Sgathaich: Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart

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I look at Sony exclusives today. Most of the time I see all the colour and imagination drained out for some dark depressing brownness. I see this in comparison to a few generations ago. The loss of Crash Bandicoot – there was that buzz for a new mascot character for the platform. We got a bunch that all had their own trilogies or more. But as the PS2 moved to the PS3 Sony… become brown. BUT one of those survived and one I’ve talked about before. So, let’s look at the lone survivor of the PS2 mascots and the return of Ratchet and Clank.

Released in 2021, Rift Apart is the 9th main entry to the series. After an opening in a strange dark oppressive looking world and introduced to all new Lombax Rivet (Lombax being the name of the species Ratchet is from) we catch up right away with our heroes being presented at a fantastic award ceremony, even mentioning how long it’s been since they have really done stuff (not counting the remake tie in to the movie).

The title screen Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart

This is a bit of an opening to get back used to the controls and sees the award ceremony ruined when some goons show up to try and kill our heroes, and soon revealed to be under the pay of best villain in the franchise Dr Nefarious, because when you bring something back after a few years that had been on a hiatus, you give it your A game. Pretty soon Nefarious has the Dimensionator (a device from earlier in the franchise) who uses it to open up a portal to the dimension from the start of the game, revealed to be one where Nefarious won and became emperor. Downside to all this is reality is coming apart at the seams…. well, that and you’re in an oppressive universe lead by a megalomaniacal robot with a huge big empire worth of minions all trying to kill you.

The advantage to being set in a new dimension is you don’t have to deal with the usual issues of “why doesn’t everyone just know you already” re-treading old places and just waving to people. No this is a similar but different setting. Right away our leads are split up as Clank is picked up by Rivet. Through the game you will swap between Ratchet and Rivet but their controls are identical so it’s not an issue. Which one you control depends on which planet you’re on as both go about in a planet hopping adventure to fix the dimensionator as well as stop Nefarious.

If you have played one of the more polished Ratchet and Clank games (so 3 onwards) though aided by improvements in technology – you are playing quite a bit like the remake/tie to the movie of the first game.

Now before writing this review, I fully played this game to the point of Platinum trophying it, so I have seen everything in the game. Lots of fun weapons that can range from somewhat normal but still mad, to just ultra mad (namely the big ultimate gun being absolutely bonkers). Each of these guns can be levelled up and upgraded to make them even stronger. The means to upgrade them being raritanium which can be acquired by hunting for it on levels or from killing certain big nasty enemies. In fact there’s quite a bit to find in each level! There’s the spy bots that give you bits of lore on each world and getting them all gives you the big final gun (GET IT, IT’S GOOD), the raritanium for weapon upgrades, Gold Screws that unlock bonus features like new weapon skins, silly modes and even unlimited ammo and invincibility if you get all them as well as Armour parts that can be found and equipping a whole set give you additional bonuses… I often went a bit mad looking through every level for all this.

I’m happy to say despite its age the humour is all still here as well, in fact those goons I mentioned, they are called Goons-for-Less as its clear Nefarius at the start is paying them very little and went for a budget option. Also helps the always great Richard Steven Horvitz voices Zurkon Jr. who will do the descriptions of the weapons in an over-the-top manner focusing on their level of destructive power in a very Zim esc way.

New main characters Rivet and Kit (who is basically the universe’s version of Clank) are pretty likable and hope if they do ever do more of these, we see them again and they don’t just disappear like most leading female characters in this franchise.

One thing I have to praise is the inclusion of settings for accessibility for people with additional needs, ranging from colour filters to features to help with controls for differently abled people. It’s good to see that getting included more.

I used to joke how this game was one of the only exclusive games that wasn’t a remake back when it came out. And I’m happy to say that at least it was a good one. It did make me sad though hearing some lore that Easter egged the other PS2 mascot stuff, and seeing how those aren’t around anymore. But this is still a great fun game and if you somehow managed to get a PS5 (the other big joke was how no one could get one) this is a definite purchase… unless you are just one of those people that doesn’t like fun.


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