Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Review)

Unlike the 2016 reboot of the franchise’s first entry, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart continues the story from where it left off.  As a person who still continues to prefer Jak and Daxter, does Insomniac give this series enough love for it to truly become a prominent, top-tier series for the PlayStation platform?


…boredom is completely non-existent…

In case you don’t already know, the game follows its classic formula from days gone to good effect: it’s an action platformer and shooter.  But thanks to modern technology, boredom is completely non-existent as the game puts you through the ringer of puzzle solving, mini spider bot shooting galleries, flying, riding, and even free-roaming at speed with hover boots.  If that wasn’t enough, the set pieces are action-packed and sure to keep your eyes glued to the screen.  And this is all in addition to the absolute chaos of shooting combat.  It’s an impressive onslaught on your retinas and hands as you’ll find yourself simply glued to everything thanks to an incredible amount of modern-day polish on the controls.  It’s that perfect balance of old and new.  But as if that’s not enough, you’ll find yourself upgrading your weaponry simply for the badassery.  Sure, some weapons are more effective than others, but there’s surprising entertainment value in the arsenal.  I’m going to summarize this section very easily: the game played so well and tickled just the right amount of nostalgia in me that I had nearly all of the weapons, many highly upgraded, by the time I headed into the tail end of the game.  Naturally, that leads right into the next section.


The increased $10 price tag doesn’t pan out here…

Because I enjoyed the way the gameplay tickled my nostalgia naughty bits without holding itself back, the credits rolled for me about 15 hours later.  This included me getting all the armor, gold bolts, and a few other collectibles, and you might find yourself doing more towards completion than you normally would as well thanks to how enjoyable the game plays.  Unfortunately, this is still an issue: I found little reason to go back in other than to further upgrade my weapons.  Based on my save, it looks as if it’s quite possible to platinum this game on a single playthrough file, and I wasn’t even trying to… And that leads to one simple conclusion: at $70, this game has little replay value and thusly is an absolutely poor content proposition.  The increased $10 price tag doesn’t pan out here, not in the slightest.


…only a blind person wouldn’t be impressed.

Did you ever wonder what would happen if a dev had the talent to successfully meld artstyle with the latest graphics tech and animate it like a big budget animated movie?  Wonder no more because Rift Apart sets a new standard for what I thought possible.  The graphics themselves never stop being some of the most photo-worthy I have ever seen, and while it took the PS5 six months to get here, it’s tech demo has finally arrived.  There is no shortage of moments where you wonder what the heck everyone else is doing when this game’s cinematics are animated so beautifully and the graphics tech on show allows for some amazing closeups.  Sure, I could still find some draw distance issues because I notice these kinds of things, but it is absolutely and completely forgivable with what they’ve pulled off here.  And yes, I suggest playing it in the default “Fidelity” mode: you get that extra level of visual flare from ray tracing that is absent in the other two modes.  The other two modes are for framerate sticklers, but if you can appreciate the utterly mind-blowing work done to craft this world, to bring its characters to life, then see it the way they built it.  On the topic of bringing things to life, the story and characters are all voice-acted quite well, and because of their top-tier animation, end up delivering the simple story both effectively and engagingly.  This is it: this is the game you show your friends because only a blind person wouldn’t be impressed.  They might even just want to watch you play it…


…this is why we play videogames…

I can’t deny there is quite a thin line between nostalgia and modernization.  Sometimes, you ruin things when you try to modernize it, and other times, you ruin things when you fail to modernize it.  But a lot like the 2016 reboot, Rift Apart manages to tip-toe the line to make sure you still feel like you’re playing something classic, but new and fun at the same time.  The fact that this is also then wrapped up in one of the most pristine presentations ever gives just about anyone with retinas and hands a reason to get a PS5.  The one flaw this game has then, is that it’s pretty much a single playthrough that can easily be done in a weekend, even for completionists, and that continues to make me scratch my head at Sony’s $10 exclusive “tax”.  Still, this is it: this is why we play videogames; this is the epitome of gaming enjoyment.

I give Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

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