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Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart | REVIEW (PC/STEAM DECK)

''FURRIES IN SPACE''

 

Developed: Insomniac Games

Published: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Genre: Action Adventure

Release Date: July 26th, 2023

Platforms: PS5/PC

*Review copy provided to me by PLAYSTATION*

Playstation Partner



Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is back again, but this time on the PC platform for many others to enjoy and its developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Having enjoyed its success on Playstation 5 years ago, the game now aims to bring that same joy and fun to the PC fan base, but.. was this a wise decision, considering its graphics fidelity? or is this one dimension where both console and PC versions can co-exist peacefully? Only one way to find out, so lets Rift!



STORY:


An evil robotic emperor is intent on conquering cross-dimensional worlds, with Ratchet and Clank’s own dimension next in his sights. You’ll need to dust off the dynamic pair’s outrageous weaponry and stop a dimensional collapse in its tracks.


''YOU CAN KICK A FOOTBALL THROUGH THOSE TEETH''

 

GAMEPLAY:


Vibrant, fast paced and a crazy over the top action filled adventure is what players like myself experienced on Playstation 5 with Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart's original release in 2021. Taking one of sony's major crowd favorite duos and thrusting them into another high energy adventure that took the Playstation 5's powers to its limits with its unique console features with Dualsense and its quick loading SSD, alongside a pretty compelling story with the gimmick of focusing on seamless transitions in a blink of an eye between the various dimensions as Ratchet and the gang hop through multiple portals to experience new worlds. It was pretty crazy, the transitions thanks to the SSD seem to be at the same speed as it takes someone needing to use the bathroom after a round of Taco Bell. Oh yeah, quick and in and out, just like Milo jumping in and out of his owners butt. Huh? uhh.. just google Milo monster and you'll get that reference, its safe for work, dont worry. But that's all well and good on Playstation 5, but how does this fair on PC or even on the Steam Deck? well its a mixed bag to say the least, not all good, but not all bad either. Its a balance of both what worked on its console counterpart and what doesn't work on its PC port. Its playable, functional and it's still the same game, but without the SSD of PS5, there are some slight differences that do set it apart from its console version and not for the better. But first, let's act like you've NEVER played a Ratchet and Clank game and then break it down that way as we go. BREAK IT DOWN. Yes, that was a WWF DX reference, thanks.


If you have never played a Ratchet and Clank game, do not worry about it, the games narrative here doesn't require you know every tiny bit of lore since the franchises inception in 2002. Rift Apart here, set in a bright, colorful and vivid world within a sci-fi like galaxy, has you follow our fluffy hero named Ratchet as he and his buddy and sidekick, Clank, traverse through interdimensional missions in order to stop the plan of the evil Dr. Nefarious from using dimensions and time itself to finally get a ''win'' over Ratchet. Bro got so frustrated that he's basically using the dimensional version of Gameshark at this point, cheating jerk. Again, even though this game has multiple throwbacks and nods to previous entries into the series for long time fans to pull a DicCaprio in their recliners and point at their tv's, it's still fully accessible without worry to new players. as you, the player, attempt to help Ratchet find the rest of his kind and his kin, with implications of that weighing pretty heavily on his mind. What will he find? WILL he find anyone? what if they're evil? what if they don't accept him. So many questions run through his head, but because of stupid jerk face, Nefarious, that plan is put on hold, at least momentarily, as your goal now moves to follow this dumb dumb through multiple dimensions to see that he's stopped for good. As you partake in the dimension leaping adventure with Ratchet, you will be introduced to two new characters of the franchise, Rivet and Kit, who in a nutshell are basically the female counterparts of the main male leads. Yeah... its not very inspiring and pretty lazy, as that type of plotline is heavily over done in all forms of media, but luckily, they're both pretty awesome and not as annoying as other character tropes in the same vein are. I'm looking at YOU, Marvel.


 

''TAKE THAT, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG''

 

Pushing through the main narrative of the story, you alternate between controlling both Rivet and Ratchet, who each having their own unique set of skill sets and equipment to use, so you aren't just playing a basic carbon copy of one another, but just from another universe. Relying heavily, in terms of gameplay, on cinematic story telling, third person shooting with a variety of weapons at your disposal to shoot with that range from lasers, shot guns, rocket launchers, hammers and wrenches for melee, precision timing for platforming sections that involve swift movement to hop across ledges, grind rails or jump and use a dimensional grapple to pull yourself into a small rift portal, intense boss battles that all have uniqueness to them, with sprinkled in puzzle solving and exploration... with all this as your setup, you will be looking at a lively playtime of around 8 to 12 hours, depending on what difficulty level you play on. This is all well and good, but we still haven't talked about how this game performs on PC and Steam Deck, which is important considering Rift Apart is just going to be one of the many other Playstation titles to release on PC now, and more in the future, just like the titles Uncharted Legacy Of Thieves Collection or the port of The Last Of Us. Luckily, just like those titles mentioned, Rift Apart for the most part runs extremely well on the Steam Deck with no tinkering involved in setting it up. While there are the obvious downsides to the PC port of Rift Apart, such as some cutscenes having minor jittering and framerate dropping or the annoying 6 to 8 seconds loading transition at the beginning of the game as Ratchet flies through each dimensions portals that normally on the console counterpart happen seamlessly -- besides those negatives, the experience stays roughly the same. On Steam Deck, during the high octane combat of fighting wave after wave of monsters by shooting lasers, exploding barrels to take out groups, boss fights against giant ships, etc, it all keeps a very smooth balance with only a few minor framerate dips here and there. However, nothing major to detract from your overall experience of actually ENJOYING the game itself. Yes that's right, clickbait videos with their exaggerated face thumbnails with text like ''IS THIS...A DISASTER!?'', got it wrong, once again. Well, mostly anyways.


