Historically speaking, new console generations tend to take a while to build up a head of steam. They’re often held back by the previous generation, developers coming to grips with the new tech and the various embuggerences inherent in hardware upgrades. Even taking that into account, however, the PS5 launch has been patchy. Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a brief hoot and Demon’s Souls was gorgeous but beyond that, pickings have been slim. There hasn’t really been a big, blow-the-bloody-doors-off, must-have blockbuster title with mass appeal.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, exclusive to PS5, is a game that finally justifies the existence of the new console as something more than a huge box that plays PS4 games faster. More than that, though, it’s a great new entry in the long running series.
Rift Apart puts you in the magnetic boots of the “last” Lombax, Ratchet, and quirky robot, Clank. It seems that their arch enemy, ol’ mate Doctor Nefarious is yet again acting like a porkchop and has stolen a device called the Dimensionator. With it, he manages to bugger off to a dimension where he doesn’t constantly lose and as Emperor Nefarious, makes life hell for our dynamic duo.
However, we also have a new character on the scene, an alternate dimension Ratchet counterpart, Rivet. Much more than a simple gender flip, Rivet comes from a darker dimension, where the stakes are significantly higher. Rift Apart’s action has the player shifting between the two characters, tackling various objectives, attaining and upgrading weapons and exploring the various planets.
And it’s a hoot. Slick, fast-paced gameplay, a nice mixture of combat and puzzle solving and due to its PS5 exclusivity – not to mention developer Insomniac’s hard work – it’s one of the most gorgeous video games you’re likely to play. Colourful, brimming with character, engorged with particle effects and retina-stroking animation, it’s an absolute joy to play from minute one until the credits roll.
Honestly, even if you’re only a casual fan of the Ratchet & Clank series, this game is a must-have for PS5 owners. The only downside is at 14-17 hours gameplay, it’s a tad on the short side for the hefty price tag. And while a robust NG+ (with more weapons and upgrade trees) is impressive, it’s still on the slender side.
However, can you really put a price on pure joy? Because that’s what Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart delivers, a joyous spectacle with likeable characters, genuine pathos and more weapons than you could hurl a Lombax at. It’s like a Saturday morning cartoon for your soul and dripping with visual splendour.