Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart PC Review
First released back in June of 2021, the dynamic duo of Ratchet & Clank have now jumped into another dimension, landing on Steam for this interdimensional PC port. Rift Apart was touted as a title that took full advantage of the blazing-fast SSD of the PS5 and something that could not have been possible in the previous console generation.
It looked and played like a dream, with Ratchet, Clank, and the rest of the crew enjoying the fruits of the latest hardware that offered players a silky smooth experience and a charm that only the duo could provide. Fast forward to 2023, and now we see Rift Apart available on various PC configurations, with even the lowest spec not needing an SSD at all.
Was the SSD a marketing ploy all along? How will our duo fare in this new and uncharted PC environment?
Opening the Hardware Rift
First off, let’s check out the Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart System Requirements:
|Minimum||Recommended||High||Amazing Ray Tracing||Ultimate Ray Tracing|
|Avg Performance||720p @ 30 FPS||1080p @ 60 FPS||1440p @ 60 FPS (4K @ 30 FPS)||1440p @ 60 FPS (4K @ 30 FPS)||4K @ 60 FPS|
|Graphics Preset||Very Low||Medium||High||High|
Ray Tracing High*
Ray Tracing Very High*
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960|
or AMD Radeon RX 470
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060|
or AMD Radeon RX 5700
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti|
or AMD Radeon RX 6800
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-8100|
or AMD Ryzen 3 3100
|Intel Core i5-8400|
or AMD Ryzen 5 3600
|Intel Core i5-11400|
or AMD Ryzen 5 5600
|Intel Core i5-11600K|
or AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
|Intel Core i7-12700K|
or AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
|RAM||8 GB||16 GB||16 GB||16 GB||32 GB|
|OS||Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)||Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)||Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)||Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)||Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909 or higher)|
|Storage||75 GB HDD space (SSD Recommended)||75 GB SSD space||75 GB SSD space||75 GB SSD space||75 GB SSD space|
I know what’s on your mind… an HDD? That’s just for the minimum spec, and if you’re at least wondering how that plays like, please check out Digital Foundry’s John Linneman as he demonstrates a short 2-minute clip of the game running on a PS4 HDD and a PC with just above the minimum spec. It’s not pretty at all, and the main point of the game was really to have players jump through rifts seamlessly without any loading times in between, so a minimum spec can technically run the game but the performance is absolutely horrible and not something you’d want to play at any cost.
Anything above the minimum needs an SSD at least, and in this day and age, having an SSD is a life-changing experience if you’re coming from a stock HDD. That said, the recommended specs require at least an RTX 2060 and 16 GB of RAM, which, when paired with the SSD, should cut down the loading times as well.
For a more PS5-like experience, you’re going to need to bring out the big guns, and an RTX 2060 Ti should be the baseline card you’ll want to aim for. Thankfully, RTX 3060s and 3070s have become much easier to acquire compared to before, so it’s not impossible to meet these requirements, just a bit pricy if you’re looking to upgrade.
Similar to previous Insomniac Games and Nixxes ports, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart comes with a wealth of graphical settings for newbies and enthusiasts alike.
Check them out below:
Apart from the usual suspects, we can see that DLSS frame generation is present but only on supported hardware. You’ll also get options to tweak ray-traced reflections and shadows, along with various other sliders for motion blur, field of view, and much more.
As with all PlayStation games on PC, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart also supports the DualSense features, offering players the ability to use the controller along with its bells and whistles like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
Additionally, you can view the other accessibility features below:
In terms of settings and customization options, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is up there with other Insomniac and Nixxes titles that give players the choice of how to best experience the game depending on the hardware in use.
Unless you have an ultra-powerful PC, the PS5 is probably the best way to play for most due to its relatively cheap entry price that has comparable performance to a PC that’s probably worth almost twice the price. We tested the game on a fairly modest setup, and we imagine that many players might be looking at a similar range with their rigs:
- Ryzen 5 5600x, 16 GB DDR4 3600 RAM, NVIDIA 3050, 1TB NVMe SSD, 27″ 1440p Monitor
Admittedly, I don’t have the extensive hardware resources and technical eye to test the game like the wizards over at Digital Foundry (check out their content if you need super-technical breakdowns!), so I’ll be providing my experience using my current setup (see above), and if your rig is close enough to it, you’ll roughly get the same results.
The game defaulted its settings to High based on my configuration, so I’ll be using that while discussing performance.
Using Steam’s built-in FPS counter and a preset of High settings, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart performed well enough to be smooth and stable throughout my playthrough. Maxing out at around 70 FPS, playing the game normally would see the counter fluctuate anywhere from 50-60 FPS, mostly averaging around 57-58 and only dipping to the low 50s during busy sections.
Also based on my experience, jumping through rifts in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is not as seamless as the PS5, but it’s pretty damn close. It’s almost a “blink and you miss it” moment, and if you weren’t paying extreme attention, you’d probably think they were running on the same hardware. There’s a reason why an SSD is recommended and that’s because you won’t be getting the ideal experience that the devs have had planned for the game otherwise.
That said, I encountered a number of crashes while playing through Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, not in any particularly taxing section and not even during entering rifts. I count a total of 4 times that the game crashed on me, prompting me to restart progress, and while it could have been worse, 4 times is a pretty high number of times for a game to crash over the course of a 10-12 hour playthrough, maybe 15 if you’re completing everything.
Mouse and Keyboard enthusiasts can enjoy the game as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart offers full key binding support, but it doesn’t feel the same especially since it was really made for the DualSense. Rift Apart is one of those games that offer fantastic haptic feedback, and while Returnal is arguably better, the DualSense is a must-use while planet-hopping.
What we liked:
- Wealth of options and sliders to choose from
- Frame rates are solid
- Gameplay is as fun now as it was a couple of years ago
What we didn’t like:
- Crashed more than usual compared to other games
- Jumping through rifts isn’t as seamless on weaker hardware configurations
- Priced a bit expensive considering no new content has been added
Verdict: Buy it, but…
So here’s the thing with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. It is undeniably a fantastic experience but there are a few caveats that need to be pointed out. If you’re looking at a PS5-like experience but don’t have the hardware for it, then you’re probably better off playing it on a PS5 at a fraction of the price. Should you have the rig for it, Rift Apart shines bright with stunning visuals and seamless gameplay that will delight players from start to finish.
While mileage may vary, I did experience a number of crashes during my playthrough, more than usual. It’s not enough to make me uninstall, but it was quite alarming, to say the least.
Also, considering that the game does not have any additional content for it unlike Returnal and Spider-Man Remastered when they hit Steam, paying $60 for this could be a big ask for some. Its relatively short game length should not take away from the fact that Rift Apart is ultimately well-presented and is a ton of fun, and at the end of it all, shouldn’t that be the only thing that matters?
*Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was reviewed on a PC with a review code provided by the publisher.