With the arrival of new-gen consoles, we all look forward to experiencing the leap from the previous generation, both in technical and playable level. Demon’s Souls and Returnal have been excellent examples and showcase what PlayStation 5 is capable of. Still, Insomniac Games had to arrive with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Until now, there has been a lot of talk about its spectacular graphics, at the level of a Pixar film. This new adventure of the charismatic Lombax and his faithful robotic companion is much more than just a pretty face. We are facing an authentic game with which Insomniac Games has managed to raise the bar of the PlayStation studios and proved themselves, such as Naughty Dog or Sony Santa Monica, thus presenting their best work to date and a must-have title for those lucky enough to purchase Sony’s next-gen console.
Adventures in interdimensional worlds
The first thing you should know about this new Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is a story sequel to Nexus, the last installment of the series released for PlayStation 3, so everything that happened in the restart of 2016 is ignored. You are new to the series; you can rest easy since the scriptwriters have known how to play their cards very well to write a story that any player can understand. However, if you are regular in this universe, you can be sure that you will find many winks and references that will put a smile on you.
This time the plot focuses on the return of Doctor Nefarius, who steals the dimensionator and transports our heroes to a parallel dimension in which he is the emperor of the entire universe, causing, among other things, the omniverse to destabilize and reality itself begins to crack, which will lead us to undertake a great journey across several planets to find a way to return home and avoid dimensional collapse.
The script as such is straightforward and even predictable. Still, it is brilliantly narrated, well written and never boring, perfectly justifying all our comings and goings while developing its protagonists, the great stars of the game without a doubt. It is not that they have a particularly complex or deep background. Still, they exude charisma, their dialogues are great, and the chemistry they have with each other is outstanding, making us fall in love with them as soon as we meet them. In addition, it is very appreciated that the tone becomes something more serious and less childish, encouraging more intelligent jokes and jokes while leaving us with some perfect and important messages.
Obviously, we can’t skip this section without talking about Rivet, the new Lombax you will control. Although she is the dimensional equivalent of Ratchet, she is a completely different character, with her own personality and unique circumstances that have been created from scratch. It shows the enormous effort that the entire studio has invested in making the player fall in love with her, from her way of being and lines of dialogue to her reactions and expressions. And yes, we can attest that they have achieved their goal, making her someone memorable, very capable, cautious and who never hesitates to help anyone who is in danger. Without a doubt, a great addition to the series and the PlayStation universe.
Rift Apart is an action-adventure and 3D platform that closely follows the usual formula of its gameplay mechanics. It is a delivery that does not seek to reinvent the wheel but rather to take the license to the next level with more and better controls, which has finally resulted in a gigantic qualitative leap.
We will have to travel to different planets while using a crazy and extravagant arsenal to face all kinds of enemies, we overcome multiple platform sections, solve the odd puzzle with Clank, collect huge amounts of bolts and Raritanium to improve our weapons, and We are looking for secrets, collectibles and optional challenges. As you can see, everything is more or less the same and if you have played any of its predecessors but much better.
Ratchet and Rivet are controlled the same (in fact, they share arsenal and improvements). Still, now they enjoy much higher mobility, being able to perform a dodge to propel themselves that serves both to avoid impacts and to “platform” and move with greater agility through the stage, something to which we must add the possibility of running both on foot and along certain walls, as well as an improved and much more intuitive version of the hovercraft boots. As if that were not enough, to all this, we must add a hook that will allow us to reach the places where we see dimensional rifts.
As you can imagine, in practice, this implies that we are facing a considerably more agile, frenetic and satisfying game in which we will not be able to stay still for a single second while we move at full speed through the battlefields to reposition ourselves, avoid impacts and crush our rivals. At the same time, it also favours that the platform sections are more elaborate, and we have to chain all our repertoire of movements and tools to overcome them.
Of course, we have another of their strengths in the weapons: very varied, tremendously original and fun to use as they are alone, including some that are truly crazy. Best of all, the handling of each one is completely different, and its practical applications vary considerably from one to another, so we will constantly be alternating them with adapting to each situation, take advantage of their synergies and unleash chaos and destruction.
What’s more, thanks to the adaptive triggers of the DualSense, we will be able to alternate between its different firing modes and functionalities depending on how we press R2 and how well it has been executed, making the sensations at the controls completely different. Depending on the weapon you’re using, all of them make different types of resistance. Add to that this that we have just mentioned is accompanied by an extraordinary use of haptic feedback to transmit the power of each pistol to the hands, and you will easily understand how tremendously fun and rewarding it can be to hitting shots at any time of the adventure…
The icing on the cake is how incredibly well designed the setting and the stages. The stages have been created to force us to make the most of our weapons, something where the enemies we will face and the enemies also have a lot to say. Different combinations of them that will put us ahead. Each rival is unique and has its own characteristics, behaviours and weaknesses, which will force us to adapt to them and choose wisely which pistols we want to use at all times, taking into account both the arena and our opponents.
