Key TakeawaysRatchet & Clank: Rift Apart releases on June 11, 2021, bringing lighthearted fun back to third-person shooters through new gameplay mechanics and design.Sony's favorite duo is tackling the story set in motion 19 years ago and revisiting questions fans have been debating for years.The introduction of a playable female protagonist is a welcomed addition to the steady series and promises excellent storytelling. Insomniac Games
After eight long years of boring copy-and-paste shooters, Ratchet and Clank have returned to inject some much-needed fun into the genre with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
I say eight years because I discount the 2016 reboot that purely served as a tie-in to the mediocre movie of the same name. Canonically, Into The Nexus was the last game in the series that built upon the nearly two-decade-long story I've invested my time into, and it's that history I'm excited to continue with the latest installment.
Ratchet & Clank is one of those series that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It's the all-important nostalgia factor of the revolutionary game company, Insomniac Games, that reimagined the buddy-cop movie trope into a best-selling game series. Being able to check back in with two of my childhood best friends is the sole reason I'll be purchasing a PS5 this summer.
A previously released seven-minute gameplay demo shows a beautifully rendered world and our favorite duo mucking up the galaxy. It introduces fully realized, fast-changing landscapes only possible now thanks to the PS5's solid-state drive.
That atmospheric, otherworldly score and the colorful details of its character models and world require the deployment of new gameplay styles. The game has more than caught my attention, and I look forward to traversing between alien worlds in the blink of an eye with haptic integration truly delivering a next-gen experience. I'm ready to feel the soft, fading vibration of a well-timed Shadow Bomb or the knockback of a double-barrel alienized shotgun.
Separated storylines are done to death, though. Particularly, with the Ratchet & Clank series, they tend to be the weakest titles (I'm looking at you Size Matters). They're a duo, after all, and I'm nothing without Clank, my jetpack-and-helicopter hybrid.
The trailer also introduces a mysterious female Lombax, which is sure to throw a wrench into the canon of the series. While we've seen other Lombaxes, namely the all-but-forgotten Angela Cross in the second installment of the series, Going Commando, we've since been led to believe Ratchet is the last of his species.Insomniac Games
This playable female Lombax is likely from another dimension, as the game's selling point is interdimensional world-hopping, but I'm excited to see if there's a deeper storyline to be had here. Delving into the greater lore of the Lombax species would be groundbreaking for the series—the existence, or lack thereof, and importance of the feline humanoids has remained a hot topic among fans.
I'm anticipating Insomniac will give us the answers we've been craving since we got a look at the abandoned Lombax Ruins of the once-glorious race in Tools of Destruction. Lombax history has always been elusive and I'm hoping Rift Apart finally opens the floodgates.
A New Take on an Old Hit
The developers tapped prolific writer Sam Maggs to lead the writing team and help flesh out the story for the series. She specializes in female-centered stories, including successful stints with Marvel's Captain Marvel single-issue comics and graphic novels, as well as DC's Brave and Bold series. She knows how to pen compelling, multifaceted, and self-sufficient female leads. And I'm obsessed.
The lack of female options in newer story-driven video games is chief among the reasons why I'm stuck playing my eighth playthrough of a fully-modded Skyrim. So, to have a master of the genre of female protagonists gracing one of my all-time favorite series is almost like the developers reading my personal journal entries. The currently unnamed female Lombax is sure to enthrall other fans, but at this juncture, I'm totally fine with it being solely a treat for my pleasure.
I'm looking forward to pure, destructive fun, too. So many games have gotten away from the fun factor and replaced it with a dedication to gritty realism with cinematic casing. It has its place, of course, but sometimes you just want to lose yourself in a world with some wisecracking anthropomorphic aliens.
Is that too much to ask? I don't think so, and neither, it seems, do the higher-ups at Insomniac Games who finally let their cash cow out of its shed. I couldn't be more excited for the future of Ratchet & Clank; my 6-year-old self can't wait. I'll be buying this day one and you should, too.