Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart debuted on June 11, 2021, as a PlayStation exclusive. PlayStation’s Marvel’s Spider-Man creator, Insomniac Games, is behind the series.
It’s not a best-seller by any means, but it still got fan and critical acclaim. The title reached over 1.1 million sales worldwide. About 10% of PlayStation 5 owners have a copy of the platformer.
Aside from its box office achievements, Rift Apart showcases the power of the new-gen console. It represents a significant technical advance compared to older action-adventure platformers.
Platform and Specs
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a 3D action-adventure platformer game. It’s a single-player-only experience, and there’s not going to be any multiplayer in the future.
The title is only available for PlayStation 5. Insomniac Games won’t make a version for the PS4.
The PS5 allows the game to work without loading screens. This is important, as Rift Apart creates multiple scenarios (dimensions) instantly.
Graphics and Graphics Modes
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has three graphic modes:
- Performance RT: Ray-tracing enabled, 60fps, dynamic resolution between 1080p and 1440p
- Performance: No ray-tracing, 60 frames per second, dynamic resolution between 1620p and 1800p
- Fidelity: Ray-tracing, 30 frames per second, and dynamic resolution between 1800p and 2160p (4K). The mode offers 40 fps on 120Hz screens
Aside from the performance, the 16th Ratchet & Clank game is stunning. Visuals, instances, weapon effects, movements, and animations are as good as a platformer can be. Most definitely, the game represents an achievement for Sony’s video-game platform.
It’s also an achievement for the industry as a whole. Rift Apart is the first platformer without loading screens. That allowed developers to launch all kinds of crazy scenarios, obstacles, enemies, and puzzles.
The platformer is unfortunately short, certainly below what its $69.99 price mark suggests. However, there’s a “New Game+” feature.
An average playthrough takes about 10 hours, but you would have to ignore most side quests and collectibles. Moreover, you’d have to play in the moderate difficulty, Rebel Agent.
If you find all collectibles, complete side-quests, and play on the highest difficulty setting, it can take around 15 hours.
Difficulty settings give you five options: Rookie Explorer, Rookie Recruit, Rebel Agent, Resistance Leader, and Renegade Legend. You can change the settings at any time. The easiest one, Rookie Explorer, makes your character immortal.
There’s also a Challenge Mode that invites you to play the game a second time. Your second playthrough will be faster, as you’ve already seen everything. A New Game+ may take about 6 hours, so Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has a total game length of 21 hours, approx.
How to Unlock the Challenge Mode?
The Challenge Mode comes after you beat the game, so it works as a New Game+. After you finish the main story, the game will ask you to Return to Zurkie’s (before the final mission) or the Title Screen. Going to the title screen will lead us to Challenge Mode.
Ratchet & Clank are back in the franchise, more charming than ever.
Ratchet is an intergalactic hero, a mechanic, and the last of its kind (“lombax“). Clank is a robot that possesses the soul of its creator, Zoni. He’s also Ratchet’s best friend.
The duo picks off from where Into the Nexus (2013) left off. Don’t worry, though. You can play Rift Apart without any prior knowledge.
Ratchet & Clank spend most of the journey away from each other. Instead, you’ll be playing with Ratchet as he tries to find his long-time metallic friend across dimensions.
Secondary hero characters include Ribet and Kit, both new to the franchise. They are alternate versions of the titular characters. Ribet, Kit and Clank are also playable characters.
There’re other minor side characters in the game, and you may recognize some of them. These include Mrs. Zurkon & Zurkon Jr., Chairman Drek, Skid McMarx, and Rusty Pete.
Lastly, there’re mentions of Ratchet’s enigmatic father, Kaden.
The main villain is Dr. Nefarious. He has two versions: the first is the silly evil-doer you know and love.
The second, Emperor Nefarious, is much more dangerous. He’s calculating and craves to conquer all dimensions.
Captain Qwark, the villain-turned-hero, returns as well. He introduces an enigmatic story arc during the last stages of the game.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart General Walkthrough
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a linear game. There’re plenty of easter eggs, collectibles, weapons, and armor, but things are hard to miss.
The gist of the game is the same all the way through. Defeat a couple of goons, hoover across some ledges, break some boxes, see a cutscene, and repeat.
