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Yes Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is indicative of the types of games that Sony will be releasing this generation, so the Playstation 5 is not optional. Developer Insomniac Games’ The new platform of action is Halo or Super Mario 64 of the PS5: an exceptional first version which justifies the existence of the console. But like these games, it’s also an instant classic by which we will judge the entire generation to come.
Ratchet & Clank will launch exclusively on PlayStation 5 on June 11 for $ 70. Players take on the role of the titular duo as they fight their way through multiple galaxies in a battle against Dr. Nefarious and his interdimensional counterpart, Emperor Nefarious. Along the way, you’ll unlock a stash of new weapons, meet a charming cast of supporting characters, and play as a new hero from another timeline.
Rift Apart is a thrilling adventure blockbuster that matches the cinematic quality of Hollywood animation. It’s a solid action game with impeccable pacing. You rarely spend a lot of time doing the same thing without stopping to do something different. And while the shooting, platforming, vehicle sequences, boss fights, and puzzles never reach a level of greatness in a vacuum, they all play out on top of each other in such a way that you never get around to each other. never bored. The game is nonstop fun. It starts out like a rocket, and you’re going to have a hard time putting it down until you finish it about 13 hours later.
This new Ratchet is greater than the sum of its parts, but what pushes the game above is its stunning art and technology.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the most beautiful video game ever made
At its core, Ratchet & Clank is a relatively familiar action shooter. Insomniac does an amazing job of keeping things fresh with its pace and variety of interactions and goals. But it’s the presentation that does most of the lifting here.
Even after your 20th shootout, you still won’t believe what you see on screen. The visuals of Rift Apart are very varied. Each location, weapon, and enemy is different from the next. And enemies react differently depending on what you shoot them with. Hit a jerk on a flying motorcycle with the Ricochet Pistol and watch him bounce as the same bullet hits them over and over again. In these moments, the animation stands out as the characters bend and warp as if they were in the latest CG animated hit.
And all this adds to the density of the visuals. Before the action even begins, the world is dazzling in its details. But then when you start spinning it all explodes into particles and lovingly animated reactions.
So yes, the game is magnificent. But more importantly, whatever you do is more exciting and more fun because it looks so good. It’s a treat for the eyes.
Style over substance, and a handful of bugs
While playing Ratchet & Clank the only thing I wrote was a little list of complaints. I love the game so much that I wouldn’t remember the flaws if I didn’t write them down. This is my way of saying that I only have a few small problems. Most important is the stability of the game, although I mostly played without the day one patch which hopefully fixes most of these issues.
I encountered a handful of technical issues including a crash. During a boss fight, after death, my health bar would not reappear. In another case, I defeated all enemies, but a door didn’t open until I restarted the area and cleared it again.
And beyond the bugs, things can seem less polished on the edge of the world. For example, my Ratchet / Rivet was sometimes caught in an animation falling over the edge of a platform.
My other problems are that he seems to favor style over substance. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has the nicest dodge of any game ever made, but I don’t think it’s very enjoyable. It’s slow and has limited range, and I don’t like using it during rig as it’s hard to predict where you’re going to land.
This emphasis on style extends to the camera, which wants to stay close to Ratchet’s back. It’s not great during boss fights. The close-up camera is claustrophobic, but it is also annoying to know where the obstacles are in the world. I regularly got stuck on the walls trying to dodge, and didn’t realize I was stuck until I already took damage.
I don’t want to dismiss these choices against the game as they are also crucial in making everything work. In this case, style is the substance.
An unforgettable adventure
I love Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart because it’s a beautiful and fun adventure. It’s not about letting you stumble upon side goals and activities on an open world map. And I love this kind of game. But I also love what Insomniac does here by propelling you into a nonstop thrill ride where everything you do unlocks the next fun and cool thing to do.
And sure enough, the shot is good instead of great, and Insomniac slapped some inappropriate puzzles. But none of this ever gets past its welcome, and it all just helps the pace. And if you don’t like doing the puzzles, you can skip them here, just like you would in Insomniac’s Spider-Man.
More than anything, I feel like the folks at Insomniac have mastered this medium like few other studios. They used their technology to build a sleek roller coaster with an absurd storyline that nonetheless features fantastic characters with fulfilling story arcs about learning self-acceptance.
Rift Apart is a special game. And as long as Sony Interactive Entertainment has Insomniac for the release of games like this for the PS5, I’ll continue to show up on day one with $ 70 in hand, ready for the next adventure.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is available June 11 for $ 70. Sony Interactive Entertainment has provided GamesBeat with a download code for the purposes of this review.
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