RATCHET & CLANK: RIFT APART
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on June 14, 2021
Quite some time has passed since we saw everybody's favorite Lombax spring into action. The last game in the series, which served as kind of a reboot, was released five years ago, in March of 2016. Luckily, the wait is finally over and we can once again join our heroes as they embark on a mission to not only save this universe, but multiple dimensions as well, from the evil clutches of Dr. Nefarious...
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gaming fans of all ages; rejoice, because Ratchet & Clank are back in a brand new adventure. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the 16th installment in the series and as set after the events of the 2013 game, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. We meet up with our heroes as they are about to take part in a huge parade in their honor. Naturally, things go awry in less time than it would take Captain Qwark to start boasting about his heroic deeds and the parade is attacked by the troops of Dr. Nefarious. As part of the parade, Clank prepared a very special gift for his friend Ratchet, in the form of the Dimensionator; an intricate device that allows the user to visit other dimensions. Naturally, Dr. Nefarious spoils the day by stealing the Dimensionator and opening up a rift to an alternate dimension. Our heroes get sucked into said rift and find themselves in a universe that is somewhat familiar yet totally different at the same time. Now it's up to them to set things straight and once again deal with Dr. Nefarious and his wide selection of evil goons!
Sadly, Ratchet and Clank are separated by the cataclysmic destruction of the dimensional walls and now will also have to find their way back to each other. And not only that, but Clank also gets badly damaged in the accident. Lucky for him, he is found by a female Lombax called Rivet, who lives in another dimension from his own. Rivet is the leader of the resistance in this alternate dimension, which is ruled by Emperor Nefarious, a better and more capable version of Dr. Nefarious. Meanwhile, Ratchet must face his side of the adventure alone. Well, not totally alone, because he is joined by a tiny spider robot called Glitch, which he can use to clear out viruses from infected computer systems. Later on, he also meets another new small friend with a BIG issue, but to find out who this is, you really need to play the game for yourself. So, will our heroes vanquish both Dr. Nefarious and Emperor Nefarious and their respective troops, or is the universe doomed across multiple dimensions?
Rift Apart is very similar to its predecessors in terms of gameplay. It consists of numerous 3D platform sections, mixed with awesome battle elements. To defeat Nefarious' troops, both Ratchet and Rivet have the same arsenal of weapons at their disposal. All weapons, except for their melee weapon, which is the trusty Omniwrench in Ratchet's case and a mighty hammer for Rivet, are available from the shops the pair come across during their travels. And every weapon bought by one of them is also automatically added to the arsenal of the other, including any upgrades you may buy along the way. The move set of both characters is identical; they can both jump, double jump, glide, run, sprint, grind and dash, giving them a plethora of options when it comes to defeating enemies and traversing the dangerous terrain. They can also use rifts to get across wide gaps easily, as well as hook on to anchor points that let them swing, dash or even get launched across vast distances.
Visually, Rift Apart looks absolutely stunning. The game makes good use of the PS5's powerful hardware and lighting abilities, giving it the look and feel of a fully-fledged animated movie. The loading times are reduced to about zero, which makes for a smooth ride, uninterrupted by loading screens. Also, using 3D audio as well as the awesome Dualsense controller's features gives the game an additional level of immersion. Be it wind, rain, impact or weapon vibration; every little detail of this awesome world is perfectly conveyed to your hands and ears and pulls you even deeper into this already breathtaking action-filled adventure. During your adventure, you'll travel across familiar worlds you'll probably already know, but which are somewhat different from what your used to. This also goes for the fun host of characters you'll meet along the way. All of them are familiar, but also different from the ones you already know. As per usual when it comes to Ratchet and Clank games, the voice cast is really good and the voices used fit the individual characters perfectly, giving each of them their very own personality and style.
Apart from defeating enemies and traversing the environment, Rift Apart also offers something for the collectors among us. During your travels, you can collect Bolts, Gold Bolts, Armor Pieces, Info Bots, Ryno Spybots, Raritanium, Lorbs and Craiggerbears. Bolts and Raritanium are used to buy and upgrade weapons, respectively. Armor pieces give you certain perks when collected and simply look cool when worn. The remaining collectibles unlock a variety of other gameplay stuff, like background info, gameplay modifiers, blueprints and, of course, the satisfaction of finding them in the first place. Some collectibles are in plain sight, while others necessitate you to go off the beaten track and explore the environments in greater detail, making use of every trick up your proverbial sleeve.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a game that should be played by everyone who loves awesome 3D action platform games, filled with cool characters, beautiful environments, a fun and interesting backstory and tons of truly fun gameplay elements. Especially if you're a fan of previous titles in the Ratchet & Clank series, Rift Apart is a definite must-play title. The game is a truly awesome experience for both returning players and newcomers to the series alike. I have loved every minute of it and would heartily recommend it to every single gamer out there! Just grab your omniwrench, put on your grind boots and venture out on an amazing adventure, the likes of which has never been seen in this much detail and with this sheer amount of fun!