learn more about Emperor Nefarious, or even a piece of an outfit that you can use! The clothes are even reflected in cutscenes, though oftentimes, our lovable Lombaxes take off their helmets, but it's not anything major.
Even outside of the puzzles within the pocket dimensions, there are just so many things to collect in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart that you'll never be short on things to do. Running around finding collectibles, exploring the world, and unlocking new outfits is a great way for completionists and collectors to spend their time in the game.
It plays a lot like a classic platformer brought to modern times, the likes of which Yooka-Laylee and Hell Pie have tried to accomplish, and it's a welcome sight considering they've all brought a piece of the past to the future. The gameplay is simple yet enjoyable, and there is a heavy focus on gathering the collectibles, giving you reason to try to 100% the game aside from just completing the platforming challenges in a very A to B fashion — and I love that.
It would be a sin to go through this entire hands-on impressions without mentioning the graphics. The worlds are gorgeous, with either neon-lit streets in Emperor Nefarious' city to lush, green lands that invite you to welcome their alien flora. The worlds expand pretty far, too, though none are so large that undertaking them feels overwhelming.
The graphics and cinematic shots are a massive highlight and shows a humble flex from Insomniac Games' capabilities to make an interactive AND cinematic experience. Every time a new cutscene comes along, my finger gets sore from clicking F12 to take screenshots, with lively animations and beautiful worlds; if I learned one thing from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, is that if it were up to me, I'd watch a movie based on this due to the animations alone. Especially because of its ultrawide functionality thanks to the…
If there's one thing we can all trust Sony's exclusives on (aside from quality) is bang-up jobs with ports and ensuring they take full advantage of the PC at its full potential. Though the port hasn't been entirely flawless for other players, my experience has been smooth and enjoyable, though that's likely because I have an SSD whilst I've heard that those without struggle a lot without it.
Otherwise, however, everything is implemented seamlessly in a way that it feels like it should be a natural PC game. The ultrawide functionality works wonders, ensuring that the engulfing experience is more immersive than ever, the ray-tracing makes the cities gorgeous, and the graphics... well, as I've already said, they are just too good to pass up on.
Truthfully speaking, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart could not have asked for a better debut on PC. Its worlds are encaptivating, its story is engrossing, its characters lovable, and its gameplay exhilarating... Genuinely, I had no complaints throughout my playthrough, as the heartwarming story ensures you feel fulfilled at the end of it all, and the gameplay just begs you to play it again, even if just to kill another Nefarious goon or Grunthor.