Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart reviews reveal 1 flaw in a near-perfect game
The newest PS5 exclusive showcases what Sony's new system can do, even if its gameplay doesn't break new ground.
Since its reveal in June 2020, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has been one of the most anticipated PlayStation 5 exclusives. If early reviews are any indication, it also might be one of the best.
With this being the next first-party PlayStation game for PS5, a lot is riding on its success. Built upon the foundation of the previous Ratchet & Clank game from Insomniac, this entry features a standalone story, a new character named Rivet (along with Ratchet and Clank), and all the wild weapons you’d expect. As the title implies, players traverse between dimensions via rifts or portals, which is one of the game’s selling points.
Reviews for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart were published on June 8, just before its release. How does it stack up against other PS5 exclusives?
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What do reviewers love about Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart?
Unanimously, the reviews for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are positive. On Metacritic, the game has a Metascore of 89, which is in line with many other PlayStation exclusives. Even the lowest score on Metacritic sits at a 70, which just goes to show that Sony is in a league of its own when it comes to developing games.
Gene Park of the Washington Post (Launcher) gave Rift Apart a 10/10 and calls it “the greatest exclusive title for a PlayStation platform since 2015’s Bloodborne.”
“Rift Apart calls to mind the believable and heart-wrenching interpersonal drama of The Last of Us,” Park writes. “There’s the fast-paced, dodge-and-shoot rhythm and screen-filling particle effects of the other recent PS5 exclusive, Returnal. Ratchet’s charisma and charm feel natural in ways that would shake Uncharted hero Nathan Drake’s confidence.”
By many accounts, it seems Rift Apart is even more beloved than 2016’s Ratchet & Clank, and according to Park, it harkens back to many of PlayStation’s best franchises.
GamesRadar’s Rachel Weber also loved Rift Apart and awarded it a 5/5. Weber refers to it as “the best Ratchet & Clank adventure yet, and a showcase for the power of the PS5.”
Weber highlights Rift Apart’s story but argued that previous installments never seemed to be as engaging. “This time around I was all in,” Weber says. “Especially when it came to the story of the depressed robot companion Kit. With her sunny yellow body and dour mood, she's an icon for our times, and I wanted a happy ending for her so badly it gave me low-level anxiety.”
And based on many other reviews, it seems the story resonated with lots of critics as well.
It also appears like Rift Apart has a lot of variety in its gameplay to keep things fresh as you play. “Much like previous Ratchet & Clank games, the game switches gears repeatedly,” writes Christopher Dring of Video Games Chronicle.
“One minute you’re racing through the swamp on the back of a snail, then shooting down enemy ships, then jumping through a portal to complete a platforming challenge, then leaping into another to partake in a game of 3D Lemmings, then taking control of a digital spider to kill a computer virus, then leaping across rails to avoid an angry giant robot,” Dring writes. “It’s relentless, and this variety extends to tone and setting.”
Sony solidified itself as one of the leading publishers during the PS4 era, and based on the reception to Rift Apart, that trend seems to be continuing.
What do reviewers dislike about Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart?
Despite the game’s positive reception, critics did have some minor gripes here and there. After all, no game is perfect and it’s a reviewer’s job to address anything that stands out as lacking.
Axios’ Stephen Totilo was a bit more critical than most. “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has the best graphics I've ever seen, but I kept thinking: ‘PS5 graphics, PS2 gameplay,’” writes Totilo. “Rift Apart is very enjoyable, and I'm not done with it yet, but I've found my interest wax and wane based on whether I've been in the mood for comfort vs. novelty.”
As some other reviewers have pointed out, Rift Apart doesn’t fundamentally change the way we think about video games, and that’s okay. It doesn’t break new ground, but it nails being a fun, action-adventure shooter.
Giovanni Colantonio of Digital Trends was a fan overall but called the game’s DualSense functionality a “literal” pain.
“It’s a fun use of the tech, but it can admittedly be a pain point. And I mean a literal one,” Colantonio writes. “The trigger resistance gets physically exhausting. With a weapon like the Ricochet, players need to hammer down the right trigger multiple times to thwack enemies. The trigger press is so hard that I found myself switching to my middle finger just to give my pointer a break.”
With a lot of PS5 games that make use of the DualSense’s adaptive triggers and haptics, the results have been all over the place. Games like Returnal and Astro’s Playroom seemed to resonate much more, while others...not so much.
Gfinity’s Joel Franey warned potential players of a myriad of bugs in Rift Apart and gave it a 3.5/5. Franey praised the game for its technical achievements in some aspects but then says “And then it crashes. Or freezes. Or I get stuck in a wall and have to reload a checkpoint.”
Franey goes on to describe more technical hiccups. “Or a white cube appears that I can’t get rid of,” they write. “Or the frame rate has a brief panic attack. Or the audio desyncs in a cutscene. Or a major subquest gets permanently locked off because the game didn’t spawn in one of the essential items, and so my scavenger hunt must go partially un-scavenged.”
So it seems, even a game from a major first-party publisher like Sony isn’t immune to bugs, but players should expect many of these issues to be ironed out following the game’s launch.
Despite the criticisms, the general consensus for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart points to yet another fantastic game from developer Insomniac.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart launches for PS5 on June 11, 2021.