Rift Apart opens in a grim yet somehow still vibrant futuristic city, with an unknown figure darting through the dreary crowds of robots who are trying their best to keep their heads down. The only sources of light come from neon signs that valiantly fight to keep shining, but even the rain falling on nothing but concrete seems to have lost its zest for life. The scene is straight from the dreams of my 8-year-old self. And it has totally sucked me in.
Since their masterpieces Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Insomniac seem to have grown in confidence in their ability to craft a story. Rightfully so! I bang on about the storycrafting in my video review above, so you may as well go watch it before coming back to read the rest of my prose here.
There was a bit that I cut out of the review because it was hard to edit and in a moment of frustration I just deleted it all and continued on. But it was something that I acutely felt was a bit off.
The first time we switched player character to Rivet, I realised she had all of Ratchet’s weapons and upgrades. Obviously, this helps to keep combat and traversal consistent throughout the game. Not soon after taking control of Rivet, there was even a super loose reason as to why this was case, but it was still super weird to find one lombax had somehow acquired a gadget or weapon that I had only just unlocked with the other.
It was probably my biggest problem, and it’s a problem I can understand. There could have been more differences between Ratchet and Rivet than just changing the wrench to a hammer. But this is still a kid’s game, and you don’t want to confuse or alienate your potentially quite young player base with new/more game mechanics.
Everything else in the game, though, was great. The mechanics, despite being consistent between both main characters, are smooth and easy. Nothing particularly standout but nothing that detracts away from the fun. The colours, even in the darkly lit parts of the game, are incredibly vibrant. And there are so many moving parts to every planet. The best example is Nefarious City, with layers upon layers of sky highways filled with ships, and dejected civilian robots hunkering over beautiful piles of junk.
I can’t really speak about it here, because spoilers, but everything you hear and see in any “spoiler free” video review can’t show you the best bits. The rollercoaster you will find yourself on is an absolute joy to ride. If you are a Ratchet & Clank fan, this game will not disappoint you. I sincerely hope you get the chance to play it.
And if you aren’t yet convinced, then you obviously haven’t watched the video at the beginning of this review. So go do that and then do yourself a favour and bask in the greatness of one of the best Ratchet & Clank games in existence.