Today’s PlayStation State of Play conference revealed new gameplay from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Fans saw fifteen minutes of new gameplay, showing off combat, traversal, and the game’s new characters.
Most excitingly, we saw footage of the game’s new protagonist, Rivet, in action. A Lombax like Ratchet, the gameplay opens with Doctor Nefarious’s henchmen sucking her and Clank into an alternate dimension. We see further footage of her wielding her hammer to defeat enemies, and later on, witness her and Clank in a sprawling jungle world. Here, game director Marcus Smith introduces the on-rails animal riding sections, allowing for new forms of traversal. Alongside this, we see Rivet using the new array of weapons – most originally, a gun that wraps enemies up in vines.
As a PlayStation 5 exclusive, Rift Apart’s gameplay completely capitalizes on the new hardware. It’s visible from the start how the graphics have improved, with raytracing and improved particle effects. Boxes smash into dozens of pieces when hit, and puddles reflect the neon-lit skyline of Nefarious City, and it makes for a graphical wonder. Similarly, Smith delves into how the game uses the DualSense controller, with the right trigger varying in resistance based on the fire rate of a weapon.
Of course, though, the gameplay also gives us a glimpse of a graphically improved Ratchet in action. His section of the footage starts in Nefarious City, as he hunts for the missing Clank. The basic mechanics of the franchise are here, with 3D platforming, smash-and-grab traversal, and weapon-based combat. Among the new tools at Ratchet’s disposal is the Rift Tether, which creates mini portals for Ratchet to boost across the map.
Portals are crucial in Rift Apart, transporting players across worlds in seconds. Smith emphasizes that whole maps are loaded through the portals, not small areas, and demonstrates enemies crossing dimensions alongside Ratchet.
The preview ends by announcing a slew of other features, set to be explored in further trailers. Notably, the game will introduce the series’ first photo mode, as well as sandbox-style open areas to explore. With just months to go until its June release, the wait for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is almost over.
Luke Hinton is a freelance culture journalist living in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Media and Communications, and currently balances his freelancing work with postgraduate studies. He specialises in film, TV and entertainment writing.