Many PlayStation 5 owners are excited for the dimensional hijinks of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. So far, Insomniac Games have garnered said excitement through two expansive gameplay demos and a series of press interviews. We’ve scoured these interviews and analyzed the demos to find the most interesting facts about PlayStation’s upcoming release.
1. Togglable Ledge Guards
One of the most embarrassing and frustrating video game fails is the accidental albeit deadly fall. An uneducated dash in Returnal, for instance, can send players off the edge, thoroughly ruining five hours of gameplay. As the next big PlayStation property, Rift Apart must give PS5 gamers a break from the palm-drenching anxiety of Returnal.
Luckily, it offers a ledge guard option for Ratchet and Rivet as they traverse dangerous terrain. With this accessibility option turned on, invisible walls will line every edge of the map, substantially minimizing frustration and increasing accessibility.
2. One Button Press = Every Traversal Action
Ratchet has a wide range of traversal options in Rift Apart, including the Rift Tether, Swingshot, Phantom Dash, and Hover Boots. Traditionally, each move is triggered by its own designated button, but the accessibility menu offers some alternative options.
One such modification siphons all these actions into a singular button press, signifying Insomniac Games’ comprehensive customization options. Rift Apart is playable to a wide range of players thanks to an industry-wide push towards accessibility.
3. At Least 79 Accessibility Options
Sony’s first-party studios are industry leaders when it comes to accessibility. Developers are finally taking this issue seriously by conferencing disabled gamers and including various play modifications. The Last of Us Part 2 marked a major step forward with its 60 plus accessibility options and its positive reaction from the disabled gamers community.
Apparently, Rift Apart is continuing to lead the industry forward thanks to its 79 different accessibility options. The two items mentioned above are included as well as several contrast possibilities and adaptive trigger modifications.
4. There are 47 trophies
A recent Twitter Thread by Insomniac Games revealed a substantial amount of trophies for their upcoming game, which included 15 hidden trophies. The developer is honing in on the franchise’s deep history with wordplay to craft a humorful set of challenges.
The stand out trophies include: “Lombax and Chill”, “Rated Aaarrr!!!”, “UnBEARably Awesome,” and “Does this make my tail look big?” Obviously, Rift Apart retains Ratchet & Clanks campy humor and we’re all here for it.
5. Rebranded a PlayStation 5 Console Exclusive
Rift Apart has seen a slight word change in its marketing going from “PlayStation Exclusive” to “PlayStation Console Exclusive.” This isn’t too big of a deal and doesn’t signify anything noteworthy like a PC release. It’s likely an effort to solidify Rift Apart’s status as a true PS5 exclusive i.e. it’s not coming to PS4. This is a smart move from the company that mistakenly said Demon’s Souls is coming to PC not too long ago.
6. Rivet is More Than a Mirror for Ratchet
Some may assume Rivet is just a lavender-haired Ratchet, but Lead Writer Lauren Mee refuted that idea in a recent interview. The writer expressed Rivet’s unique personality citing her alternative, character-defining history. In the grander scheme of things, we’ve seen hints that Rift Apart borders the deep theme of duality.
As illustrated in the box art, Ratchet and Rivet may very well be direct opposites. Rivet will add another screw to the Ratchet and Clank relationship, likely causing conflict for the historic friendship. Such a conflict and theme wouldn’t be palpable without a distinctive personality from Rift Apart’s newest heroine.
7. But They’ll Share Progression
Rift Apart’s gameplay switches between Ratchet and Rivet, but they don’t have unique upgrade paths. Unlocks and upgrades transfer between each character allowing for a seamless sense of progression. Game Director Mike Daly doesn’t want players frustrated with lost progress when switching between characters.
We can’t help but think about The Last of Us Part 2 where players started their skill tree from scratch about halfway through the game. Insomniac Games understands the annoyance this may cause and opts for a user-friendly approach to dual characters.
8. The Enforcer’s Adaptive Trigger Functionality
PlayStation exclusives continue to iterate the DualSense adaptive trigger functionality to great effect. Rift Apart jumps on the train and its long list of wonky weaponry makes it the perfect candidate. One weapon, in particular, the Enforcer, takes an interesting, yet tangible approach to Sony’s prized controller.
