Title: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Developer: Insomniac Games | Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment | Initial Release: 11th June 2021
Hot on the heels of the recent reveal of exactly who the mysterious new female Lombax is, Insomniac Games have followed up with a full 15 minutes of brand new gameplay footage from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart in the latest episode of State of Play, as well as a few extra details about the game.
- RIVET // INSOMNIAC GAMES -
The mechanically-armed resistance fighter, Rivet, will join the titular duo as a fully playable character in this latest entry into the Ratchet & Clank franchise. An entry that is looking like an exciting and ambitious inter-dimensional adventure as you fight to defeat the evil, and now Emperor Nefarious.
The latest reveal did a great job in showing off the game's stunning visuals, most notably with rich new worlds, detailed characters and truly outstanding lighting, while also giving an interesting look at certain gameplay mechanics. Dimensional rifts play a big part here and let the gameplay move from one beautiful environment to another with almost zero loading times, even in the middle of combat. This really feels like the first proper demonstration of exactly what can be done with the PS5's super-fast SSD storage and I/O throughout.
Along with a peak at the storyline and some of the imaginative weapons and gadgets that you would naturally expect from a Ratchet & Clank title, the State of Play showing outlined several other key details, but we had to wait a little for the one that matters most as far as virtual photographers are concerned.
In fact, as the presentation wrapped up with a list of gameplay features and modes that included open world areas, pocket dimensions, glitch and arena challenges, dimensional Clank puzzles and even aerial combat, I began to wonder if it was too much to expect a photo mode as well. Perhaps the game's sheer variety would make it a challenging implementation...
The first ever Ratchet & Clank photo mode...
Thankfully not, delivered in a seamless manner as a reason to make use of the new range of armour designs, Insomniac saved the best until last with the reveal of the first ever Ratchet & Clank photo mode. We admittedly did not get to see it for very long, 7 seconds to be exact, but this was enough to divulge plenty of information about what to expect from this upcoming camera suite.
The Insomniac DNA is immediately visible here with a photo mode UI and feature set that will be very familiar to fans of the studio's Spider-Man games. The control scheme, free camera mode and even the depth of field implementation with separate foreground & background defocus options appear to have directly made the jump across, as have the multiple sticker layers, frame surrounds and creative filters.
- LIGHTING MODE -
More exciting though, we also see the return of Insomniac's class-leading lighting mode that gives the user control over ambient light as well as 3 sphere / spot lights that can be freely placed in the scene and tuned to the exact colour, intensity and direction you desire. This, combined with ray-traced surface reflections and the game's Pixar-rivalling character models is a very exciting prospect for virtual photographers.
Indeed, it would be hard not to feel content at that, but the Ratchet & Clank photo mode actually goes one step further by adding a fourth mode tab. Character mode enables the user to set a pose, facial expression and on-the-spot rotation for the on-screen character so that they can be manipulated to better suit a particular shot.
- CHARACTER MODE -
It may not go as deep here as the likes of Death Stranding or Cyberpunk 2077, and there is no separate option to manipulate the direction of look or to pose a companion character, but it is undoubtedly an excellent addition to what is an already outstanding set of photography options, and there is even talk of a variable game speed mode in the accessibility options that could be useful in snapping the perfect moment action.
Make no mistake, Insomniac have one of the best photo modes amongst console games and the opportunity to leave the New York streets and use that in the vibrant and engagingly rich worlds of the best looking Ratchet & Clank game yet is something I am very much excited about!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out the full 15 minute State of Play presentation below and get ready for the game's launch on the 11th June.
[ Images © 2021 Sony Interactive Entertainment ]