Now let’s be honest, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart has been highly anticipated ever since it was announced. Ratchet and Clank have a massive following and Insomniac have some MASSIVE expectations to meet, especially considering the level of gaming today. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the story.
The Quirky Story & Characters of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
The story, to be succinct, is fantastic. Insomniac could have easily gone over the top trying to please fans however they nailed it. Firstly, they have all the characters you know and love, including everyone’s favourite villainous hero, Captain Copernicus Leslie Qwark. Plus everyone’s favourite hoverboarding master, Skidd McMarx. And then at the pinnacle of these characters is the one and only, Dr. Nefarious… Honestly, who else could it be trying to destroy Ratchet and Clanks’ dreams?
The story begins with Clank remaking a dimensionator so that Ratchet can move through dimensions to find his long-lost Lombax family. Of course, Dr. Nefarious can’t stand for this so he puts his evil plan into action to steal the dimensionator and use it to take them to a realm where he is finally the victor. The surprising thing is, it works… At the expense of the dimensionator exploding and tearing apart the different dimensions. So as you would expect, it falls to Ratchet and Clank to save every dimension. Only this time, they are not alone.
This story just goes to show that even after all these years, Insomniac have not lost their touch with these characters and still keep them true to who they are. So when you start a story with all of this nostalgia and add in a new universe with new but eerily similar characters, it makes for a refreshing story that has a familiar feeling. Not to mention, we still get all the comical comments from Dr *ahem* I mean, Emperor Nefarious.
The World Design of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Now moving on to another awesome aspect of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, the graphics. There is definitely a reason Insomniac said this was only coming out for PS5. That is because this game would NOT have worked on a PS4. The game simply looks incredible. From the ray tracing beauty, to the textures of a lombax’s fur, to the extensive details of the eyes. It is immediately clear that Insomniac put so much time and effort into providing fans with one of the best-looking games this year.
Not to mention that the seamless transitions from cutscenes to gameplay just adds to the immersion of the game. I mean, how can you look at the scenery of this game and not fall in love with it? The level of detail in Nefarious City is absolutely astounding. I would not be surprised if you took a second to admire the view or even make use of the photo mode. I’ll be honest, I have never used a camera function in a game… Until now.
A Perfectly-Refined Formula
Now for the most fun and possibly the most nostalgic part of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, the gameplay. The game starts by giving you an amazing introduction, specifically for the fans who have love all of the previous games. There are so many call-backs to previous entries, with Easter eggs hidden throughout. The intro serves the purpose of introducing new fans to the world of Ratchet and Clank, and to pull at all of those nostalgic strings.
The gameplay is pretty much exactly the same with some very noticeable improvements. Most notably, that you automatically strafe when you whip out a weapon. However, some other aspects have been, let’s say “improved upon”. Although you may not experience these till later in the game. The biggest aspect of the gameplay is that you get to play as a couple of new characters, Rivet and Glitch.
Using Rivet is more or less exactly the same as Ratchet, however she wields a hammer and is an absolute badass. This also means that you get something different than the usual screwing a bolt with a wrench; it adds some great variety. Now glitch has to be one of my favourite inclusions. Glitch basically takes the place of the Clank levels in the previous titles. Glitch goes into devices and clears out viruses by shooting them and deploying rockets. This is a nice change.
Now I know what you might be thinking
“Hold on, those Clank levels were my favourite, I don’t want them taken over by a cute little spider-bot taking out mean old viruses”. However, I am here to reassure you that – it’s ok. Because Clank still gets his own levels, they just look a little different. He runs into the all-knowing… Gary, and proceeds to help him in solving puzzles in the inter dimensions.
This has been my most anticipated game ever since it was announced, and it has definitely lived up to the hype. Insomniac has absolutely nailed that nostalgic feel without depending on it. I have sunk hours into this game and I cannot fault Rift Apart on anything. It has done exactly everything I have desired from a new Ratchet and Clank title. It has paid respect to all the games that have come before it while adding completely new aspects. And this was done without messing around with the formula too much. I have to admit, attempting to appease long-time fans and new players alike is a very tight line to walk, and Insomniac has done it expertly!
This game is for absolutely everyone. The difficulties are stacked well for the novice and the expert. This title is a perfect introduction for new players to the franchise, and an absolute thrill ride for the OG fans. In my honest opinion, Insomniac could not have done a better job. I know nothing is perfect… But you have to admit this comes pretty damn close.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is exactly as the title says, a nostalgic masterpiece. But even though it plays on Nostalgia, the game doesn’t rely on sentimentality – it’s a bonus. The new characters are fantastic and serve their purpose perfectly, plus the visuals are just to die for. Rift Apart is incredible from the ground up and should be played by everyone. This is Insomniac’s pièce de résistance.
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