The double-barrel shotgun ejects one or two shots, depending on the trigger pressure. In essence, a half-press utilizes one barrel while a full press utilizes both barrels. This will prove to be a palatable addition or an annoying occurrence, only time will tell.
9. Mr. Fungi is The New Mr. Zurkon
Ratchet & Clank fans are well acquainted with the automatic quips of Mr. Zurkon, the sassy robot who fires upon incoming enemies. Though we’ve never seen Mr. Fungi in action, the weapon description reads like something akin to Mr. Zurkon.
The description of “attacks enemies or potentially distracts them” implies that Mr. Fungi is yet another robotic helper. It’s not too far-fetched to say it will use plant-based weaponry while dishing out some abrasive commentary.
10. Shredded “chunks” Indicate Enemy Health
As you may have noticed in gameplay videos, chunks of armor fall off enemies as Ratchet damages them. These “chunks,” as lead program designer Adam Noonchester calls them, indicate the chipping away of health.
The health bar icon is overdone and world breaking so we’re happy Insomniac Games thought of a clever alternative. It’s also an illustration of Rift Apart’s impressive ability to maximize performance while a chaotic amount of effects and actions satiate the screen.
11. The Glove of Doom Returns
One item that will surely shred countless layers of armor is the Glove of Doom. The iconic weapon from the original game and Up Your Arsenal is making a valiant return. For franchise newcomers, the Glove of Doom disperses small androids that greet enemies with an explosive hug.
These small pests hone in on enemies making it essential for clearing out large swaths of adversaries. With the Glove of Doom and Rift Apart’s newer weapons, Insomniac Games is continuing the trend of experiential and bombastic weaponry.
12. That Bug Rivet Rides is Called a Speedle
During the State of Play demo, Rivet rides across a muddy field with a Speedle, an amalgamation of snails, beetles, and crabs. They are anxious beings known for burrowing into the ground or retreating to their nest when startled. Eventually, Rivet catches one and drives it like a Ferrari.
These Speedle complement the wider areas of Rift Apart, granting players a speedy transportation option. We’ve also seen Ratchet zoom across a field with the acceleration of hover boots illustrating that there’s more than one way to get around.
13. Pocket Dimensions Hold Optional Activities
Rivet takes this Speedle joyride inside a pocket dimension. For some background, our heroine comes across a floating portal that resembles shattered glass. When she uses the Rift Tether to open it, she enters a purple-hued world. Clank describes the area as a Pocket Dimension, a side effect of Dr. Nefarious’s antics.
These portals are found throughout the world and offer side missions or minigames. Players are rewarded handsomely for their Pocket Dimension exploits. In the Speedle speedway case, Rivet earned a cosmetic helmet adding to her rich collection of armor.
14. There’s Captain Starfield Armor
Speaking of cosmetics, Rift Apart will have a slurry of different gear to choose from. In a series first, players can mix and match different pieces of armor for maximum customizability. Some armor sets, though, honor classic Ratchet & Clank characters and groups.
For example, players can dress up as Captain Starfield, an intergalactic hero who appeared in Ratchet & Clank Deadlocked. This ranking Dreadzone competitor hones a yellow star on his chest resembling the patriotic attire of Captain America. Some other armor sets include the green spandex Q Force armor and a Galactic Ranger tribute.
15. Point Lights Spice Up Photo Mode
At this point, photo mode inclusion is all but expected. The question now turns to how it’ll be implemented. Ghost of Tsushima’s highly customizable photo mode set the new standard for this function thanks to its particle effect modifications and extended camera control. Insomniac Games hopes to transcend this new trend with Rift Apart.
In a brief demo of the photo mode, we see a slurry of editing materials like light intensity, sticker inclusion, frame selections, and much more. One stand-out feature was the inclusion of point lights, traditionally used to emit light from a single point. This will heighten Rift Apart’s photo mode thanks to increased shadow variations and object highlights.
