If there is something that cannot be discussed with the last ‘Ratchet & Clank’ it is its superb technical section. In its Performance RT mode, which enables dynamic 4K, 60fps and ray-tracing, the game is a visual spectacle as almost literally has not been seen in the so far sparse catalog of games from PS5. Only a few especially brilliant moments from ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ overshadow him from that technical standpoint.
It is not a negligible element. Games shouldn’t just be dazzling graphics and technical juggling, but The truth is that the identity of ‘Ratchet & Clank’ is traditionally based on two issues: the frenzied shootings bare chest (the origins of the saga go back to times when there was no coverage or expected) with varied and noisy weaponry and a variety of settings and environments. And both things are good for the facelift of this new ‘A dimension apart’.
And although that is more than enough to sustain a few hours of unprejudiced fun and without more nonsense, and even in some moments very well managed (it’s sensational how the folks at Insomniac Games master certain narrative springs – here’s the inevitable starter tutorial is quite a lesson in immersion in history and learning the rules), ‘Ratchet & Clank: A dimension apart’ is halfway if something more is demanded of it. And that he had the tools at hand to achieve it.
Beyond the technical part, ‘A Dimension Apart’ scrupulously follows the mechanics and narratives of the rest of the games in the series: linear scenarios punctuated by small arenas that you cannot get out of and that you have to clear of enemies before continuing. Some springs that were already in the first PS2 games, and that two generations later, receive as their only impulse some ray-tracing.
The game introduces the idea of multiverses, very much in vogue lately, in the lore of ‘Ratchet & Clank’, and introduces a new Lombax, Rivet, who is Ratchet’s female counterpart in a futuristic dimension in which Nefarius has triumphed and has become an omnipotent dictator. It is a good idea, and above all, it promises more than what it then grants the player, since it provides in the first bars a tool to cross portals that is not exploited as it deserves.
There are portals in the combat arenas that allow us to immediately move through them. It’s an excellent idea that could have been exploited further: in fact, in one of the first bosses, which appeared in a long gameplay shown a few weeks ago, it jumps from a futuristic scenario to a wild one with fauna. It is an interesting idea, but it is hardly exploited in the game: the portals are left to give some extra mobility in some arenas, but they do not suppose a strategic contribution of importance in the fighting.
It’s not so much that ‘Ratchet & Clank’ doesn’t work as it promised a lot more: portals only allow you to pass from one side to the other during combat, and cannot be located at the player’s choice. There is a certain laziness in the design, in that sense, that is contagious to the weapons: they are fun and with striking effects, as always in the series, but they have been designed without much spark and the game is surmountable using just a couple of them ( the basic pistol, grenades and a more powerful weapon for short distances).
It would be unfair to say that ‘A dimension apart’ is a little worked game: It’s technically superb, the character and setting changes are fun, and it’s continually coming up with new mechanics (From anti-gravity boots for Rivet, and new moves in the series, to Clank’s control in small puzzle phases that nonetheless pale in comparison to recent proposals in that same vein like ‘Immortals Fenyx Rising’). But at this point and for its debut on PS5 we expected a game that would give a twist to the saga, and it is just one more ‘Ratchet’: fun, impeccable, highly polished … and that’s it.