Presentation, exploration and a lot of quips. Ratchet and Clank are once again going on an adventure and this time it’s making use of all that PS5 grunt to switch between dimensions faster than you can say ‘Oh no, the dimensions are falling apart!’.
The straightforward premise might not blow your mind but the presentation, PS5’s graphical prowess, quirky dialogues and a really imaginative weapon selection make this an enjoyable game nonetheless.
Unlike some Sony exclusives, you won’t need to argue about character development or even take to Twitter about how certain characters are not behaving as they should because Ratchet & Clank doesn’t tread those heavy questions. It simply throws you in a fun world(s) where characters either look cute and fuzzy or deadly and robotic. You shoot the deadly robots and befriend the fuzzies. Simple.
Even though we feel it’s a lighthearted story, there’s still meat to the bone. Clank creates a Dimensionator that can help Ratchet find the Lombax race in another reality but everything doesn’t go as planned because Doctor Nefarious swoops in and steals (read as damages) the thing. Now there are portals to other realities opening and closing at whim across multiple dimensions and Clank has been thrown into an alternate universe where a female Lombax called Rivet is fighting to save her world from Emperor Nefarious (Not to be confused with Ratchet’s Doctor Nefarious).
The combat will really put a smile on your face. The third-person shooting in this game is almost as fun as Returnal because it makes use of PlayStation 5’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback so well. There are plenty of weapons here and each of them is unique and different from the other. You get the regular stuff like pistol, shotgun, machinegun and grenades but the fun ones will really open up a combat strategy for purists. There’s a gun that can momentarily turn enemies into plants, another one can spawn tiny robots that attack enemies (they look like clank if he was an evil Minion), another one spawns a mushroom-like creature that shoots at enemies for you and enemies fire back at the mushroom (you can upgrade it to spawn his wife too). And if you’re uncertain about unlocking a new weapon, don’t worry, there’s a very descriptive (and hilarious) video of each weapon before you spend Bolts to unlock it.
Needless to say, you’ll be switching weapons quite often and mixing them up to clear out hordes of enemies. Both Rivet and Ratchet are playable and the story alternates between the two. Every weapon unlocks and upgrades are applied to both characters as well, so you just have to focus on fighting baddies.
The game is also littered with tiny minigames within the main campaign story. Clank and his counterpart (We’re not naming because we’re nice and don’t want to give spoilers) get a small minigame to close massive dimensional pockets. These puzzles are fairly easy to solve but fun nonetheless. There’s also a minigame to take control of a tiny spider bot and destroy viruses in terminals. It’s fun and not overdone.
It’s also sprinkled with some quick-time events and toe-tapping boss fights. And some areas of the map also have an alternate reality which can be switched with a nice whack to a shiny dimension-changing crystal with the melee weapon. It’s an impressive showcase of the PlayStation 5’s fast SSD and load times.
There’s also a bunch of armour sets and mods to unlock in the game. You can also go back to previous levels/planets and finish side missions and collectables. Some planets open up like a semi-open-world area where you can explore to your heart’s content and you also have hover boots to quickly get around at rapid speeds. It’s like skating but with thrusters. There are places on the map and during the combat that allow wall-running and teleporting short distances using a Rift Tether which makes movement a wee-bit fluid and dynamic in this third-person shooter. It’s also running at dynamic 4K at 60Hz in Performance Mode and dynamic 4K at 60Hz with Ray Tracing on in Performance RT mode.
Obviously, with new-generation hardware, the games start to push the boundaries of texture and lighting effects. Ratchet’s furry coat is just great! And even Clanks shiny metal reflects all sorts of environmental lighting. It’s not overdone but well within the expectations of truly next-generation graphical quality.
This will put a smile on your face. The same silly smile you’d have after watching an episode of Tom & Jerry. It’s silly, it’s fun and it’s here to brighten up your day. The enemies and bosses are so memorable with unique characteristics in their design and dialogues. Especially the french pirate captain Pierre and his merry band of pirates. Returning fans of the series will love these inter-dimensional twists on existing characters. It’s also quite easy for newcomers to pick up and get along with the storyline and its characters.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is another superb addition to the series that looks great thanks to the PS5’s exceptional hardware capabilities and it feels even better because of its lovable characters, funny voice acting and that refinement that Sony exclusives are known for!