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REVIEW: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Herald to the Return of Mascot Platformers


Published by: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Insomniac Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5
Genre(s): Platformer, third-person shooter
Mode(s): Single-player
Game Type: ,
95/ 100

User Rating
1 total rating



Good use of Dualsense functionalities. Impressive detailing and visuals. Virtually no loading times and masterful use of PS5's speed into gameplay experience.



Posted June 26, 2021 by

ratchet and clank, rift apart, rivet, insomniac, playstation

Mascot Platformers has never been the same since the height of the genre back in the PlayStation 2 era. Since then, games have become more cinematic and mature. The Ratchet & Clank reboot from 2016 was a step in the right direction but didn’t quite get the reception it hoped. But now, with the PlayStation 5, could it be that Insomniac Games has successfully revived the genre? or is the success purely reliant on PlayStation 5 gimmicks?


Ratchet, Clank, Rift Apart, PlayStation, PS5, Insomniac

The story picks sometime after the events of the 2016 reboot. Ratchet is being honored as a Hero and Clank plans to give Ratchet the Dimensionator he built to find the missing Lombaxes. Dr. Nefarious ruins the ceremony and attempts to steal the Dimensionator, only to cause damage to the dimensions and thrust them into an alternate world where Dr. Nefarious rules the galaxy and a mysterious Lombax counterpart attempts to topple his empire.

Ratchet & Clank 2016 coincided with a theatrical movie that pretty much flopped. But I’m glad Insomniac didn’t give up on the franchise then, because the story for Rift Apart is so good. And I don’t mean deep or thought-provoking. It’s just a generally fun time. The same kind of fun you’d have watching an animated film with your family, perhaps this should have been made into a movie. It’s entertaining and charming. And the icing on the cake is that it looks phenomenal and is an absolute blast to play.

Ratchet, Clank, Rift Apart, PlayStation, PS5, Insomniac


The gameplay has remained basically the same since the reboot. It’s a third-person shooter slash platformer that emphasizes an arsenal of quirky weapons that you can upgrade and power up the more you use them. These weapons are vastly different from one another and often affect the gameplay a whole deal, often in quirky and strategic ways. There are a few key additions to the formula however, the most prominent one being the Rifts. From a combat/traversal standpoint, Ratchet can use his Rift tether to transport himself from one end of a level to the other seamlessly. Trust me, it never gets old. Additionally, this time around some planets you visit are much more vast than ever before. So to add to this, you’ll eventually unlock hover boots that let you skate through a level at high speeds. All these new traversal features play right into some of the puzzles as well, so even the puzzle varieties are up a notch this time around.

Ratchet, Clank, Rift Apart, PlayStation, PS5, Insomniac

Rifts are definitely this game’s main attraction, and there are several implementations of these that are just flat-out fun to behold. In all the planets you’ll visit, you’ll come across dimensional tears, which you can rip open and explore. These are mini platforming challenges that reward you with a customization part. This time around, costumes aren’t just unlocked via the cheat menu. You can find and earn them through various activities. Ratchet can equip a Helmet, Chest, and Leg armor. These pieces you can mix and match to customize how you want Ratchet or Rivet to look. And just collecting sets will earn you passive bonuses that stay active at all times.

But this last Rift gimmick is by far the coolest…


I don’t even want to talk about how gorgeous Rift Apart is because it’s indisputable. This is, at this point in time, the best-looking game this generation. No, I’d rather talk about this other thing. It’s crazy that Insomniac didn’t show this off too much while marketing the game, but, there are some planets that allow you to SHIFT THE ENTIRE LEVEL. SEAMLESSLY. You’ll find crystals around the level and whacking it will shift the entire level into a different layout and visual style without so much as a hiccup. Not only was this a visual and technological marvel, but the puzzle possibilities here are also genius! Raytracing also did wonders for the game, it is by far, the best-looking PS5 title to date!

Ratchet _ Clank_ Rift Apart_20210611231645


The game practically has no loading time. Switching between levels, traveling between rifts, absolutely everything you do is seamless. The console also seems to be able to do this with relative ease. After having played this game, I start to question why I ever put up with loading times in any game at all! And this isn’t merely cutting downloading time. It is a major part of the gameplay experience as well. Regardless of how you feel about exclusives, there’s a good reason why Rift Apart is only on PS5, as the gameplay mechanics simply won’t work outside of the console’s unique architecture.


Ratchet _ Clank_ Rift Apart_20210612181221

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a phenomenal early demonstration of the PS5’s strengths and a great case study as to why it is time for mascot platformers to make a return. The only reason not to pick something like this is if you hate platformers specifically, in which case, you’re missing the hell out. This is an absolute must-have for PS5 early adopters and a great benchmark of all the unique experiences we can expect from the console in the near future. If you have a PlayStation 5 at the time of this writing, do yourself a favor and pick it up asap. 

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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