The makers of this game say it’s been a true labour of love to bring it to life and you feel that the minute you boot it up for the first time.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart absolutely stuns on the PlayStation 5.
It’s visually the very best platform game I’ve ever played.
And it’s storyline and pacing is second-to-none.
It’s like playing a truly interactive CGI kids movie.
So hats off to Insomniac Games for going all out in yet another fantastic PS5 exclusive.
That said the game is not perfect.
It’s puzzle elements are good but don’t match the very best Mario has to offer on Nintendo’s Switch.
And while the story is strong, you really only get the very best out of it if you already know the rich history of the Ratchet and Clank games.
The game was built from the ground-up for the PlayStation 5 and its features – like ultra-fast loading via SSD, 3D Audio, and the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers – have been used to the fullest.
So Ratchet’s wacky guns fire brilliantly in the joypad and you feel every kick and spit from your varied weapons thanks to the amazing internal tech that gives hand-driven feedback.
The controller speaker also adds little audio touches here and there to complement the on-screen action and that subtly drags you further into this cartoony world of adventure and heroism.
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Gameplay is spot-on and you’ll find yourself deftly running, double jumping and drifting side-to-side away from baddie bullets all while expertly shooting your prey within minutes of beginning.
The visuals are ‘next-gen’ stunning, with every pixel feeling alive and your screen filled from top to bottom with movement and action.
It can actually be a little overwhelming at first as there’s so much going on around you the actual core over-the-shoulder fighting of the game can be lost to distraction and wonder.
The story is tightly written and 100-miles-an-hour from the very off, feeling every inch the blockbuster summer movie spectacular you’d expect from the likes of a Sonic film in the cinema.
And yet it’s a proper video game and therein lies Insomniac’s greatest achievement; one of the closest ever instances a game has got to being a playable kids movie.
The key tale here is your nemesis Dr Nefarious, a perfectly hammed-up villain by the excellent voice actor, manages to pretty much ruin our dimension with a fancy machine and bring other dimensions into it.
So we not only have our heroes Ratchet and his robot companion Clank, but also a new protagonist just like Ratchet called Rivet.
And you then flit between both male and female heroes as they battle to repair the Dimensionator and ultimately heal the rifts between worlds.
It all feels effortlessly done and there are some real weighty moments emotionally as the storytellers explore the different relationships, particularly between out titular stars.
But while this gets top marks in most areas there’s definitely room to improve the puzzle elements of the game in the inevitable sequel.
Super Mario is still king in that regard.
And I fear some new players to this series could find themselves a bit lost in the history-rich characterisations and twists of the tale that really only long-running fans will get the best kick from.
Overall a fantastic new title for the PS5.
That console’s now-best available exclusive action-platform game.
A perfect hit for those hot summer days of gaming.
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