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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart PlayStation 5 Game Review

A Multi-Dimensional Adventure Brimming with Explosive Action and Delightful Charm.

Reviewed by on Jun 25, 2021
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Two of PlayStations most iconic mascots return to bring in the next generation. Ratchet & Clank are back on PlayStation 5, with a multi-dimensional twist! Does Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart live up to the best of Insomniac Games action-platformers

There was a time when many of PlayStation's biggest games were all charming platformers starring bombastic characters. From the PlayStation 1 through the heyday of the PlayStation 2, there were so many fun platformers to dive into from Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper. There is one that has managed to hold onto popularity more than the rest, though. The spacefaring heroes Ratchet & Clank have stood the test of time generation after generation. With each new PlayStation, Ratchet & Clank is the benchmark of what each console generation is capable of visually while further tightening the series' trademark action gameplay. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is not only an excellent Ratchet game but a stellar beginning to the PlayStation 5 that shows off what is possible in the next generation.

Our hero looking better than ever.Our hero looking better than ever.

Out of Retirement

Rift Apart takes place after the 2013 PS3 title Into the Nexus, where Ratchet and Clank gain the Dimensionator, a device that opens up the fabric of space and time itself. Clank hopes to give Ratchet his greatest wish. To find the dimension where the rest of the Lombaxes, his species, are. Rift Apart opens up with an explosive setpiece that immediately shows off just how stunning the game is. In both cutscenes and gameplay, Rift Apart is easily among one of the best-looking games ever made. Ratchet games have always been visual stunners, but Rift Apart finally succeeds in the promise of playing a top-tier animated film. Scenes are bustling with alien life making the worlds feel so much more alive than before, and the heroes and villains fans know and love look and sound better than ever. Ratchet and Clank’s retirement is ground to a halt when the dastardly Dr. Nefarious seizes the Dimensionator, sending our heroes into an inter-dimensional tailspin that tears them apart. The mechanical Doctor seeks to find a dimension where he always wins, to finally best Ratchet and Clank once and for all. But never fear, with new dimensions brings new allies. Rift Apart shows off alternate universe versions of many of Ratchet’s old friends, and longtime fans will appreciate the unique twists on classic characters.

Ratchet's retirement is cut short, Dr. Nefarious is back!Ratchet's retirement is cut short, Dr. Nefarious is back!

Enter, Rivet

Rift Apart is all about traveling between the multiverse, and the multiverse has more than one Lombax hero. Rivet is Ratchet’s counterpart from the Nefarious dimension, and you spend much of the game playing as her. She has a distinct look and a heart of gold and brings so much warmth to the story. Ratchet and Rivet share all of their upgrades, so whatever weapons or upgrades Ratchet purchases, Rivet will have them too so the differences in playstyle are mainly just in the story. Instead of carrying Ratchet’s signature Omni-Wrench, she packs a mean Hammer to smash foes and has a metal arm. She is a tough freedom fighter that has had to live in a world where Doctor (or Emperor) Nefarious rules with a metal fist so she is tougher to make up for it. Even through the tough shell, she is kind and is always looking to help those in need. Her inclusion in the story is welcome, and it is hard not to love her. I do not want to bring up too much of the story because it genuinely has some heartfelt moments. Newcomers don’t fear though if this is your first Ratchet game it is super easy to get what is going on. Insomniac Games did a great job at making sure longtime fans enjoy the characters while making super new players aren’t lost.

Rivet is strong and kind in equal measure.Rivet is strong and kind in equal measure.

Exploring Across Space and Time

Like all Ratchet games before it, you spend the game hopping between different worlds uncovering the story, exploring for collectibles, and blasting enemies. The planets in Rift Apart are often the star of the show, with each feeling fun to explore and often breathtaking to behold. Ratchet is a platformer, but it is much more linear than something like Super Mario Odyssey where experimenting with jumps is key to finding all of the game’s secrets. The focus here is much more on the action, but exploring every nook and cranny for secrets and collectibles is still fun. There are just enough Gold Bolts and collectible Armor Pieces to keep you hunting, but not too many to where it feels boring. From bustling cities, to open explorable deserts, the dimensions in Rift Apart are a blast to exist in.

Ratchet and Clank have not seen anything like this yet.Ratchet and Clank have not seen anything like this yet.

A Winning Formula, Refined

What stands out more than the game’s visuals is just how fun Rift Apart is to play. There isn’t anything incredibly new for the series apart from the rift mechanics, but everything from the gunplay to the platforming feels better than ever. Ratchet and Rivet have a new dash move that lets them get out of danger quickly and it feels great. There isn’t a moment where simply controlling the character is not a blast. The weapons they take into battles are exceptional too, it is one of the series’ best arsenals. Each weapon has a role, and swapping between them constantly in the middle of frantic fights keeps combat fresh the entire way through the story. Throwing down a support weapon like Mr. Fungi or the Glove of Doom and then switching to a powerful rocket launcher or laser minigun is a treat that is even further enhanced by the PS5 Dualsense controller. Blasting a weapon has never felt better.

Ratchet and Clank: All 4 OneRatchet and Clank: All 4 One

Rift Apart, what a huge difference!Rift Apart, what a huge difference!

Compete in the Arena

Rift Apart brings back the series’ arena, where you can compete in increasingly tough rounds to earn tons of bolts and rewards. This time Rivet is the star of the show, and even though it would have been nice to bring Ratchet along for some of it, I am sure he is far from over competing in all of the other games. The arena on higher difficulties is pretty challenging and well worth doing, even if the announcer can be a bit much sometimes. It is also a great place to upgrade your weapons, not that there aren’t tons of enemies to do that with throughout your dimensional travels.

Rivet wields her hammer.Rivet wields her hammer.

A Puzzling Affair

When you aren’t jumping, grinding on rails, or shooting foes, Rift Apart has a selection of puzzles to play with. From time to time Ratchet has to get into a door and deploys the help of Glitch, a microscopic Tank Bot to clear the way inside of machinery. She is adorable, and the action-packed and bite-sized nature of these sections stayed enjoyable each time. At certain points in the story, Clank is tasked with performing a logic puzzle where he has to guide alternate dimension versions of himself through obstacles. These last a bit longer and can drag on when you want to get back to the main Ratchet gameplay, but luckily you can skip both types of puzzles if you want to. There is no penalty for doing this for Trophy hunters either, so skip away if you have a hard time.

Jet-Boots make getting around large locations a breeze.Jet-Boots make getting around large locations a breeze.

Final Thoughts

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is one of my favorite Insomniac games and a perfect way to bring in the era of the PS5. Its gripping action-packed gameplay stays fun the entire time, and the visuals are eyepopping like never before. The characters and story are adorable, heartfelt, and quite hilarious at times. But when the action is at its peak, the stakes are high enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. From time to time the game can be a bit glitchy which stands out more than usual because of how good the game looks all the time, but I never experienced any game-breaking bugs during my playthrough. All and all, Rift Apart is about as easy of a recommendation as it gets for basically anyone at any skill level. PS5 owners should not miss this certifiable gem.

Rift Apart's worlds are a sci-fi visual feast and really fun to explore.Rift Apart's worlds are a sci-fi visual feast and really fun to explore.


  • Ratchet Gameplay, Perfected
  • Lovable Cast of Characters
  • Jaw-Dropping Visuals and Worlds


  • Puzzles Weigh Down the Pace
  • Some Glitches and Bugs

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Game Rating: 4

Rift Apart's Box Art.Rift Apart's Box Art.

Available Now on PlayStation 5!