It’s been a while since I had a game straight-up tell me to update my graphics drivers before it would deign to let me boot it up, but it turns out that the PC port of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is pretty demanding if you want to play it on Ultra settings. Arguably, that’s how you should play it, but even running it on high settings I was impressed by how stunning it is. The fact that it holds a steady 30FPS on Steam Deck is also pleasing, as it’s the ideal game for kicking back on the couch for a few hours on a Sunday, Deck in hand.
The elephant in this particular room, though, is the price. This is a game that has already been discounted heavily and often on PlayStation 5, and comes to the PC with no extra playable content and, of course, no legacy. This is a Sony property that hasn’t seen publication outside of their consoles, and as such any big fans of the game will probably already own a Sony machine where they can play this game much cheaper. It may not matter to some, but this isn’t a port like Returnal or The Last of Us – this is a legacy franchise that big fans will already have played and aren’t likely to spend another fifty quid on.
Either way, if you haven’t played and you don’t own a PlayStation 5, I’d absolutely recommend it. Not least because it’s jaw-droppingly beautiful at times, but because it’s also just really, really playable. Rift Apart introduces us to our titular heroes as they receive awards and plaudits for their previous heroic activities in a grand ceremony. Knowledge of the previous games is assumed but not necessary: apart from a few (well, many) in-jokes, newcomers won’t miss out on much.
During the ceremony, lovable robot Clank presents his long-time partner Ratchet with a new device: the Dimensionator, a gun that opens rifts in space and time. It’s a gesture of deep friendship, because it might allow Ratchet to travel across dimensions and find more of his own species, the Lombax, of which he is the only one remaining. However, their oldest nemesis, Dr. Nefarious, crashes the party, steals the Dimensionator and opens a multitude of rifts to other dimensions – including one where he is the Emperor of the galaxy.
Ratchet and Clank follow dutifully, but are consequently separated, and must team up with their multiversal counterparts. Ratchet finds Kit, a female robot, while Clank ends up joining forces with Rivet, another Lombax who also appears to be the last of her species in her universe. We don’t need to pretend that the story is incredible (although it certainly has its touching moments), but like the movie that came out a few years ago, it’s classic Ratchet & Clank heroes versus villains stuff and provides a great framework for the bombastic action.
And that’s what this is, by the way: a full-on action game. Those not familiar with previous games are in for a treat, while fans will lap this up as an evolution and high example of the franchise. Mixing ranged and melee combat with fast-paced platforming, rift-jumping, grappling and rail-grinding, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a breakneck adventure from start to finish. Interspersed with spectacular cutscenes that play like moments from a Pixar movie, the action rarely lets up.
But that’s also a bit of an issue in terms of longevity. There’s not much room in the story for dilly-dally, and little to do in each level outside of collecting currencies and unlocking weaponry. It won’t take you much longer than a dozen hours to be finished, and there’s not much incentive for a second playthrough. It makes the price of £50-plus feel a little steep.
If you’re able to play Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart with a DualSense 5 (again, if you have that option you probably have a PS5 where this game is just as good but cheaper), then do so, as it was built with the PS5’s haptic feedback in mind. It enhances the action considerably, although it’s certainly not worse with out it in the long run.
Those who never played the original version will, obviously, get the most out of this port. It’s a beautiful, colourful adventure through a series of vibrant worlds, with inventive weaponry and truly likeable characters. The writing never seems to skew too corny and the cutscenes are something to behold, but the story is neither particularly deep nor long, and so if you have played it before there’s not much here to recommend it. If you’re a newcomer, then it’s worth playing – but it’s up to you if it’s worth the full price-tag or not. Either way, it’s a fantastic port of an excellent game that any genre fan will fall in love with.
No new content
Might be considered pricey