Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Preview – Dimension Hopping

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank was a huge part of my formative gaming years. I remember reading an issue of PlayStation Magazine back when those things came in the mail, and it had a feature called Ratchet & Clank vs Jak and Daxter. As time went on, Naughty Dog left their duo behind, but the Lombax and his robot pal have endured.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was a surprise announcement at Sony’s PS5 reveal event, but we also got an extended look at gameplay recently during Gamescom Opening Night Live. How does the series look and play on PS5? Let’s find out!

Check Out Our Highlights From The Ratchet & Clank State of Play on April 29th!

Sony is hosting a State of Play stream with a primary focus on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on April 29th, 2021! Watch the full stream here and stay tuned for our highlights on this page throughout the event!

  • The State of Play opens with a dive (pun intended) into Subnautica: Below Zero, coming to PS5 with confirmed 4K and 60 FPS support, along with haptic feedback from the DualSense
  • Among Us is also coming to PS4 and PS5 with Ratchet & Clank skins later in 2021.
  • We’re on to Ratchet & Clank with a look at a cutscene featuring the female Lombax, Rivet.Next is gameplay with Ratchet looking for Clank in a futuristic city that takes place in a different dimension.
  • In an interesting twist, this dimension seems to be a parallel universe where Doctor Nefarious found a lot more success. Ratchet also runs into Ms. Zurkon, who will be selling us weapons in the new game. We also learn that Rivet herself has taken Ratchet at this point in the game.
  • The new game focuses on enhanced momentum, with the ability to run on walls and dash now, alongside other familiar moves. The Rift Tether also allows you to move around quickly using dimensional rifts in the environment.
  • DualSense features include adaptive trigger support that allows for different firing modes based on whether you pull the trigger halfway or all the way down. Haptic support is also in as well.The stream also showcases a boss fight where dimensional rifts takes you to entirely new levels in an instant, thanks to the SSD in the PS5.
  • Rivet gameplay shows off an example of alternate version of a planet from a prior game. They also highlight the incredible amount of detail in the environments. The Topiary Sprinkler makes a return as well, with DualSense support to notify players when enemies have been hit and are ready to attack.
  • Pocket dimensions are introduced as well, allowing you to find hidden bonus areas. The gameplay shows traversal using a “speedle” before Rivet fights some enemies at a factory using some of the new weapons.
  • Open areas, dimensional Clank puzzles, aerial combat, arena challenges, gold bolts, armor sets, photo mode, and a bunch of accessibility options are all confirmed as well.

Showing Off The SSD

The biggest thing that impressed me about Rift Apart during the reveal and extended gameplay was the sheer speed of everything. Not just the combat, which looks as chaotic as ever, but the amount of things happening on screen.

Of course, the aforementioned dimensional rifts also seem to be a big part of the gameplay. Not only that, but they show off the PS5’s solid-state drive (SSD) and its ability to instantly load new areas and events with barely any delay at all.

Marcus Smith, Creative director at Insomniac Games ellaborated on this in a recent PlayStation Blog post, saying:

“Hopefully players were able to see the new extended gameplay demo we recently revealed for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.The SSD and custom I/O architecture around it allows us to send players across dimensions with near-instant speed. It fundamentally changes the rules and allows us to think about ideas and game designs that are only possible on PS5.”

Beyond sudden changes in scenery, the rifts in Ratchet & Clank for PS5 seem to be more than a gimmick to show off the new system. They allow you to get around quickly by transporting yourself long distances in a split-second. As yet another method of transportation, I’m sure Insomniac is going to come up with some other ways to leverage these crazy portals.

The other gameplay elements like platforming, a wide selection of weapons, and a mixture of melee and ranged combat is all there in this new version. I particularly liked the topiary sprinkler weapon they turned enemies hit by its stream of water into living plant sculptures.

Check out the gameplay from Gamescom Opening Night Live:

Visual Options on PS5 Confirmed

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is set to release in PS5’s “launch window,” which I’m thinking is within the first six months or so. As a result, the game is going to offer some options in terms of performance and resolution. From the sounds of it, we will be able to choose from a 4K/30 frames per second mode and a lower resolution with a 60 FPS performance.

This matches what Insomniac is doing with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and I think this trade-off will be the case for the first chunk of the PS5’s lifespan. A PS5 Pro or better optimization of the hardware could get us to 4K/60 FPS, and I think this will happen with less demanding titles, but it’s interesting to see the choice present on the new system.

I, for one, like to have the option myself, but what do you think? Do you like the performance and resolution options for next-gen? Are you a diehard Ratchet & Clank fan like me? What’s up wit that female Lombax? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Insert date – 8/28/2020
Updated – 4/29/2021

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