Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Gaming

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review

A damn good time

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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has all the looks, charm, and heart of a Pixar movie. But it’s playable and takes the experience further by taking advantage of all the next gen features of the PlayStation 5.

Quick background 

Ratchet & Clank is a fairly popular series that was first introduced in November 2002 for the PlayStation 2. There’s been around nine games since the first release including a very self-aware soft reboot in 2016 for the PlayStation 4.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart builds on the lore of this dynamic duo without needing much of a background from the previous games. If you’re really curious, you can hop on to YouTube for recaps and retrospectives on the franchise.

Multidimensional madness

Rift Apart is pretty much a standalone story. It begins with Ratchet & Clank being honored in a grand celebration as heroes for their past exploits. This establishes the duo’s stature in their universe.

As expected, long-time recurring villain Dr. Nefarious crashes the party touting a Dimensionator — a weapon that opens dimensional rifts. A tussle naturally occurs with the Dimensionator exploding and opening various rifts across the universe.

Dr. Nefarious with the Dimensionator

Ratchet & Clank are separated but Clank finds himself in the company of another Lombax — Rivet. Rivet is part of a rebellion battling against The Emperor. We quickly learn that The Emperor is the Dr. Nefarious of this other universe.

The rest of the game sees our heroes Ratchet, Clank, and Rivet go on adventures as they figure out how to fix the Dimensionator to prevent all of the universes from falling apart.

The charm and heart of a Pixar flick

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have seen a Pixar movie or two. They typically have this fun, heartwarming tone and that’s exactly how Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart comes off.

The writing is solid and has strong character moments for each of the leading casts. The dialogues are witty, and very entertaining that you’ll likely catch yourself smiling at times. Whether it’s a cutscene or just in-game banter between characters.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Rivet and Clank

The way it balances heavy moments with good, clean, fun while remaining tonally consistent is a magnificent feat. While the story itself isn’t mindblowing, it is told efficiently and wonderfully. It’s never boring and keeps you interested.

Vivid worlds, gorgeous details 

PlayStation and Insomniac Games have been very loud about this game. After all, this is a year one title for the PlayStation 5 (PS5). All the trailers and gameplay footage they showcased are eye-popping and this quality is maintained throughout the game.

One of the hallmarks that was routinely mentioned is how busy and lived-in the different environments look, feel, and sound. This is an aspect of the game that I don’t think would have been possible if not for the PS5.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

The fast loading times allow for the busy-looking background. Certain areas of the world offer a different feel on the DualSense controller much like how it felt in some parts of the “demo game” Astro’s Playroom. And, the incredible Sound Design offers depth in every section of the game.

In cutscenes where I normally would put the controller down, I found myself holding on to the DualSense just to see how a scene is enhanced by the rumble. All of these things come together nicely and are implemented in just the right way at just the right moments to deliver a truly astonishing experience.

Fidelity, Performance, and Performance RT 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be available to play in three visual modes. Fidelity for 4K with ray-tracing, additional VFX and increased scene density at 30 FPS. Performance RT provides 60 FPS gaming with ray-tracing but at a lower resolution with adjusted lighting, VFX, and scene density. Lastly, there’s Performance mode which totally does away with ray-tracing but offers high resolution 60 FPS gameplay.

My six-going-on-seven-year-old 1080P TV couldn’t really take advantage of the Performance and Performance RT modes. However, even if I had a TV that fully supported these modes, I still would have likely gone with Fidelity mode.

To me, personally, it fits the look and feel of the world better. And maybe it really is just my TV,  but Fidelity mode offered a richer picture quality overall versus the more flat-looking Performance and Performance RT modes.

Really fun gameplay

Rift Apart provides a healthy mix of action, shooting, platforming, and puzzle-solving to keep you on your toes. And while it isn’t an open world game, it still encourages a healthy amount of exploration as you examine every nook and cranny of a particular area to make sure you get all the collectibles.

The game does a good job of encouraging you to actually look for the collectibles. For instance, completed armors not only give you a different look, they also provide a permanent stat boost.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

These huge bolts are also collectibles

You’ll also want to smash everything in sight to collect bolts. Bolts are your currency to buy weapons, and weapons in Ratchet & Clank are incredibly fun to use.

Best video game weapons

You’ll want to get your hands on as many of them as possible. Different weapons do different things. While there are those that straight up inflict damage, some are great for managing huge crowds of enemies — something you’ll do a lot of in this game.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Weapons are improved in two different ways: First is by levelling them up by continuously using them. Second, is by collecting raritanium to unlock the weapon’s abilities and raise its limits. The higher the level, the more abilities you’re able to unlock.

My personal favorites are the Topiary Sprinkler (for stunning), Glove of Doom (for extra help), and the Blackhole Storm (for straight up dealing damage).

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Changing weapons

You can assign weapons to the directional buttons to quickly switch. However, if you really need a breather from combat that can get chaotic, you can press the triangle button to pull-up the weapons menu and select one that best fits your predicament.