An active marker is on at all times to guide you towards the objectives. Moreover, the characters will often talk about what you need to do and why. Also, use your Phantom Dash to break boxes, electrical crates, railways, some barrels, pots, and more. It’s the best way of finding ammo.
The latest Ratchet & Clank is not a looter shooter, but you’ll find various weapons and armors across your gameplay.
Every weapon offers unique functionality. However, enemies don’t have particular weaknesses, so that you can play with your favorite ones.
Your weapons gain XP and levels by defeating an enemy. The exception is the Omniwrench/hammer. Still, your melee weapon is a viable option for conserving ammunition and breaking boxes.
The Omniwrench/hammer and the Burst Pistol are automatically available. Aside from the starting weapons, there’re 19 extra weapons.
You buy most of these weapons from Ms. Zurkon, the only vendor in the game. She appears on every planet, and you can find her through the mini-map.
Weapons cost “Bolts,” a currency you find by defeating enemies.
Each weapon can level up to Level 5 during your first playthrough. They gain XP in combat, so you’d want to prioritize the guns you like the most.
Another way to level your weapons is through Ms. Zurkon. She asks for Raritarium, a collectible currency, to pay for upgrades.
Upgraded weapons deal more damage, so it’s pretty straightforward.
But upgrading is expensive, so focus on a few weapons. These are the ones we recommend: Burst Pistol, Shatter Bombs, Lightning Rod, Enforcer, Topiary Sprinkler, Ricochet, Warmonger, Blackhole Storm, Headhunter, and Ryno 8.
In Particular, you unlock the Ryno 8 by discovering all Spybot locations. It’s the strongest weapon in the game. It pulls objects and artifacts from other dimensions to create huge explosions.
For armor, you have helmet, chest, and leg pieces for a full set. Each complete set offers a defensive bonus plus unique buffs. Buffs can be, for example, finding better loot or having some extra HP.
The strength of the buff and the damage reduction increases from 5%, 10%, and 20% once you complete the set.
There’re seven sets, meaning there’re 21 armor pieces. You find armor pieces across the locations, with a little bit of exploration or solving puzzles.
You visit nine planets during your playthrough, and each world represents a chapter. Because you revisit some of these planets, the game has a total of 14 chapters.
The planets are: Corson V, Savali, Cordelion, Sargasso, Blizar Prime, Ardolis, Scartsu Debris Field, Torren IV, and Viceron.
Each chapter has a main story mission, and some of them have side missions. There’re six side missions, which are short and self-contained stories.
You can revisit any area at any time. Near Ms. Zurkons bazaar, you’ll find your spaceship. If you interact with the ship, you can travel across the planes you’ve already visited. The travel interface details the progress in each location.
You can’t complete 100% of a planet on your first visit. That’s because the game unlocks some areas, quests, and puzzles as you play the main story.
Maps are linear and often wide, with various areas to explore outside the main path.
Also, progression is not always standard. Both Ratchet and Ribet can go from one side of a dimension to another to move across points. It’s an enhanced mobility option that works through the “Rift Tether” feature.
However, you can’t return to the prologue area. Also, there’s a Point of No Return, which happens on your third visit to Gastropub in Scarstu Debris Field. Here’s a link with all of the maps.
You can skip puzzles. Puzzles in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are optional. You can pause and press the “Skip Puzzle” option.
There’s no punishment for skipping puzzles. However, puzzles are fun and creative, so I recommend you try them out.
Some puzzles are dimensional anomalies. You enter these strange areas as Clank or Kit, and they are part of the story missions. You can skip them either way.
Solving anomalies requires steering colored orbs into machines. You’ll control different “possibilities” of Clank (or Kit) across the platforms.
Then, some planets have a Glitch Challenge. These are puzzles where you play as a spider bot. The bot moves across overgrown vines to shoot down viruses.
Another type of puzzle is Pocket Dimensions. There’re 12 Pocket Dimensions in the game, so most levels have a Pocket Dimension location. You can spot them as floating, giant purple crystals.
Pocket Dimensions are mini-levels within the levels. Each one has an armor piece, although not every armor piece is inside one of these mini-levels.
Overall, these levels are easy to complete but weird, wonderful, and creative nonetheless.
