Title: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Developer: Insomniac Games | Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment | Initial Release: 11th June 2021
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has been with us for a number of weeks now and, as expected, has been a huge hit with fans of virtual photography. Along with the usual post-release bug fixes and improvements that have ironed out some minor issues in the game, it has been great then, to see that the photo mode has received some improvements in the latest update as well.
Actually issued at the end of June (yeah I am that far behind right now), Rift Apart version 1.002 includes a number of fixes – you can see the full list of photo mode-relevant changes below – and also adds a few new features to the already impressive photography toolbox.
Ready for those clean studio-style portrait shots...
Probably the most significant amongst these is the ability to activate a coloured, black or white background that removes everything apart from Ratchet / Rivet from the frame, ready for those clean studio-style portrait shots. If the backgrounds don't work for you when adjusting the photo mode option, don't worry and just head to the main game settings to enable enable "full screen effects", the backgrounds are actually not visible without this turned on.
Going hand-in-hand with the backgrounds, most of the other additions are also related to the main characters. Clank will now appear on Ratchet's back during custom body poses, rather than simply vanishing as he did before, while gold bolt weapons remain equipped and all guns are now held in an improved position.
- CLANK IS BACK // R&C: RIFT APART -
Elsewhere, a new option to hide the Phantom Dash visual effects can be found in the UI should you enter the photo mode during the dash animation and wish to remove it, and the visibility of each currently equipped armour piece can be individually toggled on and off. This is particularly useful for full face helmets, letting you show the expressive faces underneath them, although it does stop short of being able to switch between other armour sets like is now possible in the Miles Morales photo mode.
Fans of stickers will be pleased to know that a selection of new ones have been added, including one of each weapon in cartoon style, and although not actually part of this update, a few new frames seem to have made their way in over time too. If nothing else, it turns out that the stickers can be pretty useful to "fix" the fact that the newly visible Clank, and the Wrench / Hammer gold or otherwise, become invisible again when any of the new coloured backgrounds are applied...
- STICKING PLASTER // R&C: RIFT APART -
One thing actually not mentioned in the patch notes but definitely improved, is the camera movement sensitivity. As noted in my earlier review, certain movements like vertical craning were too sudden but since the latest update, craning in particular is much more progressive and marks a major usability improvement that allows more precision when composing with the free camera. Sadly the same can't yet be said for the manual focus steps which remain at least 10x larger than they probably should be.
Altogether though, version 1.002 is a nice little update that makes several improvements to the photo mode that benefit character portrait work in particular, and hopefully there will be even more to look forward to.
Version 1.002 Photo Mode Updates:
Added new stickers
Added coloured backgrounds
Added the ability to show / hide the Phantom Dash VFX
Added the ability to show / hide individual armour pieces
Clank now visible during custom body poses
Issue where characters could appear blurry when the camera was very close
Issue where glove weapons would appear incorrectly in photo mode
Gold bolt weapons now remain visible in photo mode
Ratchet / Rivet hold the current gun level in poses
Issue where the game would appear very dark when quickly activating photo mode
Issue where certain photo mode filters could remove in-game anti-aliasing
Improvements to photo mode camera movement controls