Ratchet & Clank Review: Rift Apart, next gen destination!

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Steven L. Ken
@stevenlken
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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is finally here, we tried it, we played it and now we are ready to sum it up in our review of this important PS5 exclusive

The presence of two fundamental principles, in a reciprocal relationship of complementarity or opposition

It is with the definition of dualism that we want to open this ours Ratchet & Clank review: Rift Apart. A title that lives and nourishes itself by following the canons that the term just mentioned puts in place. Two principles, two elements and two processes that are intertwined but, at the same time, have a life of their own and cultivate that same life independently, with one eye, however, to what surrounds them. We will be dealing with a continuous dualism, playing this new chapter of this famous saga, consisting of two protagonists, two enemies, two dimensions and many elements that make this exclusive PS5 one of the most interesting titles of this 2021. 



If good morning starts in the morning ...

Before proceeding and getting to the heart of our review of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, we believe it is right to clarify immediately some aspects related to this game. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is, on balance, the third true PlayStation 5 exclusive which, at launch, presented the remake of a classic from a few years ago as a flagship title: Demon's Souls, in April launched a decidedly innovative rogue-like like Returnal on the market and then arrived in June with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. All three of these exclusives DON'T they are cross-gen, that is playable also on consoles of what we can now define as "old generation".

The quality, above all technical, and therefore deliberately remaining on the technical aspect, of these titles, has always been excellent. Sony, with these three games, wanted to demonstrate right away, if needed, what it is the workhorse of its gaming policy: create exclusives of the highest level and that they can make the most of the hardware that the Japanese company makes available. Autocitandoci, therefore, if a good morning starts in the morning, the rest of the day, also taking a look at what will be the next Sony exclusives, it can only be exciting.



Two dimensions, two protagonists, two enemies… - Ratchet & Clank review: Rift Apart

Let's get our teeth out immediately, and let's do it with strength and decision: when playing a Ratchet & Clank, the narrative aspect must be considered as a secondary aspect and which surrounds the real heart of the game: the gameplay. In Rift Apart this consideration certainly remains valid but, at the same time, we believe that simplicity and care with which Insomniac Games has packaged what is the narrative sector of the game, are absolutely to be celebrated. The plot flows in a very pleasant way, with dialogues, monologues and cut-scenes really realized to art.

Our two classic heroes, the Lombax Ratchet and the robot Clank, will have to deal with a truly intriguing and thorny issue. The Dr Nefarious managed to get hold of a very powerful object, the Dimensioner, with which it is possible to create gaps between the various dimensions of the universe. Our goal will be very simple, to get this very tool out of the hands of the evil Nefarious to avoid disasters. Disasters that, on time, we will be forced to mend through our heroic actions.

We will make the acquaintance, however, and this is where we believe the more interesting elements of the narrative sector (and not only) of the title, of some characters who will represent real ones double of those characters that we have come to know. Rivet, a Lombax that will turn out to be twice Ratchet in its size, kit, a little robot that will clearly be double the size of Clank, and that will have one dramatic charge absolutely not to be underestimated and that we really appreciated when reviewing Rift Apart. We will have another Nefarious who, in another dimension, plays the role of a feared emperor and so on. 



Contextualize - Ratchet & Clank Review: Rift Apart

One aspect to which we want to dedicate a paragraph of this review by Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart concerns precisely the relationship between the narrative, the narrative context of the game and the game itself. By playing we will have the opportunity to use, alternately, both Ratchet and Rivet, as well as Clank and Kit, but this reflection will mainly focus on the two Lombaxes. What immediately jumped to our eye is that the two characters have a move-set and animations practically identical.

This element, initially, made us turn up our noses a bit. We would have liked the characterization, in action phase (and we limit ourselves to not considering the excellent work performed, instead, from the point of view of writing), of the two characters was more in-depth, going, in this case, to modify some aspects of Rivet's action, considering her as a character new of course.

All this, however, at the narrative level it could be contextualized from the fact that Rivet is actually twice the size of Ratchet. We want to use the conditional because yes, this consideration could convince us but, at the same time, we are left with a bit of a feeling of very slight incomplete which makes us say: "With this quality, if she too had her own animations and greater characterization?" 

Another element that is placed on this reflective trail of the relationship between narration and gameplay concerns the presence of dimensional gashes. It will be possible to use small gaps to move from one side to the other of the areas we will be crossing. Everything takes place within different planets, all characterized in a truly masterful way and built according to brilliant level design logics (despite some invisible walls too many). The dimensional fissures will be an integral part of them and will give us the opportunity to "teleport" to certain points on the map at supersonic speed. This obviously offers many possibilities of approach to the action and the most agitated phases. 



From Action to Reflection - Ratchet & Clank Review: Rift Apart

The gameplay of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, remaining on the path that we paved at the beginning of our review, lives, too, different stages that you go to fit together perfectly with each other creating a pace of play never dull and never tedious. The action phases are not chaotic, Moreover! This, however, thanks to the excellent level design that we mentioned previously, does not appear to be a problem at all, on the contrary, the ability to build areas in which to fight, perfectly structured and articulated in a complex way, makes the chaos we will encounter a reasoned chaos and within which it will be possible find your own order

Alternating with the more action phases we will obviously have the classic platforming phases, also perfectly made with truly stunning sequences in which we will find ourselves fitting different elements: jumps, grips, cracks, walks on the walls and whoever has more can put more. We will also have the classic skating situations, typical of the saga and the more reasoned situations in which, maneuvering Clank (or even Kit) we will have to solve what will be called: dimensional anomalies.

