It’s no secret that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart already shines as both a sequel to the long-running PlayStation franchise and a window into the next generation of gaming. While PlayStation’s recent string of PC ports has been rather great (sorry to The Last of Us: Part 1), Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart proves yet again that there’s plenty left to bring to new platforms and audiences alike.
While we’ll do our best to run through Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart as both its own game and a new PC port, you can read our original review here for a deeper look.
The Lombax is Back
Rift Apart picks up in the middle of a parade, as our titular heroes are rewarded for all their previous work. Things are going great, until an old foe decides to wreak interdimensional havoc on their world, opening up a bunch of portals in space and time. Without giving away much more, Ratchet and his robot pal Clank must work with some new interdimensional friends to close these portals and fix a world-ending threat; again.
The story is generally charming and thanks to its shorter runtime of around 10-15 hours, really knows how to keep the pace running at an even clip. It’s full of humour, but for the first time, the series feels comfortable in addressing some more emotional moments in its newer friendships.
It’s funny that the series has decided to break out onto the PC with this particular entry, simply because it’s so easy to latch on to. While I’m sure many PC gamers would have come across this series at one point over the past 20 years, I don’t doubt that PC gamers now will have trouble coming to grips with these characters and a newer, standalone story.
Up Your Arsenal
When it comes to general gameplay, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart isn’t afraid to lean on what already works. As Ratchet and series newcomer Rivet, you’ll wield a mix of ranged weapons in combat against a range of unique enemies and bosses. It’s not necessarily groundbreaking for the franchise, but it still feels so satisfying to mow down waves of enemies while experimenting with new weapons and abilities. Each attack brings with it a sense of weight and responsiveness that makes each encounter feel incredibly addictive.
Platforming and general traversal also feel great, with a solid mix of new environments, vibrant colour pallets and interesting puzzles to complete. While I still wish this ran a little longer in places, there’s no doubt that this feels like all the best parts of a theme park ride. Even if you don’t want to get off, it wastes time in showing off everything it has in rapid succession.
Look the Part
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart might still be the best-looking game to date, ever. Yes, that’s a big call, but we really mean it. Thankfully, that’s pretty much represented on PC in terms of visual fidelity, even if the game runs just as well. The only real issue here is that you’re going to need a real rig to run this as intended, and generally, something that costs much more than a PlayStation 5. I’m still rocking my 11th gen Intel i7 and RTX 3070 but managed to run this at relatively maximum settings. While the minimum recommended specs are much lower, I can’t sees those setups running a consistent 60 FPS.
Thankfully, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart also caters for a range of customisable settings, from FOV sliders to DLSS upscaling and even weather effects. I generally take the easy road and turn the entire graphics preset down a notch, but even on medium to high settings, everything looks gorgeous. I only play on a 1080p monitor, but I was still incredibly delighted with the results on those higher settings.
The only thing to keep in mind here aside from your specs, is your hard drive. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was originally built to run with PS5’s new and exciting SSD to minimise load times, and it shows on PC; although only slightly. You’ll want to ensure this is installed on an SSD for the shortest load times, but even then, I still came across them in certain places. It’s still totally playable, and only really affects the game in certain parts, but it’s worth noting. However, if you only had access to a traditional HDD hard drive, this might be worth a second thought. While the game will run fine in most places again, some of those interdimensional sequences will drag, as that’s where the experience originally snuck in those loading times.
Through it all, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart holds up incredibly well. It’s super fun to play, and while it still feels a little short, packs in a bunch of interesting sequences, environments and weapons to try out. Its move over to PC is a largely successful one, even if the PS5’s SSD holds up a little better when it comes to loading times, the number of customizable options ensures that PC gamers can appreciate this latest Ratchet & Clank entry for the gorgeously charming addition that it is.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Incredible visuals; Well-paced story; Satisfying combat
Lowlights: Short runtime; SSD still needs to load in places
Developer: Insomniac Games, Nixxes Software
Publisher: PlayStation PC LLC
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Windows PC
Review conducted on a PC via Steam using retail code provided by the publisher.