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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a 2021 platformer and action-adventure video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It is the 16th installment in the Ratchet & Clank series, announced June 11, 2020. It is also a sequel to Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus.[2]

In the announcement trailer, Ratchet and Clank are seen running through rifts that take them through several planets, including alternate reality versions[3] of Sargasso, Torren IV, Ardolis, as well as a city named Megalopolis.[2] The Goons-4-Less[2] and a giant hologram of Dr. Nefarious are also seen, as well as Rivet, a female lombax.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Rift Apart allows the player to play both as Ratchet and Rivet.[3][4] It retains elements of previous Ratchet & Clank games, involving gunplay, collection of bolts, upgradable weapons, and gadgets. Scripted segments also involve Ratchet rushing through new planets. Though most of Ratchet's moveset is identical to that of the previous Ratchet & Clank (2016 game), he has a new move in which he can dash while strafing, allowing him to rapidly move to the side or backwards. He does this with a new glove gadget called the Rift Tether. This also allows Ratchet to rapidly travel forwards in space by using pre-existing yellow rifts, which enlarge when the reticle is focused on them.

Rift Apart features both entirely new planets, as well as alternate dimensions of planets from previous games.[3] Between planets there will be seamless transitions, with no load screens.[5]

Ratchet has four new weapons: the Burst Pistol, the Shatterbomb, The Enforcer‎, and the Topiary Sprinkler. The Shatterbomb is an explosive weapon similar to the Fusion Grenade. The Enforcer is a double-barrel shotgun resembling the Shock Cannon, which uses the DualSense controller's adaptive triggers to give tension; if the player holds their finger down half-way they can fire one trigger, or two if they pull it all the way.[5]. The Topiary Sprinkler resembles the Miniturret Glove, but instead shoots bolts of ice and sprouts plants around itself.

Story

The story begins when Dr. Nefarious steals the Dimensionator and tries to use it to find a dimension where he always wins.[4] He subsequently accidentally damages the fabric of space and time.[5][2] After traveling through several dimensional rifts, Clank eventually arrives in a dimension where he meets Rivet, who refers to know Dr. Nefarious as "Emperor Nefarious". Rivet and Clank must then reunite with Ratchet and figure out Nefarious' troops.[4]

Development

Rift Apart was built from the ground up for PlayStation 5, and directed by Insomniac Creative Director Marcus Smith,[5] who had previously directed Sunset Overdrive and Resistance 3.

The PlayStation 5's increased horsepower allowed more enemies, effects, and objects to be loaded per world, as Insomniac intended for each planet to feel real and alive than was possible on previous generations. The Solid State Drive of the PlayStation 5 also allowed gameplay in which players could be projected to other worlds at near-instantaneous speed, creating the first Ratchet & Clank with no load screens between planets. The PlayStation 5 also allowed for 3D spatial audio, creating greater immersion.[5][2]

On the 11 of February in 2021 the release date of June 11 in the same year was revealed on the PlayStation website blog. It also included information on the game's pre-orders for the Standard Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition. The former includes a graphically remastered version of the carbonox armor from Going Commando (for both Ratchet and the new lombax), as well as the Pixelizer (also visually improved) from Ratchet & Clank (2016 game). The Digital Deluxe edition contains, aside from the full game, five armor sets (presumably four plus the carbonox armor), a sticker pack for the new Photo Mode, 20 Raritanium used to upgrade weapons, and a digital soundtrack and artbook.[1]

Most of the voice actors from previous games, such as James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet, David Kaye as Clank, and Armin Shimerman as Nefarious, reprise their roles in Rift Apart. The only longtime voice actor that did not reprise his role was Jim Ward, who voiced Qwark, as he developed complications of Alzheimer's Disease and COVID-19 in 2021, which forced him to retire from voice acting. His new voice actor is Scott Whyte.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack contains the music that is featured in the game. It was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh and Wataru Hokoyama, and released on June 9, 2021 with 20 tracks.

# Song title Length
1 Rift Apart 3:19
2 Festival of Heroes 3:54
3 A Most Nefarious City 4:06
4 Sweet Home Sargasso 4:08
5 Ride Through the Omniverse 2:16
6 Ode to Nefarious 1:58
7 Meet Me at Zurkie's 3:00
8 Urfdah Mesa Major 3:34
9 Blizar Prime'd and Ready 4:47
10 Molonoth Means Paradise 4:44
# Song title Length
11 Cascading Entropic Fissure 4:02
12 A Tale of Two Cordelions 5:01
13 Glitch in the System 3:05
14 A Late Arrival 2:10
15 The Battle for Sargasso 1:49
16 Urfdah Mesa Minor 1:41
17 Y'Ardolis 3:53
18 Zordoom and Gloom 4:03
19 Culmination at Corson V 5:36
20 Join Me at the Top 2:29

Reception

Aggregator Score
OpenCritic 89 (based on 96 reviews)[6]
Metacritic 89 (based on 97 reviews)[7]
Publication Score
Easy Allies 8.5/10[8]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 5/5[9]
Game Informer 9/10[10]
GamesRadar+ 5/5[11]
GameSpot 9/10[12]
IGN 9/10[13]

