Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is one of the most anticipated games — and also one of the only console exclusives actually confirmed to launch in 2021. In the lead up to the game’s release on June 11, Sony showed off the game in a closed doors media preview where developers shared their work on the game as well as exclusive looks at new weapons, worlds and gameplay.
Here’s everything we learned about Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart during the preview.
It all starts in Megalopolis
The action of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart kicks off on Megalopolis, a sprawling mega city filled with future tech. When we rejoin our heroes, they’re being honoured for their service and contributions to society. But it isn’t long before everything goes belly up as iconic villain Dr. Nefarious steals a machine called the Dimensionator and uses it to create an evil version of Megalopolis where he rules supreme.
While the Dimensionator is one of Clank’s inventions, designed to reunite Ratchet with his fellow Lombaxes, it becomes an evil weapon in the hands of Nefarious and shatters reality…. which is exactly how our heroes find themselves in their world-hopping predicament during Rift Apart.
Rivet is an alternate reality version of Ratchet
If it wasn’t obvious from the jump, the white Lombax seen in early trailers for the game was confirmed to be an alternate reality version of Ratchet in our media preview. What wasn’t confirmed was whether the Clank she has is the same Clank we know.
She’ll share a lot of similarities with Ratchet, but a lot of differences too. When we meet her, she’s been alone for most of her life — so she’s a little bit awkward and vulnerable despite her strength and confidence. Her dark past is important, but she’s refused to let her experiences change her.
As one of the newest members of the team, she’ll play an essential part in the action and mystery of Rift Apart.
You’ll meet other alternate versions of your favourite characters
In the course of your adventures in Rift Apart, you’ll meet a variety of alternate reality counterparts of new and classic Ratchet and Clank characters including fan-favourites like Skid McMarx. While McMarx is a professional hoverboarding champion in the original games, you’ll find an alternate version in Rift Apart that’s a member of the Resistance on a cruel, bleak world.
Rusty Pete will also make an appearance as a fancy space pirate called Pierre La Faire.
There’s sure to be a lot of Easter eggs in the game, so you’ll want to watch out to see who you can find.
There’s plenty of new weapons
Ratchet & Clank is known for its incredible array of weird and wonderful weapons, and Rift Apart is no exception. First, we were shown the Negatron Collider. This is a new weapon that shoots out a massive beam of light but requires strategic planning for cool down.
Then we saw the Enforcer, a double-barrelled shotgun best at shorter ranges and the Ricochet, a gun that fires small, metallic bombs that can bounce repeatedly on enemy heads.
Every weapon will take advantage of the PS5 DualSense controller to cause different levels of impact and damage.
In addition to these weapons, players will also have access to Glitch the arachnodroid, a spider-tank vehicle used to overcome enemy defences and complete hacking-style mini-games.
Every tool is an essential part of Ratchet and Rivet’s respective arsenals, making each of them formidable opponents as they battle their way through hostile alien worlds.
The music is inspired by Thor: Ragnarok
When creating the music for Rift Apart, Insomniac Games looked to the soundtrack of the retrofuturistic superhero flick Thor: Ragnarok for inspiration. They wanted to make the soundtrack compelling and engaging, and the techno beats of Ragnarok influenced a lot of their direction — to the point where they turned to Ragnarok composer (and member of DEVO) Mark Mothersbaugh to compose Rift Apart.
According to Mothersbaugh, who jumped on to chat during the preview, the game’s soundtrack will be reliant on a combination of orchestral sounds and synths to produce the unique atmosphere required for each world. Some of the instruments used even include older DEVO tools like an Oberheim TVS-1 synthesiser.
It’s made for the PS5 from the ground up
The PS5 is currently lacking in the ‘exclusive’ department thanks to the ongoing global pandemic, but that’s set to change with the launch of Rift Apart. As one of the first true exclusive games for the console, it’s been built to take full advantage of the PS5’s boosted computing power.
While Kotaku Australia wasn’t able to get hands on with the game during the developer preview, video demonstrations showed off seamless loading times where new realities folded into old realities at the snap of a finger. Every world shown was fully populated with creatures and alive with movement from all angles — a feat Insomniac Games made clear was only possible because of the PS5’s power and ability to render objects at speed.
In addition to faster loading times, improved graphics and more on-screen objects, Rift Apart will also make full use of the DualSense’s advanced haptics, creating a more engaging and exciting experience.