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June 15th, 2021
Following Cyberpunk 2077’s botched launch, I’ve approached most new games with a increased hesitation. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is, right? So when we saw Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for the first time, my guard was up. It really looked like you were playing a Pixar movie, but I still had a hard time trusting the final experience.
After spending a few weeks with Rift Apart, I can confirm it genuinely lives up to the hype. It’s a visual spectacle that’s light-years beyond anything we’ve seen in consoles or even most PC games. While we’ve seen some games tap into the power of the PS5, like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls and Returnal, Rift Apart is even more technically impressive, not to mention more accessible than those last two punishing games. It pushes technology like ray tracing to new heights, allowing for realistic reflections and shadows. And it takes advantage of the PS5’s speedy SSD, letting you hop between completely different worlds in an instant.
I’d go as far to say that Rift Apart single-handedly proves why we need powerful new consoles. Sure, Insomniac probably could have released a cut-down version of the game that would have looked a bit better than the 2016 Ratchet & Clank. But there would be no ray tracing, vastly slower load times and simplistic controller rumbling. It would have been just another platformer. On the PS5, though, Rift Apart feels like a genuine leap ahead.
The game puts the series’ heroes, the plucky Lombax Ratchet and his robotic sidekick Clank, on a dimension-hopping quest where they encounter alternative versions of themselves. There’s Rivet, a female Lombax rebel, and Kit, a former war robot with a bit of an identity crisis. Together, they’re out to stop the evil Dr. Nefarious from invading other universes (and potentially destroying the fabric of reality in the process). Longtime fans of the series will get a kick out of seeing slightly twisted versions of their favorite side characters, like the dopey Captain Qwark, but the game doesn’t rely on much backstory, which is great for newcomers.