Insomniac certainly knows how to make a superhero game. Over the years, the studio has pumped out two excellent Spider-Man titles filled with death-defying action and big-budget set pieces that could make Kevin Feige jealous. So it’s no surprise that Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift Is a full blown Marvel Movie video game.
It’s a natural evolution for one of Sony’s most enduring first-party franchises. While it began as a standard 3D platformer in an era where Sony was churning out animal mascots, it has only increased the galactic spectacle with each new console over the past two decades. With Sony’s most impressive hardware to date in the PS5, Insomniac Games can finally flex its Hollywood chops and turn the two into convincing, pint-sized Avengers.
Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift A technological powerhouse filled with thrilling platforming set pieces and bustling environments. Its arsenal of weapons doesn’t quite reach the creative heights of previous installments, but the visual dazzle-dazzle makes for a fun summer blockbuster.
Marvel’s Ratchet and Clank
Like the previous games in the series, Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift is a third-person platformer that is heavy on action. The titular Lombax hero Ratchet scours planets for collectibles while carving through waves of enemies, while Robot Clank tackles puzzle interludes. It’s always been a winning formula for insomniacs, and the secret sauce hasn’t changed much here. Everything is a bit big and flashy, but the core gameplay is still a rock-solid foundation.
Playing through a world really feels like blazing through a different Hollywood action set.
The main difference this time around is that the game plays with alternate realities. Ratchet finds himself lost in a dimension where his rival Dr. Neferius has finally gained control of the galaxy. It wouldn’t be a “Mirror World” story without doppelgngers, so the game features a second lombax called Rivet, which players control almost every other level. Functionally, he is exactly the same as the Ratchet, which feels like a missed opportunity. Gear, weapons, and upgrades are shared between both Lombaxes, so it feels like playing the same character with palette swaps from planet to planet.
When minute-by-minute Lombax gameplay is so much fun, it’s hard to complain about it. Each level is a meticulously designed amusement park filled with thrilling rides. When players aren’t discovering secrets or destroying enemies, they’re zipping off-ramps behind bugs or grinding on rollercoaster-like rails as explosions explode in every direction.
This is where the superhero DNA really starts to become apparent. Playing through a world really feels like blazing through a different Hollywood action set. This can make the experience feel unsatisfying at times, as the game’s oddly complicated story is a way to justify stitching together dozens of different ideas. But like any good blockbuster, it’s best to sit back and take in the colorful sensory explosion in your hands.
No superhero movie is complete without sidekicks. Clank sections are sparse, but there’s an absolutely fine change of pace. They revolve around simple ball puzzles where Clank has to safely lead his own projections to the exit using orbs that can speed up, jump and more. More exciting side missions come from Glitch, a miniature mech that Ratchet deploys to fight off microscopic viruses. They’re small shooter classes that feature some mind-bending movement, effective haptic feedback, and the game’s most engaging original character.
Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift It’s not the most narratively compelling adventure, but it offers a similar adventure to Insomniac’s Spider-Man game. Heroes are a bit agile.
lights, Camera, Action
The Ratchet & Clank series sets itself apart from other mascot platformers with an emphasis on action, and that rings true here. apart from the crack Gives players a buffet of guns and grenades to use. The game does an excellent job of encouraging players to use them all instead of picking one day. Each weapon can be leveled up, which expands its individual upgrade tree. I found myself cycling between my guns in every fight, really inspired to see what everyone could do in their ultimate form.
Compared to the previous entries, this time the arsenal is a bit subdued. There are plenty of great favorites, but few new weapons feel as creative as tools like the Groovitron or Qwack-O-Matic, which turn enemies into ducks in Up Your Arsenal. The most memorable device is the topiary sprinkler, which temporarily turns enemies into bushfires. It is one of the few weapons that the combat series excels at with slapstick nails.
I found myself cycling between my guns in every fight, really inspired to see what everyone could do in their final form.
It looks like Insomniac played it straighter to take better advantage of the PS5 DualSense controller. Many guns have optional fire modes or diversions that use the controller’s adaptive trigger. For example, the headhunter sniper zooms in based on how hard the left trigger is pressed. Not every gun uses that idea, but those that do add a little extra depth to shooting.
It’s a fun use of the technique, but it can definitely be a pain point. And I mean a literal. Trigger resistance becomes physically exhausting. With a weapon like the Ricochet, players need to shoot down the right trigger several times to knock down enemies. The trigger press is so hard that I found myself switching on my middle finger to brake my pointer. returnal There’s actually a way to design gunplay around adaptive triggers with its alt-fire system, but I imagine many players will find themselves completely locked out here.
The gunplay is probably a bit overworked to fit around the PS5, which is something we’ve seen in games destruction all stars. Even with those quirks, the combat is still delightfully chaotic. When I electrify a creature with a gun, I create a perfect moment of “comic mischief,” where my stunned enemy shakes like a cartoon character after sticking a fork into an outlet. Shooting a creature is always rewarded with some sort of detailed animation that is enjoyable to watch.
big budget adventures
if returnal PS5 controller has the best performance, Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift That’s the game that best showcases the console. It is a visually jaw-dropping game that plays like a CGI movie. There were moments when I didn’t even realize I regained control of the character after coming out fluidly from a cut scene. The worlds are so intricately detailed that it feels like they are in a pre-rendered cinematic.
in many ways, Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift The best example of how powerful this current generation of consoles are.
Take a location like in the game’s opening world, a small piece of a bustling city. It’s not just the major buildings that some NPCs are getting into. The sky is filled with flying cars that blink overhead and neon signs blink from far and wide. For even more simple fun, break down a wall of boxes and enjoy the particle blast that flies hundreds of wooden pieces and bolts in every direction.
The real star of the show is the PS5’s SSD, which Insomniac takes full advantage of. Ratchet and Rivet get a tether that can be used to zip through portals, teleporting them further in a technical magic trick.
This is especially useful for the entire alternate dimension angle. There are “pocket dimensions” scattered throughout the levels, which take players to an entirely different challenge stage with zero load times. Whenever games try to pull off moves like this, there’s always some secret seam he uses to hide the wait. Just look at the god of war, who uses a mystic sphere to hide loadings between spheres. If those moments are happening behind the scenes apart from the crack, they are completely invisible.
in many ways, Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift The best example of how powerful this current generation of consoles are. It delivers spectacle on top of spectacle, creating its own version of “movie magic” of gaming. I just wanted to dig into a bag of popcorn during the whole adventure.
Ratchet and Clank: Apart from the Rift Here’s another great PS5 exclusive that really shows what the hardware is capable of. It’s a visually detailed platformer filled with three Iron Man movies that are well worth the thrill. Shooting suffers a bit due to some overzealous DualSense integration, which is a literal pain, but Insomniac has produced a colorful blockbuster filled with good, old-fashioned comic pranks.
Is there a better option?
If we’re assuming it’s a superhero game (which it is), it’s roughly equivalent to Marvel’s Spider-Man. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Offers significantly more value as far as platforms go.
How long will it last?
The story takes around 10-12 hours and I had hit 100% within 15. There are good reasons to replay, although weapons can be leveled more at other times.
should you buy it?
Yes. It’s another strong exclusive to the PS5 lineup and one that really gets the most out of the system.