16. Skid McMarx and Rusty Pete Will Return
Insomniac Games is adamant about welcoming new players while honoring franchise veterans. To accomplish this difficult task, fan-favorite planets and characters will return but with a dimensional twist. In that vein, Skid McMarx, the hoverboarder from Up Your Arsenal will return alongside Rusty Pete, a space pirate from Tools of Destruction.
These characters will be recognizable while sporting an all-new identity. McMarx is now Phantom, a member of the Nefarious City Resistance Group. Pete returns as Piere Le Fer who keeps the space pirate agenda but adds a French accent.
17. Difficulty ranges from “Rookie Recruit” to “Renegade Legend”
Every game has unique labeling for their difficulty setting, at least they should. We’re over the yawn-inducing “easy, normal, and hard”. We want some pizzazz! In fact, a quirky difficulty scheme will add some brownie points to any review score. Rift Apart doesn’t hit the heights of “Can I Play Daddy” but it does offer something beyond the conventional labeling system.
Without further ado, Rift Apart’s difficulty selection goes as follows: “Rookie Recruit”, “Rebel Agent,” “Resistance Leader,” and “Renegade Legend.” In all seriousness, a lot of thought went into the difficulty settings to ensure enjoyability at every skill level. The studio wants everyone from young newcomers to experienced veterans to enjoy their game.
18. Clank Puzzles Are Inspired By Lemmings
Our shiny friend often goes on adventures of his own and Rift Apart is no different. This time around Clank is the only chance of stabilizing the realm between realms. Essentially the supports between dimensions are crumbling and Clank must repair them. The following procedure is reminiscent of the 1991 game: Lemmings.
Clank must guide a line of cogs through a maze of puzzles. A successful journey will unlock paths for Ratchet and Rivet making these puzzles essential for progression. Some players will surely daydream of marching Lemmings after partaking in Clank’s adventures.
19. Spider-Man’s Open World Design Influences
Mike Fitzgerald, core technology director at Insomniac, discussed the inner workings of Rift Apart in an inside-baseball interview. Fitzgerald mentioned the Spider-Man games and how certain lessons transferred to Rift Apart’s development, specifically streaming an open world.
Spider-Man locations are streamed in as players swing across the city. Essentially, while in Downtown, Midtown is not in the memory, but it’ll stream in as Spider-Man navigates to that section. This process eliminates loading and is enhanced by the PS5’s SSD as locations stream at a faster pace. The Ratchet & Clank games never utilized this technology until now. Instead, each level is completely loaded before dropping the player into it.
Fitzgerald said the streaming process brought more content and quality to the Rift Apart world. Later in the interview, Fitzgerald discussed the PS5 load time advantages saying the world instantly loads as the camera spins around.
20. The file Size is Around 40 GB
Storage space was all the rage when we entered the current console generation. Games got bigger while storage got smaller. The most notable instance was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s striking 200 GB install size on PC. Ever since this beefy release, gamers were hesitant about installing new games, especially if they play on the 667.2 GB PS5.
Luckily, the kind souls at Insomniac Games kept Rift Apart’s install base rather small. The file size takes up 39.3 GB, a welcoming site for meager hard drives. In the same interview mentioned above, Fitzgerald explained the technical side of this phenomenon. Basically, the hard drive doesn’t need every area asset for fast streaming.
21. Mark Mothersbaugh Composed the Soundtrack
Mark Mothersbaugh may not be well known to some, but his accolades are well regarded. His co-founded band, DEVO, was nominated into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and their song, “Whip It” launched them into stardom. On top of DEVO, Mothersbaugh composed several popular soundtracks for games and movies alike. These include Rugrats, Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter, and most notably, Thor Ragnarok.
22. This is the Creative Director’s First Ratchet & Clank Game
Creative Director, Marcus Smith, has been at Insomniac Games for 16 years, but he has never worked on their premier franchise. He recently discussed entering the series as a fan and how that perspective aided Rift Apart’s development. Suffice to say, his love for the franchise oozed into development and created a product that fans can be proud of. Hopefully, that’s the case when Rift Apart launches on June 1.