We will find ourselves entering the so-called Metaterminals, within which we will find details spheres, of different types, which we will have to exploit to solve some environmental puzzles, thus giving Clank (and his Chances) the opportunity to reach the terminal exit and resolve the anomaly. Another character we will get to know will be Glitch, this little robot, with the appearance of a spider, which we will use to solve other annoying problems that get in the way of our adventure. 

With Glitch we will go inside some devices corrupted by the presence of viruses that we will have to eradicate and destroy, so that we can then use that particular device. In any case, regardless of the character we're controlling, the responsiveness of the commands will be absolutely guaranteed and the quality of the animations, in every situation, will be excellent with a particular mention to those situations in which we will perform (with Ratchet or Rivet) a Phantom Snapshot. Really a feast for the eyes.

To conclude our analysis on the gameplay of the title, we have to talk about the shooting which has both positive and negative aspects. First of all the quantity and the diversification of weaponry are, as always, of very high level and the ability to create situations that lead us to combine all the weapons present in our (capacious) wheel, without preferring only and exclusively one, it is absolutely a point in favor. As is the rapid and fluid progression of the weapons themselves that we can upgrade through the use of Raritarium.

What in our opinion, always in the context of narrative contextualization and the relationship between narration and gameplay, could be managed differently is the double progression by Ratchet and Rivet. Although the two live in different situations and will only come to meet at a certain stage of the campaign, their progression will be practically identical and it will be enough to carry out a certain upgrade, or purchase with one / a to find it also available in the arsenal of the other / a. Create maybe a double progression system could have offered even more depth to individual characters and the gameplay itself.

Excellence - Ratchet & Clank Review: Rift Apart

What makes it Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart a truly excellent title is the technical sector that we will analyze in this phase of ours review. The game puts us at our disposal well three modes visual and performance. A mode with which we will be able to play in 4K, 30 FPS and active ray tracing, one in which we will always have the 4K, 60 FPS ma senza Ray Tracing and finally a mode, called Performance RT, in which it will be possible to play with one dynamic resolution, 60 FPS and active ray tracing. The one we most preferred is the latter but we can assure you that, in any way you want to play, the title will be a real pleasure and will leave you speechless.

Con Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart we officially enter the next gen, probably more than with other previous titles and to self-quote us (again) if the good morning of this next gen starts in the morning, from the first titles and from this title, we can only expect an increasingly interesting and engaging evolution. The amount of elements on the screen and the speed of actions they will not in the least affect that rock that is the frame rate.

The models of the characters and enemies will always be characterized in an excellent way and, in the case of Ratchet and Rivet, it will also be possible to notice some facial animations not bad. Sound sector, also, of excellent workmanship, dubbing, music and sounds of the weapons, as well as of all the surrounding contexts, really perfect.

Is all that glitters gold? We would like to say yes, at least visually. A sticking point that we have noticed lies in one camera handling not too inspired, especially in the moments in which we will find ourselves aiming with our weapons (here is one of the critical points that we previously mentioned regarding the shooting).

The camera does will lower drastically, taking away the possibility of having knowledge of the enormous amount of elements that will be on the screen. Also encountered some bugs, obviously, it is a title that has just been released but, said with total sincerity, we would have expected a few less bugs. None of this will affect your gaming experience, this must be emphasized and reiterated.

Experience that will be further amplified and made interesting by lightning-fast uploads (you will rarely find yourself in front of a black screen), both in game and during the start-up phase of the title and from the implementations with the controller of your PlayStation 5: it DualSense. In this title you will have at your disposal the Sony controller (almost) at the levels of what is possible to experience in Astro's Playroom. Aptic feedback and adaptive triggers they are really exploited to the fullest. From the point of view of the definition of next gen, this consideration regarding the use of a device with infinite potential cannot be included in the definition of next gen.

Finally here we are!

Under the sign Ratchet & Clank review: Rift Apart has now come to an end and we want to resume two primordial concepts that lie at the origins of our experience with this game. Experience that translates into two phases, thus taking up the theme of the double: the first it concerns the phase of game and test of the title, the second it's about everything we feel like pulling out and rationalizing the moment we find ourselves in write a review.

“Finally there we are”, we finally enter a title fully next gen, from every point of view of what it is the ecosystem of a video game. This is the feeling once the game is started and this is the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that we have when writing this review. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is definitely promoted with full marks, there are some flaws, of course, but we are still faced with a title that represents a real one excellence of the videogame landscape of recent years.

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8.8 An excellent exclusive!

Points in favor

  • The pace of the game is never banal
  • Action in the state as well
  • Perfectly crafted platforming and puzzles
  • Technically exceptional
  • Excellent sound
  • Addictive storytelling that goes well with the gameplay ...

Points against

  • ... maybe not in all situations
  • Uninspired room management
  • A few bugs and too many invisible walls
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