Puzzles, mini games

Clank’s sections are still puzzles. This time, though, each set of puzzles he solves closes a volatile dimensional rift. I can see the puzzles being challenging to a younger audience, but anyone with a significant amount of gaming experience will breeze through these.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Clank’s puzzles

Ratchet will also pick up Glitch — a tiny robot that combats bugs to help the male Lombax open doors to gain access to a new section of an area both to advance the story or to acquire collectibles.

Again, the sections with Glitch shouldn’t be too challenging. They help in adding another layer to the action, shooting, and platforming, and there weren’t too many of them to be considered a distraction.

Another great PS5 showcase

Following Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is another fantastic showcase of all the next gen capabilities of the PlayStation 5. Unlike the aforementioned game though, this one’s wrapped in a bright, colorful package that should be welcoming to a wider variety of gamers.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

A lot of heart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a lighthearted adventure with some lessons of forgiveness and rising above adversity. It has entertaining gameplay, stunning visuals, immersive sound, and an overall incredible feel. For older gamers, it’ll evoke the feeling of being a kid again, and for younger gamers, it’s certainly a game that will leave a positive mark.

It’s the perfect title to get into PS5 gaming and one that every PS5 owner should consider adding to their library.

Gaming

Trials of Mana now available on mobile

Mobile gamers might want to try this!

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Since its release in 1995, the Trials of Mana has come a long way. From the 16-bit era to the mobile gaming platform, this game is rich in history spanning 26 years. Now, the 3D remake of the JRPG classic Trials of Mana is now available on mobile.

The mobile version of the game includes many features, including new touch controls,  adjustable graphics settings and cloud save capabilities. Players can also receive two pieces of starting gear to help jumpstart their quest. The starting items are the Rabite Adornment and Silktail Adornment. 

Originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3 in 1995, Trials of Mana is a remake of the third entry in the classic Mana series. The game features a selectable main cast  with upgradable classes and over 300 different abilities to learn as they discover a world of secrets and mysteries. The series’ action battle system will put players to the test as they encounter enemies. The game was received well by its release on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam platforms.

Price and Availability

Trials of Mana is available on iOS and Android devices via the App Store or Google Play Store. The game is priced at US$ 23.99. 

SEE ALSO: Trials of Mana review: A nice glow up

 

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Gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy is coming to Genshin Impact

Will be available for all players… eventually

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Aloy

Turns out the PlayStation and Genshin Impact collaboration goes beyond PlayStation 5 specific updates. Aloy from the PlayStation game Horizon Zero Dawn will be a playable character on Genshin Impact.

Aloy — a five-star character — will be playable for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 players via in-game mail when Version 2.1 drops. The character can then be played on any platform thanks to the cross-save feature after being claimed from the PS5 or PS4.

Not a PlayStation player? Fret not. Aloy, will arrive to all players who have reached Adventure Rank 20 on Version 2.2. Her weapon, unfortunately, is a PlayStation exclusive.

Version 2.1 and Version 2.2 will also bring other updates that MiHoyo promised to release in detail shortly. Version 2.1 is coming on October 13, 2021 while version 2.2 will arrive on November 24, 2021. Could these also be clues on when the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel will release? We’ll have to wait and see.

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world action RPG that brings players to the world of Teyvat. The player takes on the role of the mysterious “Traveler,” who sets off on a journey to discover the fate of their lost sibling.

Horizon Zero Dawn was a PlayStation exclusive game that launched in 2017. It received plenty of critical and commercial success. Its sequel — Horizon Forbidden West — is set to arrive in late 2021.

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Accessories

Steelseries unveils new Prime lineup of gaming peripherals

Get your head, and hands, in the game

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Steelseries Prime

Steelseries has a knack for creating some of the best peripherals in Esports. This time around, they’re looking to expand their growing library of Esports peripherals with some “pro” help. After collaborating with over 100 competitive professional players, the company unveils its new Steelseries Prime lineup of gaming peripherals.

Within the Prime lineup, Steelseries introduces three new gaming mice: the Steelseries Prime, Steelseries Prime+, and Steelseries Prime Wireless. For the company, these three gaming mice bring their own set of features and customization depending on the user’s style of play. Although, all three mice come with a TrueMove sensor that provides proper tracking performance fit for competition.

Along with these, Steelseries also introduces the Steelseries Arctis Prime gaming headset. Built on the heritage of the Arctis franchise, this headset provides great sound quality in a comfortable and lightweight package. Also, the Arctis Prime comes with new noise-isolating ear cushions to eliminate background noise during playback.

The Steelseries Prime lineup is currently available in Steelseries’ official stores on Shopee and Lazada and select authorized dealers. For the SRPs, the gaming mice are priced at SG$ 119 (Prime Gaming Mouse), SG$ 149 (Prime+ Gaming Mouse), and SG$ 299 (Prime Wireless Gaming Mouse). Meanwhile, the Steelseries Arctis Pro retails for SG$ 179.

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