I have been playing the Ratchet & Clank games since the first game back in 2002 and every time I am amazed how close they get to Pixar quality graphics. With each iteration being better than the last, this is no different.
Let’s start with the visuals. It looks superb and honestly jaw dropping in moments. There are vistas in this that will make you stop and rotate the camera to take it all in. There is something different about fully realised worlds that are alien instead of true to life, somehow they feel more realistic and believable. Lighting is flawless with multiple lights and even your weapons as well as the enemy weapons light it up realistically. Coupled with the intense levels of particle effects, non-playable characters on screen and the sheer amount of breakable objects that have physics. This game doesn’t hold back and all with a steady frame rate of 60fps it is a sight to behold.
You play as Ratchet and clank as usual, but this time you also have Rivet, an alternate dimension version of the titular Lombax. Rift Apart is all about alternate dimensions and warping between them is a major gameplay feature. Dr. Nefarious steals the Dimensionator that Clank creates so that Ratchet could find out if he is truly the last of his kind. Dr. Nefarious’s goal is to find a universe where he always wins, and he succeeds. Now a trope for the series, the duo are split and Ratchet goes in search of Clank and try to also save the universe, this time multiple dimensions worth of universes at the same time.
Pacing is superb, you are never doing the same thing for long. As soon as you are getting close to bored with a level, gameplay type or even weapon, the next one is presented to you. All enemy encounters continually change simply due to the weapons you get. Not only weapons, but now you have a temporal rift dodge that helps you avoid attacks and some jet boots that allow you to glide at speed through the world. The flow is perfect. Even revisiting worlds add variety and the collectables are always fun. There are some good side missions, but sadly not as many as I’d like. Usually one per world, and there aren’t as many worlds as you may expect.
Most of the weapons are brilliant and upgrading them leads to more rewards. Not only strengthening them but almost evolving them into even stronger variations of themselves. Weapons are purchased with bolts and upgrades done with Raritanium by Ms Zurkon. The gameplay is all impacted by the slew of weapons and with 20 unlockable in the first playthrough and an additional 2 in the second with beefed up Omega versions of your normal weapons there is plenty of variety. Lot more aggro weapons like Mr Zurkon in past entries and combining these with others is the trick to deal massive damage to larger enemies.
The DualSense absolutely sings in this game. All guns have a secondary fire and the reactive triggers not only pulse but they also and resistance to give you a multi stage button to press for differing results. Haptic feedback tingles uniquely and even sound effects from the controller itself add even more levels of depth. One small addition of clicks paired with haptic pulses when Ratchet is hacking a computer gives you so much back in terms of immersion.
There are glitches, and sadly quite a few but somehow they pale in comparison to the overall quality of the game. It does more right than it does wrong. Yes you and enemies can get stuck in geometry, and you do fall through the world on occasion but my least favourite was the sheer number of invisible walls. For a game of this magnitude I felt as though i could go anywhere, but sadly this isn’t the case and constantly found myself experimenting to reach remote areas only to hit an imperceptible impasse and to fall to my doom. Checkpointing was sporadic too, on occasions you respawn close to where you fell, other times all the way back to your ship. Sometimes going too far forward in areas meant the path back was blocked and the only way to get back was to practically complete the stage to find a warp pad. Luckily this is only a problem when you are trying to find all the collectables, but a simple pause and return to ship would be appreciated.
Set pieces are mind blowing and I almost wish I could watch it instead of play it. Particularly the scene with “The Fixer” was stunning and made the whole price of admission worth it.
Let’s talk about price, £69 for a single player game which took be around 12-15 hours to complete to 98% on my first playthrough. It may have been even less time but there is no in game timer. A second playthrough is welcome too with new weapons and upgrades as well as the ability to skip puzzles if you choose to. On this rare occasion, I think it may be worth it, but prices are already dropping and the second hand market is now rife with people selling the game on.
If you have a PS5 you must play this game, it may not be the best in terms of story, but visuals, gameplay and pretty much everything else is better. How will they ever top this?
- Replay Value