Rift Apart received highly positive reviews. Critics praised the visuals, the introduction and writing of Rivet, and the refined gameplay mechanics. Most of the praise focused on the game as a strong showcase of PlayStation 5 hardware, as critics were most impressed by the SSD's fast loading between levels, the DualSense making weapons feel different, and the graphical fidelity and high performance the hardware provided. As an adventure in its own right, it was commended for its heartfelt and humorous story, the weapons, and the traversal mechanics, though some critics noted that some of the side missions were poorer than core gameplay.[9][10][12][13] Rachel Weber, writing for GamesRadar+, called it the "best Ratchet and Clank adventure yet".[11]

Rift Apart was noted for taking advantage of the PlayStation 5 hardware. Andrew Reiner, writing for Game Informer, praised the graphics at both its Fidelity and Performance RT modes (while recommending Performance RT), calling the game a "visual dynamo that lights up the screen with cluttered sci-fi cityscapes, colorful aliens, and intricately detailed texturing".[10] Weber, of GamesRadar+ agreed, saying the game deserves the "like a Pixar movie" comparison, and looks pristine even with a high-speed pace. Weber also mentioned finding collectibles by accident after wandering around to take in more of the scenery.[11] Praise also went towards the use of the SSD for fast loading. Steve Watts, writing for GameSpot, said the lack of load times made the game feel "feel cinematic and harmonious in a natural, unselfconscious way". He also said the DualSense controller made a significant difference in how the weapons felt, helping the functionality feel "more impactful than a mere gimmick".[12] Weber also said the use of the DualSense in Rift Apart was "a great exhibit A in my campaign to convince the world" of the controller's merits.[11]

The story also received a positive reaction, with many comments focused on Rivet's character. Jonathon Dornbush, writing for IGN, said Rivet's distinctive personality made her feel like more than a gender-swap of Ratchet, calling her one of Insomniac's best-written characters and praising Jennifer Hale's performance. Dornbush said that she, and other new characters, were so indelible they it was "hard to imagine the series without them", but also said the old characters felt fresh.[13] Watts of GameSpot agreed, highlighting voice actress Jennifer Hale's portrayal of self-doubt and loneliness while maintaining her "heroic determination", and called Rivet the real star of the game and a "fantastic addition to the larger Ratchet & Clank universe".[12] Weber more broadly said that Rift Apart had evolved the series' storytelling, and said it was the first game in the series she had engaged with emotionally.[11]

Reaction to the core gameplay was positive. Most critics highlighting the Topiary Sprinkler as a standout weapon,[10][13][9] and praise also went to the traversal mechanics. Watts of GameSpot praised the newly introduced Phantom Dash and Rift Tether for combining well with Ratchet & Clank mainstays to allow for "breathless, harrowing setpieces" in platforming segments, and for being fun to use during combat.[12] Goroff of EGM also praised the use of the Hoverboots, saying that their smoothness and ease of use made other ground-level traversal systems in gaming feel "pedestrian" by comparison.[9]

Critics were more divided on the game's secondary gameplay, with Clank and Glitch's missions receiving a positive reaction while the mount riding sections were criticized. Dornbush of IGN felt that moments spent riding mounts were the only times the game lost momentum. Conversely, he felt that the Clank puzzles were successful in making the player feel clever while not being too challenging, and said that Glitch's segments were fun due to Glitch's personality.[13] Watts of GameStop agreed, saying that riding Trudi felt "sluggish and temperamental" in comparison to Ratchet and Rivet while noting these segments were short enough to not detract too much from the overall experience, and praised the puzzle gameplay of Clank and Glitch.[12]

Production credits

Staff

Directors Brian Horton
Marcus Smith
Mike Daly
Programmer Mike Fitzgerald
Writers Sam Maggs
Lauren Mee
Composers Mark Mothersbaugh
Wataru Hokoyama

Voice cast

Ratchet James Arnold Taylor
Rivet Jennifer Hale
Clank David Kaye
Kit Debra Wilson
Dr. Nefarious Armin Shimerman
Emperor Nefarious Robin Atkin Downes

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Marcus Smith (February 11, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart arrives on PS5 June 11. PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 August 27, 2020. Gamescom: Opening Night Live 2020 (Live, Thursday August 27 - 8 PM CEST / 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT). thegameawards. YouTube.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Marcus Smith (April 26, 2021). Meet Rivet, the mysterious new protagonist in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Insomniac Games (April 26, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart – Gameplay Trailer I PS5. PlayStation. YouTube. PlayStation.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Marcus Smith (June 20, 2020). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - Insomniac Insights | PS5. PlayStation. YouTube.
  6. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PS5 Reviews. OpenCritic. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.
  7. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PlayStation 5 Reviews. Metacritic. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.
  8. Michael Huber (June 8, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - Easy Allies Review. Easy Allies. YouTube. Easy Allies.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Michael Goroff (June 8, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart review. Game Informer. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Andrew Reiner (June 8, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review – Dazzling Dimensional Duality. Game Informer. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Rachel Weber (June 8, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review - A Riveting Adventure. GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Steve Watts (June 8, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review - A Riveting Adventure. GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Jonathon Dornbush (June 8, 2021). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review. IGN. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021.