Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has a great story despite a messy PC launch

Posted on August 7, 2023

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is the newest PlayStation game to come to PC. It’s been a little over two years since the game showed up on the PlayStation 5, as an exclusive for the platform. Before then there was the 2016 remake of the first game and a tie-in for the 2016 film with the same name. Insomniac Games has had some heavy hitters come to the PC, both Spider-Man titles and now this. It’s no wonder why the studio is amongst the best of the best at PlayStation. However, this port feels like a disappointing version of what is a truly fantastic game.

For the uninitiated, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a multiverse game before Marvel and DC got in on the trend. It’s a lot of genres, part third-person shooter, part 3D platformer, part puzzle, but all action! You alternate your time playing as Ratchet and Rivet, with Rivet being one of the newest characters in the series. Rivet is Ratchet’s counterpart and voiced by Commander Shepard herself, Jennifer Hale (seriously, playing through this all I could hear is high-pitch Shepard). You also meet Kit, or KT-7461, who is Clank’s counterpart. Rift Apart has you teaming up with the newest inductions as you battle Dr. Nefarious and his own counterpart (albeit a bit more competent) Emperor Nefarious and try to stop the dimension from falling apart.

What I enjoy about this game is how fast everything is. The gameplay can be slow if you want it to be, but being forced to choose a whole bunch of different weapons because ammo is always low (until you get the gold screw that allows you to have unlimited ammo). Not only that but using hover boots to zoom around everywhere makes my ADHD brain happy. As noted in our review of the PS5 version, the variety of weapons is what is cool about this game. That you can have area-of-effect weapons, along with snipers and weapons that continuously deal damage. That and the change in maps and game styles, as you might go from shooting a hoard of undead to completing a puzzle as Clank. It’s very satisfying.

However, the big question as always with these PC ports: How do the visuals stack up? Considering it’s moved from the PS5 to PC which can be much more powerful, the graphics should be improved, right? Well… I wish I could talk about this part with glee. The specs behind this game are almost insane to think about. For starters, you’ll need to put this game on a Solid State Drive instead of a Hard Disk Drive. One of the first issues I encountered (while having the files on my HDD) is at the very start of the game, Ratchet’s voice and visuals didn’t line up, the visuals even lagged behind. A bit annoying, but only a small issue. The second but major issue I kept running into is the number of times my game froze. There was no pinpoint as to why it freezes. Never froze in the same spot. It just… froze.

And it doesn’t seem like I’m the only one with the issues; crashing, weird glitches, textures not loading no matter how high the graphics are. While Insomniac Games has addressed some issues with a hotfix since its launch, there hasn’t been anything else since then. Once moving the game from an HDD to an SSD, not even a minute into playing again, it froze. Eventually, I was able to get it running with no issues, but I still can’t help but be a little upset at the constant freezing. Not only that but the fact that you need an SSD to run this game feels weird.

Then looking at the graphics, while yes there are some moments in the game that are just breathtaking, I couldn’t help but notice some imperfections. I’d understand this when the game runs on low settings, but I experienced this at higher settings too. A lot of the hair texture looked pixelated. As in, you could see the individual pixels that make up fur. You can see this texture, especially on the Morts.

On top of that, Rift Apart has these weird low-texture objects. And it’s not because the graphics are low, or that I’m looking at something far away. I experienced this even on higher settings. The low-quality texture of things like shipping crates, floors, and even armour; it’s super noticeable, and it’s a shame considering how highly we praised the PS5 version. Obviously, your mileage will vary depending on the kind of rig you have, but considering that I was able to play Spider-Man on PC with no troubles at all, it is surprising that these visual issues kept poping up.

With that said, the one place I can praise Insomniac and PlayStation is their dedication to accessibility. Rift Apart is no different compared to other Insomniac games in that regard, but being able to see just how much customisation there is when it comes to accessibility is the best. From colourblind options to subtitles, there’s even the option to make your controller vibrate intensely instead of regular vibrations. Like other PlayStation games ported to PC, they support ultra-wide mode, as well as the use of DualSense controller. I had no access to the DualSense this time around and if you don’t have one, you’re not missing out. It’s always cool to have the DualSense, but using an Xbox controller or keyboard and mouse works just as fine too.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a great game, and the story is utterly sweet and such a love letter to the original. However, this is retailing on Steam and Epic for $94.95AUD. And considering the issues I dealt with, and other graphical problems people are having along with crashes and the fact that you need to put this on an SSD (seriously? In this economy?) I feel like it’s best to wait for updates.

Now, Nixxes Software, the company that has been porting all the PlayStation games to PC is usually pretty good with updates, so there’s no doubt that these issues will be fixed – especially considering they released two hotfixes since launch. But hey, it’s not a bad way to experience this fantastic game if you don’t have a PS5. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is available now on Steam and Epic Game Store.