Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Review – Great Example of DualSense Usage
The 16th installment of the popular Ratchet & Clank series, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is developed by Insomniac Games and comes with a brand new storyline that can appeal to both old fans and newcomers while taking advantage of new PS5 features for a more immersive gaming experience. Is it worth your money? Let's find out.
RM299 / USD $69.99 Standard Edition
RM339 / USD $79.99 Deluxe Edition
+ Combat has good depth
+ Solid array of weapons to choose from
+ Looks amazing in Performance RT mode
+ Platforming is simple enough for most people to get a hang of,
+ Colourful cast of characters,
+ Storyline is good albeit slightly clichéd,
+ Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are used well to improve immersion,
+ Gold Bolts add functions to the game that make it more accessible for everyone.
- Quick Access has very limited slots so you won't use it much,
- Could use more side quests
- Melee combat feels limited
- A little pricey
What is Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart About?
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart takes place after the events of the reimagining of the first game on the PS4 (which also has a movie), where both Ratchet and Clank are being celebrated for their heroic feats. Unfortunately, Doctor Nefarious crashes the party and makes use of the Dimensionator which causes dimensional instability and opened rifts into other dimensions. As a result, Clank ends up being separated from Ratchet.
Meanwhile in another dimension, there is a female Lombax named Rivet who leads a resistance group against the Emperor Nefarious of her own dimension. Both Ratchet and Clank ends up in Rivet’s dimension, with the latter being saved by her as well. Emperor Nefarious of Ratchet’s dimension successfully jumped in as well and took over his counterpart’s position.
With danger now expanding to other dimensions as well, Ratchet, Clank, and Rivet will have to team up to save the multiverse and take down Emperor Nefarious once and for all. At launch, gamers can play this game in 3 different visual modes; Fidelity, Performance, and Performance RT. For the review, we played it mostly in Fidelity mode but I will be doing a comparison for all 3 modes in the future.
Great for Old Fans and Newcomers Alike
For the most part, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart plays like its predecessor on the PS4; combat, weapon upgrades, collecting bolts, and more. It’s a 3D platformer, action-adventure, and 3rd person shooter, so you will be running and gunning, jumping to reach places, solve puzzles, and complete quests to progress through the game. You do have a new addition in the form of the Rift Tether, which will essentially let you teleport to specific areas of the map and reach areas that are either hard or impossible to get to otherwise.
As usual, you have main quests and side quests, with each playable location separated as its own planet and travelled to using your spaceship. In fact, the interface on your spaceship will highlight the quests available in each planet. While main quests are self-explanatory, side quests are optional and helps enrich the game’s storyline more times than not. Moreover, having more opportunities to collect bolts and other collectibles is a plus if you want to see how strong you can get.
Speaking of collectibles, there are a number of optional collectibles you can get in the game that will yield some perks. Most notably the Gold Bolts and Spy Bots. The former will add new options that can change the way you play the game, both visually and functionally. This includes changing the skin of your weapons and infinite ammo. The latter on the hand will get you the best weapon in the game, which I won’t spoil, but it’s highly destructive.
While all of these sound fun and gives you more things to do in the game, I personally feel like they could add more side quests to the game as each planet usually only has one. More of these quests, even if the rewards are minimal, will allow for more interactions with the characters and lets you stay hooked to the game for longer, which is a bit of a waste since they have a colourful cast to begin with and there isn’t enough dialogue going on.
Sure, there are pocket dimensions that you can explore, typically coming with their own platforming challenge. However, the dialogue that happens when you enter the game is so little, missing it won’t amount to much.
One important collectible in the game is Raritanium, which will be used to upgrade your weapons. It’s scattered across virtually every playable area in the game, and while there is a lot, there isn’t enough to upgrade every weapon to maximum level. Weapons are upgrades similar to a skill tree, with each node boosting a particular parameter such as range and ammo.
As you go through the game, you can unlock equipment in the form of helmet, armour, and boots. Each set of equipment will come with its own perks, such as taking less damage from specific types of enemies, bonus experience points, and bonus Raritanium. This, along with the weapons upgrade, give its that RPG-feel but it’s also simplified so gamers shouldn’t have an issue with confusion for this part.
Looking for more 3rd person shooters? Check out our review of Returnal by clicking right here.
Making Smart Use of DualSense
For combat, you have access to weapons and you can purchase more as you progress through the game. You have more conventional weapons like a laser pistol and bazookas to more eccentric weapons like a grenade that summons minions upon explosion. There’s certainly a good array of weaponry that can suit a variety of situations. It’s worth noting that both Ratchet and Rivet play exactly the same.
As for accessing them, you can either go through the weapons wheel (Triangle) or quick change using the D-pad. Early on in the game, using quick change would be the best as it’s the fastest way to change but as you get more weapons, you will likely rely on the weapons wheel more. This is because the quick change is limited to just 4 weapons. If you can add at 8 weapons like a full section of the weapons wheel, that would improve its usability in the late game.
Melee combat however feels limited. Sure, it’s relatively strong, but you can only do up to a simple 3-hit combo and a ground pound-type move at best. While the game does have a bigger emphasis on gunplay, they should add more depth to melee combat, such as having more moves, to make it more viable which will further improve the combat experience.
One of the best things that make combat enjoyable is how Insomniac Games make use of the DualSense controller. For starters, there are a number of weapons that make use of the adaptive triggers, like the Negatron Collider which charges the laser beam when your press R2 halfway and fires it when it’s fully pressed. You will feel the resistance to let you know that it’s halfway pressed, which seems small but it feels amazing.
Another thing is with the haptic feedback, which doesn’t simply vibrate when things are happening but tries to mimic it as accurately as possible, most notably with explosions, when you have been attacked, or with certain cutscenes. It won’t let you feel like you’re actually getting shot of course, but how the vibration scales the intensity and how it only vibrates in certain areas of the DualSense certainly adds to the immersion factor.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Verdict
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a very entertaining game that can appeal to gamers of all ages regardless of whether they’re familiar to the series or are new to them. Combat has good depth, solid array of weapons to choose from, the game looks amazing in Performance RT mode, platforming is simple enough for most people to get a hang of, colourful cast of characters, storyline is good albeit slightly clichéd, haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are used well to improve immersion, and Gold Bolts add functions to the game that make it more accessible for everyone.
Like every game out there, it’s not perfect however. Quick Access has very limited slots so you won’t use it much, the game could use more side quests, and melee combat feels limited. While I did run into some bugs in the game, it has since been fixed in the update so I won’t bother to say it but it was minimal at worst. When you’re done with the game, there isn’t much left to do aside from getting all the stuff you missed but you can replay the game in Challenge Mode, which is basically a more difficult second playthrough.
At the end of our Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart review, I award this game with our coveted Gold Pokdeward.
Big thanks to PlayStation Asia for sending us the game code for the purpose of this review.