Should you feel performance on your PC or even Steam Deck is not up to snuff for the type of experience you want, then do not worry because there are ways to extend the limits of your performance or make the game fully adjustable for the most part to what your rig is capable of. I only wish my own make up was as adjustable as Rift Apart, boy let me tell you, I can be looking pretty funky at times. But as I was saying, using an FOV slider, changing of any weather or lighting effects, upscaling, it all lets you tune your experience the best way you see fit, which also includes a speed running mode that eliminates specific elements like scenes that go in slow motion or pause for a narrative, in order for you as the user to save precious seconds on the clock in your run. Trust me, saving 20 seconds on a run may not seem like much, but as someone who competitively ran and beat Super Mario Odyssey in 1hr 24 minutes, and at one point was in the top 100 world wide, 20 seconds can mean EVERYTHING. The port is extremely well done as far as adjustability and features are concerned, which makes sense considering the quality control Sony has tried to have over their PC ports being as close to their console counterparts as possible. Sure, it doesn't run as smooth on PC or even Steam Deck as your PS5, but its still at its fidelity level and technical level able to give you the dense backgrounds, rich scenery and exuberant scale on a manageable level that is nothing to outright scoff at. Whether you are fighting against monstrous villains who just wont take the hint and JUST DIE ALREADY, seeing awesome looking Dinosaurs that makes you wonder where their lunchbox and flannel shirt are, getting into a firing frenzy with hordes of enemies as you strategically strafe left and right and hop and time each bullet by using your large shot gun to unleash waves and blasts of crackling electricity, and grenades to make stuff go big BOOMS to blow enemies to smitherines, drill rockets that are used for burrowing to surprise bad guys from underneath their booties, just like the cover of Ghoulies, or having fun using the Sprinkler and summon a weird helping add on Mushroom Boy who can aid in combat. Phew, that's a big run on sentence, but my point remains the same, even with all of this combat, platforming, graphical differences, performance issues, you still get that round of creativity and visual appeal that you got from the PS5 release. So don't fret, unlock your nodes, upgrade those skill trees using Raritanium and make Ratchet and Rivet into extreme powerhouses, because you will become as dangerous as Arthur is when he's mad at his sister.


Combat and fidelity aside, the game itself also doesn't hold back with its platforming, as you're easily entranced into the well rounded gameplay as you begin with simple mechanics such as double jumping, grapple hooks to latch onto swinging areas or to enemies, magnet boots to walk along gravity defying ramps, but then soon upgrade to more advanced skillsets such as rocket boots that allow you to move at a faster pace, air dashing for a good double jump + air dash combo to get over harder to reach areas, wall running, etc. Each ability acquired shines in their own unique and individual ways and are not just here to have just another powerup in your arsenal, but instead designed around the game's story and environments themselves through chase scenes and escape scenes where all of them need to be used in conjunction and back to back with each other in order to properly escape an area in time or defeat a boss. As you traverse through each breathtaking area, which all planets you make it to acting like a sort of hub world, you learn they are mostly locked down to a more condensed showing. I mean this is a platformer after all, what were you expecting, uhhh, maybe the Addams Family? sorry, bad joke, I had TMNT 3 on my mind today. But outside the mostly condensed showing for planets you come to, there are some that allow you to slightly venture off the beaten path and go beyond what the story allows you to, thus creating a semi free world to explore in order to take part in a fair amount of side adventures and quests, all of which can obtain you some collectibles like more raritanium, to even gold bolts that allow you to reskin your weapons, change appearance of in game currency and even obtain other camera filters. Not amazing incentives, but the feeling of exploring the limited open areas and seeing their lively worlds and what they have to offer, more than make up for it in the long run during your time with Rift Apart.


 

''THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING... BUT.. THAT'S NOT WHAT I'LL DO''

 

OVERALL:


When its all said and done, Rift Apart is flawed but enjoyable experience on PC and Steam Deck. Issues such as frame rate dips, some areas having lower graphic fidelity, stuttering in the opening cutscene, 6 to 8 second load time between dimensional traversal, those are for sure annoyances or a bout of debbie downers, no question. However, with its fast paced combat, performance and graphic settings being highly adjustable to nearly every rig, being playable in handheld mode on the go with Steam Deck, retaining a lot of the bells and whistles of the console counterpart with intense gameplay, smooth platforming, fun characters and engaging narrative -- you're still going to end up having an extremely fun time regardless. Do I feel confident enough in recommending this game for people who want to play this on PC's or their Steam Deck? absolutely... however I'll be perfectly honest. If you have a PS5 already or if you have already played this title on PS5, then I do not see the incentive here to play this for the first time on PC, nor replay again on a PC. But.. if you DO NOT have a PS5 and have never played this before, then this is a no brainer to check out. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW.



 








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