Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Uses Haptic Feedback to Make Combat Immersive

Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

A new gameplay preview of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart revealed several new ways the game will utilize the PlayStation 5. This ranges from 3D audio during combat to dynamic haptic feedback on the DualSense controller.

Released today, the 30-minute gameplay demo shows off how the game brings Ratchet and Clank to the next generation of Sony hardware. The first new development is how large the game’s levels are. While not entirely open-world, the planets that Ratchet, Clank, and Rivet visit are vast and expansive. Levels will combine weapon-based combat, on-rails vehicle sequences, and quick-time events. They’re complemented by lush scenery, and the backdrops adjust dynamically based on real-time damage and transformation. This is alongside portals, which near-instantly load new levels in the middle of gameplay, transitioning seamlessly. Developers Insomniac Games credit the PS5’s SSD for this, allowing virtually non-existent load times.

Rivet in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Most excitingly, though, is Rift Apart’s use of the PS5 hardware and peripherals. In an interview with IGN, game director Mike Daly says “a lot of small details… have these little haptics responses.” This is how the DualSense controller provides feedback to players, which Daly calls “a complex tapestry,” with a variety of outputs. He compares it to ambient noise in a game, with small vibrations and buzzes constantly occurring based on the landscape and scenario. But in the big set pieces, the haptics ramp up, particularly with “weapons or explosions.” This suggests the triggers will adapt to how each weapon fires, and high-impact moments will have high-impact haptics. Insomniac’s sound design team played a large role in this, introducing “3D spatial audio” that plays based on the character’s location within the world.

As well as haptic feedback, Rift Apart brings graphical upgrades like ray tracing and improved lighting mechanics. Reflections and shadows will seem more dynamic, creating a more visually impressive experience. Tech director Mike Fitzgerald says Insomniac’s goal is for the game to look as good as an animated film – and it certainly looks like it’ll achieve that.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart arrives on PlayStation 5 in just a month’s time on June 12, 2021.

Luke Hinton

Luke Hinton

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.