Take a video game featuring a duo. Replace its title with the first names of the two main characters. Double Dragon becomes so « Billy & Jimmy », Gears of War « Marcus & Dom » or The Last of Us « Ellie & Joel »… Result: these yet muscular video games now have the appearance of family games, even childish, familiar with this type of formulation.
Ratchet & Clank as ToeJam & Earl, Banjo & Kazooie, Jak & Daxter, Sam & Max or even Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble, is part of this great family of adventures that bring to the fore the friendship that unites the two heroes – a cardinal value for works intended for young audiences.
Friendship and dimensional rifts
Since their meeting on the Playstation 2 in 2002, the bonds between Clank the robot and Ratchet the “lombax” (a kind of humanoid squirrel) seem unwavering. In Ratchet & Clank : Rift Apart, released on June 11 on Playstation 5, their friendship is not even disturbed by a touch of jealousy when they meet their female doubles from a parallel world.
This duplication of characters is the major theme of this new episode which innovates by offering to play alternately Ratchet, the red-haired lombax, and Rivet (pronounced “Rivette”), the blue-haired lombax.
The meeting of these two individuals who considered themselves the last of their kind seems miraculous. Yet it occurs in catastrophic circumstances: Dr. Nefarious (translate as “Doc Abominable”) threatens to collapse their two universes after having created a multitude of dimensional rifts. The two lombaxes accompanied by a robot companion will have to travel from one world to another through vortices in order to repair this spatiotemporal mishmash.
The classic formula of the saga
This adventure developed by Insomniac Games – already at the helm of the impeccable Marvel’s Spiderman and Marvel’s Spiderman : Miles Morales – is absolutely faithful to the concept of the saga of which it is the fourteenth episode. It’s an action-packed game set in a world full of adorable animals. To remain accessible to the whole family, it is also possible to adapt the level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5. An ideal way to introduce a child or a tween to a third person shooter.
This game, which ends in about fifteen hours, is based on an alternation of phases of platforms, rather basic, and sequences of firearms combat, more difficult. But what is obvious from the first cutscene and the very successful tutorial is that the game is sumptuous. The sets are teeming with details, the lights are nuanced and the movements during the sliding phases are impressive. We must admit that we have repeatedly triggered the photo mode or taken a lot of detours to admire the landscapes during our rides in “scarapid”, an insect that seems to have a Formula 1 engine.
Only seven months after its release, the Playstation 5 game library is not yet particularly bottled, we have not lost a crumb of this show of force, by exploring the few side quests and optional levels of the game.
With its small levels at a time when blockbusters align open worlds, Ratchet & Clank : Rift Apart is more interesting in its shooting phases than in exploration. We regularly face increasingly tough opponents and various strategies. To face the waves of attackers, who can overwhelm us with their numbers or quickly knock us out because of their firepower, it is especially important to stock your armory.
We then come to the most playful element of the saga: his crazy weapons. It is thus a question of equipping yourself with a ricochet gun which allows you to hit an opponent several times while increasing damage each time, or a refrigerating rifle which transforms monsters into ice cubes.
The more we progress, the more we recover bolts that allow us to equip ourselves with new booms. And as long as we take the time to collect raritarium crystals in our path, we can increase the power and effects of our rifles.
Choosing your weapons allows you to refine a strategy to kill the most resistant bosses. For example, we had to increase the capabilities of our Topiary Sprinkler to the maximum to impose ourselves against pirate robots in an arena. This weapon, which deploys like the nozzle of an automatic watering system, sprays a jet that temporarily transforms enemies into plants. Once they were immobilized, a few shots of Negatron Collider or Lightning rod were then enough for us to defeat these recalcitrant adversaries.
In short, this mix of action and exploration phases is working full blast. We regret that the most experimental moments (such as very successful hacking phases) are all too rare. But space opera full of twists and turns knows no downtime.
Behind the refreshing humor and endearing characters, we shouldn’t expect more than pure entertainment designed for the Playstation 5. For example, his world seems deeply Manichean and we regret that Rivet and Ratchet are completely interchangeable.
The two characters, presented as “double dimensional”, respond to the same commands. They jump, run over walls, or dodge the same way. Even the weapons and armor collected for one is available for the other. Sometimes we even end up forgetting if we played one or the other in certain sequences of the adventure.
Finally, the formula dust off this franchise which had its heyday in the 2000s and which was more rare (the last episode, a reboot, dated from 2016). Ratchet & Clank : Rift Apart perfectly meets the specifications of introducing the saga to new players without offending the faithful. A perfectly mastered game, even if most of the time quite smooth.
It’s more for you if
- You like platform and shoot games without the fuss
- You are a devotee of the series
Young family members want to play action games
It is rather not for you if
- You don’t have a PS5
- You lean more towards Dark Souls that for Toy Story
- You are not ready to spend fifteen hours in the company of cute animals and funny robots
- A game without downtime and full of twists and turns
- Slay tons of monsters with wacky weapons
- Sapristi, how beautiful!
We liked less:
- The ultimately classic formula
- Rivet and Ratchet are interchangeable
- A fairly Manichean game
8,000 bolts out of the 10,000 needed to buy an Excavator