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[Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal]PS5’s ‘Ratchet And Clank: Rift Apart’ Is Essential, Even If You’ve Missed The Others

2021-08-18

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  Ratchet and Clank

  Sony

  Lost in my tangled maze of endless live service games, I didn’t know if I’d actually get around to Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, despite the solid reviews. But after holding my nose to pay $70 for it on release day, I firmly believe I made the right call.

  I’ve never played a Ratchet and Clank game before this. I know, I know. What can I say? Some series you just miss, as there’s no time to play everything. The first one came out in 2002, which I will assume I skipped because I was in high school and thought I was too cool for cartoony platformers anymore and was trying to play all the M-rated titles I could. And I skipped the rest too, all the way until 19 years later when I picked up Rift Apart.

  You really do not need to have any sort of history with the series to enjoy this game. Yes, I know in this “alternate dimension” plotline, variants of characters from past games keep popping up I should recognize, but it really doesn’t matter much. And while the story is fun and the characters are charming, the lore here isn’t exact Mass Effect. You can catch up pretty quickly.

  Rift Apart is a stunning game, harnessing more power from the PS5 than anything else I’ve seen yet. These worlds are gorgeous, flowing seamlessly into one another with no load screens at all. While the “rift jumping” can sometimes seem like a grappling hook gimmick, in other instances, you can’t help but be impressed, like when you strike a crystal to have an entirely alternate dimensional map instantly load, changing the entire landscape.

  Ratchet and Clank

  Sony

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  Combat is fun and reminds me of a game I was not expecting to reference here, DOOM. The weapon wheel full of powerful, diverse guns with no reloads has you rotating through all your favorites in every encounter, and mechanically, it feels very similar to how DOOM arranged combat, minus uh, you don’t need to perform brutal executions on enemies to get your health back.

  The maps are sprawling and full of secrets, both collectibles, but also hidden challenges and upgrade materials to max out your arsenal. The format of the missions is quasi-open. You go to a planet, do a main objective, but can also return as either Rivet or Ratchet, depending on the zone, and farm materials or do bonus side-quests you missed. You share upgrades and resources across both characters and there’s a constant feeling of forward progress with upgrades and leveling here that’s somewhat addictive and makes you want to use widely diverse tactics in each combat encounter.

  Ratchet and Clank is just pure…joy and fun. It’s hard to know how else to describe it. It’s beautiful, lively, and a welcome break from the grind-based looters I’ve been consumed with for years now. Yes, I’ll sometimes break out for single player adventures, but none like this, and I regret this is only the first time I’m touching this series after all these years. But my message to others who think Ratchet and Clank might not be for them is that it’s definitely a game for everyone, regardless of age or history with the series.

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