There’re six collectibles in the game:
Raritarum: You use it to upgrade weapons, and you find it by exploring the maps. You can also get it as quest rewards.
Zurpstones: Zurpstones will appear after you complete all of the objectives on Sargasso. After you collect 60 of them, you can trade them for a Spybot with Mort.
Lorbs: These are present only in Savali. You collect 12 lorbs as part of a story mission, and each one rewards lombax lore. Collecting every lorb rewards The Wasteland Gear set armor.
Gold Bolts: There’re 25 gold bolts across the game. These items can unlock cheat modifiers to customize your experience.
Spybots: There’re 10 Spybots in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. They provide some lore and unlock the powerful RYNO 8.
CraiggerBear: These are nine teddy bears with the sole purpose of looking cute and granting trophies.
Lastly, you collect Bolts (currency) and health orbs from defeated enemies.
There’re four enemy types in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart:
Guns-4-Less: These are original from Ratchet’s dimension. Their unique units include flying enemies. The Burst Pistol and the Enforcer shotgun are generally strong against the faction.
Indigenous Creatures: These are wild creatures present in Sargasso and Blizzard Prime. Most of these are Swarmer-type units. The Wasteland Gear set offers damage reduction against indigenous animals. Also, Shatterbombs is very useful against them.
Nefarious enemies: These are robotic troops, Emperor Nefarious’ personal army. High-tech weapons like the Lighting Rod and the Pixelixer can work against them. The Enforcer is also a safe choice.
Space Pirates: These are diverse aesthetics but feature three unit types only. The Topiary Sprinkler is generally good against the faction.
There’re 16 boss fights in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The last one is the Big Boss, Nefarious, a battle that has three parts.
You fight against the big boss three times: during the prologue, at the later stages of the game, and as the last fight. The second fight has various stages as well. Also, some of the mini-bosses return for revenge.
Most mini-boss fights are part of the main story, but some are optional. For example, extra battles at Gastropub Arena are not mandatory, but they reward armors.
Generally, bosses don’t present much challenge other than huge HP bars. The core idea is avoiding enemy fire while unleashing your most potent arsenal on the bosses.
There’re 47 trophies available in the game. The 47th, Master of the Universe, rewards those who achieve the rest of the trophies.
You need to play the Challenge Mode to unlock extra Trophy rewards. Also, You’d need to find all collectibles, complete quests and side quests, and find the Ryno 8.
Also, the game doesn’t punish you for changing the difficulty or buying difficulty modifiers with Gold Bolts.
The Challenge Mode allows you to play the entire game again.
You keep all of your collectibles, bolts, weapons, armor, and weapon upgrades. Everything you missed from your first playthrough will be there, though.
Enemies are tougher. However, if you defeat an enemy without taking hits, you get additional bolts.
Lastly, you can buy Omega variants of your weapons. They can level up towards level 10 and have more upgrades.
Insomniac Games doesn’t have a post-launch plan for Rift Apart. It’s an unlikely possibility.
PS4’s Spider-Man sold over 20 million copies, whereas Miles Morales Spider-Man reached about 6.5 million copies. Rift Apart is the less popular of the studio’s recent titles. That’s reason enough to forget about upcoming DLCs or expansions.
Also, the studio is currently working on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, plus an unexpected Wolverine game.
Should You Buy Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart?
We’re closing our article with our thoughts on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
The game has a couple of downsides. First, it’s quite short. Other PS5 exclusives like Miles Morales are also short, an unfortunate trend for $70 games.
The second downside is the enemy AI. The game doesn’t ask you to swap or think about your weapons. You can go on with whatever, which could turn combat into a repetitive task.
These are small shortcomings, though. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a fantastic platformer. It’s wild, creative, and mind-blowing.
Its dimensional jump feature is perfectly executed and adds so many extra layers to the platformer formula.
Gameplay is fun, explosive, and thrives on a crazy, upgradable arsenal. Despite the lack of strategic enemies, the acrobatic, colorful combat feels fantastic.
The performance is also stunning. The game flows seamlessly from beginning to end, a new feature in the genre.
Rift Apart pushes the platform genre forward despite its flaws. Moreover, it showcases the power of the PS5, a significant achievement for the Sony console family.
Overall, it’s an easy recommendation. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a top-tier game.