Pretty much two years to the day, Ratchet & Clank follows in the footsteps of other PlayStation exclusives and make their debut on PC via Nixxes Software. Unlike previous ports, this one only released for the PS5 so may have some additional quirks as its designed around, and showcases, Sony’s latest system. Can our long-time duo & their new friends take down Nefarious again? Lets take a look.
Note: Some aspects of our previous review have been included and updated accordingly.
Following on from Into the Nexus, Rift Apart finds our heroic duo in the midst of a celebration of their exploits, which is quickly gatecrashed by the always amusing Dr Nefarious. A dimension hopping device created by Clank for ratchet ends up in the wrong hands and reality begins to fragment as portals open everywhere to different dimensions. Our duo end up separated in a dimension of victory for Nefarious, before joining forces with Ratchets counterpart here in Rivet to restore the fragmented universe. As always the story is just a bit of goofy fun, but Insomniac clearly have a handle on these characters which usually comes through with their chemistry. Even new additions like Rivet fit in seamlessly, and the games presentation this time really sells that with fantastic graphics, audio and animation during cutscenes.
If you just plough through the game then it could be over in around 8-10 hours, but if you want to soak up as much of the world as possible then that could stretch to 20+ hours easily. Returning to earlier worlds with new gear always opens up new paths to collect more gizmos & bolts, with the pocket dimensions also adding in more of the game to explore. There’s no multiplayer to speak of, which is somewhat expected given previous games in the series – tho some kind of arena wave coop mode with Ratchet & Rivet would’ve been a cool distraction.
Given the game was developed for PS5, you’ll need something decent to match or exceed it, but it can scale down really well to the likes of a Steamdeck as well with obvious concessions. On my system at least (R7 5800X/32GB/RTX 3090) 4K/60 was possible with high RT and settings across the board (around 70fps unlocked) using DLSS quality, looked a tad crisper with better performance than when I played on console – otherwise the 40fps VRR fidelity mode on PS5 was surprisingly comparable (most comparisons online use performance mode that makes the difference seem bigger) One good thing to do if you’re not fussed about raytracing is to disable it for a great FPS boost, with all the same settings I could get around 100-110fps which looked silky smooth when coupled with Gsync, wasn’t that difficult to lock up 120fps either.
The portal transitions have been all the rage online lately. With my setup the larger ones generally took a second or so longer and had more performance drops during them compared to on PS5, but for the most part with smaller ones it was comparable. PC uses a lot more ram to aid this I think, around 18GB system and over 16GB at times for the Vram was being gobbled up.
Being on PC also means numerous optional control choices. KB/M works decent as you can dial in the settings how you choose, or you can just connect up a Dualsense to get the PS5 experience. I used the same Series X controller I’ve always used on PC and it worked well enough. The experimental emulated haptics would sometimes vibrate the controller into oblivion and the lack of adaptive triggers made that half pull for alternate fire more difficult, but the core gameplay was still a blast to play with a different controller.
If you’ve not played anything in the series before, then the easiest way to describe it would be an action platformer – with a heavy emphasis on the action. Returning players will find something that feels familiar, with some tweaks that become noticeable quick. The speed of the game during skirmishes seems much quicker than the 2016 reboot, giving the game an almost bullet hell feel during boss encounters that usually have regular foes backing them up. The local portals can really help you catch a breather in these scenarios as you pull yourself across an area, and the dodge helps to keep you in the fight. Weapons have always been a big part of the series, its a treat seeing what imaginative ones Insomniac can come up with, and here the game has a good mix of old & new. The game makes good use of the Dualsense in this regard, the starting pistol for example will fire semi auto with half a trigger pull with a full pull going full auto – the R trigger will also jitter to go with the on-screen recoil.
For all the good the game offers, and I could go on and on about it all as well, should really pump the brakes and talk about some downsides. There aren’t any major issues, likely minor to a series veteran, but they mainly stem from two things – Enemy variety which subsequently leads to weapon balance. There are only really a few main bosses to fight, and these can be recycled later in the game too, with regular foot soldiers making up the bulk of skirmishes until a couple more varieties are added later to mix it up a little. This means you’ll generally have it figured out how to approach a fight pretty quickly, and this can lead to my next niggle. You can actually get through the game using just a few of the weapons fully upgraded if needs be. An upgraded pistol, bomb & Fungi will generally see you through the game, which is a shame as experimenting with the other weapons can be fun.
Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is honestly just as much fun as it was on console and the pixar look is better than ever, but to be fair with the lack of any new content to bundle in and the upgrade not being as noticeable as anticipated over the PS5’s fidelity mode, even as a series fan the PC port is a bit of a tough sell. If you haven’t played the series before, or are interested in trying a AAA platformer given the lack of them on PC, then its certainly worth a look – just tough to recommend at full price to anyone that has already sampled on PS5.
A blast to play that will really test your hardware, so long as its your first rodeo with Ratchet & Rivet