Variety is what gives all the flavour
As you can see, the brand new title by Insomniac Games offers us bomb-proof gameplay with an arsenal that is wonderful, impeccable control, more movement options than ever, an enviable rhythm of action, an extraordinary level design, use of the capabilities of the DualSense that sets a new standard in the console and a repertoire of first-rate enemies. But if there is something that we especially liked, it is its fantastic development, proposing one of the most varied, frenetic, spectacular and fun adventures that we have played in recent years.
Yes, the shots and jumps are present at all times. Still, its creators have managed to shape a trip full of surprises, and that does not stop reinventing itself at all times, and that always goes further as soon as we are fighting in a coliseum than exploring a small open-world, fighting against computer viruses to hack terminals, alternating between two different realities to make our way, facing a boss or fleeing from a dangerous monster that we cannot defeat. It is a game that never stands still, and that does not stop bombarding us with new ideas, mechanics and situations so that we do not get bored, getting us to play for the simple fact of seeing what awaits us around every corner, providing to each planet with a unique and very marked personality. And be careful, since it has some of the most spectacular sequences that we have ever played in any video game, moments in which the developer puts all the meat on the grill to leave us with our mouths open with a real visual and playable feast.
In total, completing the adventure is something that will take us between 12 and 15 hours, depending on how much we want to stop to explore. However, we can enjoy a second round after seeing the credits, thanks to the usual Challenge Mode. We can obtain new weapons and unlock their Omega versions to face tougher rivals. As a curiosity for trophy hunters, getting Platinum is something that has taken us just over 20 hours without using guides of any kind.
We are not going to deny that it is tough for us to get something out of the game and, in the end, the “buts” that we have seen respond more to very personal appreciations of the person who subscribes these lines than anything else. Among them, we would say that the challenges of the new colosseum have seemed very few and simple. However, we cannot deny that we have missed a little more complex in certain sections since you will hardly have problems moving forward as soon as you have some experience with the genre or series, even at its highest difficulty level. Similarly, the game could have exploited certain ideas and mechanics a little more.
Next-Gen experience is here
Finally, about its graphic section, we can only speak wonders. Not surprisingly, it is the rawest, spectacular and beautiful game we have ever seen, far above anything else that has been done to date. We are facing a whole technical beast that could compete for face to face with almost any animated film, which is equivalent to scenarios with a sick level of detail, incredible textures, 10 models, exquisite animations, lots of effects ( be careful how we destroy the armour and pieces of the enemies with our impacts) and lighting that will not stop leaving us with our mouths open, especially with ray tracing activated, being the console game that best uses this technology of all those that have been released so far. And to top it off, we have a simply perfect art direction.
We could write an entire article dedicated solely to talking about its graphics section. Still, we would not be able to do justice to the spectacle of watching it in motion on our screens while we play. And yes, it does look cartoonish, but it does feature some of the most realistic details ever made, like Ratchet and Rivet’s own fur.
In its technical section, the title uses the new ultra-fast hard drive of the console since there are no loads in practically the entire game, which is highly appreciated. In addition, this has also been used very intelligently to create certain visual effects and unique playable situations that would not have been possible otherwise, allowing us to jump between different worlds and toggle between one reality and another of certain planets in less than a second and without losing control of our character.
Finally, the game has a varied soundtrack composed by Mark Mothersbaugh ( Thor: Ragnarok ), who has amazed us with some scores, that play with different styles, dynamically, who have very recognizable melodies and who know how to elevate the epic of the best moments of the game impeccably. The effects are brutally spectacular, varied and forceful. Without a doubt, Ratchet and Clank have one of the best voice-overs we’ve heard for a video game. To top it off, you should use capable headphones in order to enjoy the PS5’s 3D audio technology.
Ratchet & Clank: A Dimension Apart is, without a doubt, that resounding generation jumps that we were waiting for. A unique and surprising experience that would not be possible anywhere else has made us aware that the future of video games that we always dreamed of is now our present. Not only does it give us the biggest audiovisual feast that has ever been made in this industry, but it also accompanies all this media deployment with new features, mechanics and functions that take advantage of the new possibilities of PlayStation 5.
Beyond its technical benefits, what we have at hand is a great game in its own right that takes a series with almost 20 years of history to a new level, offering us a hilarious adventure that hits everything it does to delight us with gameplay impeccable, great ideas, frenetic pace, charming characters, tons of humour, wonderful staging and an incredible variety of situations. Few times we have seen so much love and care fusioned in a game like the one that Insomniac Games has invested with Ratchet and Clank series, an enthusiasm that is very difficult not to catch when taking control and that makes it clear to us how special it has been this work for its creators!
We prepared this review with a digital copy of the title provided by Sony PlayStation.