Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart First Impressions, Speculations, Analysis and Rumours

• written by Flowerstar
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart First Impressions, Speculations, Analysis and Rumours

The Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart trailer has officially landed as of 11th June! 

The intergalactic, dynamic duo, Ratchet and Clank, are finally back! Their previous appearance is in Ratchet & Clank (2016), though technically their last appearance is in Super Bomberman R

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

Ratchet and Clank are back in an all-new adventure that's out of this world!

Ratchet and Clank's long-awaited, hotly-anticipated comeback isn't surprising when the majority of the fanbase predicted this from a long mile away, as if Insomniac Games constantly uploading Ratchet & Clank-related tweets and messages on their social media accounts aren't a dead giveaway. Their frequent social media posts obviously hints at an upcoming Ratchet & Clank game currently in development over the past couple of years.

Unfortunately, I somehow forgot to watch the PlayStation 5 - The Future Of Gaming live stream. Thanks to a YouTuber (and a friend of mine), PixiePoison90, informed me of Ratchet and Clank's hotly-anticipated comeback! 

Ratchet and Clank are back in an all-new adventure that's out of this dimension. Judging by what Marcus Smith explained in the developer trailer, the story is about an arch-nemesis coming to town and accidentally damaging the fabric of space-time causing dimensional rifts to erupt all throughout the universe. 

Ratchet & Clank is a series that prides itself on exploration and exotic worlds and bringing players into places they've never been before. This is what Insomniac Games is striving for. The PlayStation 5 is really allowed with increased horsepower. The number of objects in the universe, the things to explore, the enemies are around, the effects, everything is more, more, more. Insomniac Games is trying to build worlds that feel real and bringing the players in. They're exploring in these brand-new spaces and this is something Insomniac Games couldn't have done on previous generations of the PlayStation. 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a game that utilises dimensions and dimensional rifts and that would not be possible without the Solid State Drive of the PlayStation 5. 

At the moment, the fanbase and a lot of people are speculating Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is set after Ratchet & Clank: Nexus but when Ratchet mentioned "the ship" instead of "Aphelion" in the trailer, this means the forthcoming game takes place after Ratchet & Clank (2016) and the Ratchet & Clank film, despite the background is purple and the logo is simplified. In spite of this, the game will contain elements from the previous games. 

After Clank got separated from Ratchet by an explosion caused by the giant kraken/octopus, Clank landed in an unknown dimension far away from his best friend. At this point, a mysterious female Lombax landed on the ground beside him in a pose which resembles the pose Sly Cooper made in the Sly Cooper movie trailer. Since then, all eyes were on the female Lombax. 

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

Rumoured to be called Rachel, could she be Ratchet's alternative version of him?

How did I know she is a female Lombax, despite female Lombaxes aren't meant to have tails? Her two earrings on both of her ears are a definite giveaway. Furthermore, her voice sounds high pitched and feminine.

Looking closely at the wanted posters, it's apparent Dr. Nefarious has a personal vendetta against the Lombaxes, Ratchet in particular. 

Ever since the trailer launched, the fans have speculated what the mysterious female Lombax's name might be. 

Speaking of her name, everyone in the Ratchet & Clank community have their own assumptions of her name such as Ratchette, Mallet, Hammer, Mallette, Layla (not to be confused with Aisha/Layla from Winx Club), Hatchet, Latchet, Sachet, Gadget, Sam (Samantha), Socket, Ratchel, Wrench etc. Despite the name guessing from everyone, it's strange no one attempted to guess her surname in spite Angela Cross and Alister Azimuth already have surnames.

I know I'm jumping on the bandwagon but a lot of people including me reckon she might be an alternate version of Ratchet from an alternate dimension where Dr. Nefarious finally won. So for now, I'm going to dub her "Rachel" until an official name is confirmed. I used to have a friend called "Rachel" (she unfortunately passed away during the 2000's), that's why it's the first name that popped into my head. Plus, in my headcanon, if Ratchet were a girl, I think the name, "Rachel", suits him just fine.

This led me to wonder if Insomniac Games is going to pull an Alister Azimuth (in other words, the name of the female Lombax won't be uncovered until the game comes out) on everyone and reveal the name of the female Lombax when the game is released instead of revealing the name on social media. 

There are many theories in relation to the newly-revealed female Lombax. She is either Ratchet's long-lost sister, cousin or relative, an alternate version of him, his future daughter or she might be a Trans character. Only time will tell when everyone will know more about her when the game is released or when more of the game/gameplay will surface on the internet. 

I'm still sticking to the theory of her being an alternate version of Ratchet. I've noticed she seems to share the same height with him, not to mention the ears are large but not as massive as Ratchet's ears and her suit is almost similar to his, albeit some differences. Whether she has her own version of Clank or not, either her "Clank" is missing somewhere or it might be the cybernetic arm. This led me to believe the mechanical arm might have an AI akin to Skylar's (from Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Mountain) talking robotic arm. 

As for her cybernetic arm, it might also allow the female Lombax to attack in battle, not just her hammer. Aside from her mallet, her arm might double as a melee weapon, capable of locking enemies in close-quarters combat as opposed to her long-range attacks in the form of her own arsenal of weapons and gadgets. 

The Dr. Nefarious from the Ratchet & Clank (2016) and the Ratchet & Clank movie still had a vendetta against Ratchet whilst the Dr. Nefarious from the original timeline seemed to have a change of heart, seeing as he finally knows what it's like to have friends. Considering he befriended Ratchet, Clank and Captain Qwark, he no longer wants to destroy them judging by his sentimental expression. 

At the moment, no one knows which timeline this game is set in. However, it's possibly Insomniac Games is catering to both long-time die hard fans and new fans that just got into the series. Especially when Ratchet and Clank exchange dialogue during the combat, "Did Nefarious really resurface after all these years just to try and take over the universe AGAIN?", "Yeah! I kinda wish he was doing a worse job!", "He must have more plans than the Agorians." and "That's what I'm afraid of." It's hard to perceive what they're actually talking about due to them combating the invaders and the chaos surrounding them. 

When I watched the trailer for the first time, my jaw dropped during the entire video! I continued to watch with bated breath, excited to wonder what happens next. Though, it's hard to contain my inner squeals of delight.

For the first time, Ratchet and Clank are able to travel through dimensions. During the trailer, travelling from one dimension to the next is almost seamless. The Solid State Drive is incredibly fast which allows Insomniac Games to build worlds and project players from one place to another in near instantaneous speeds. It is an unbelievable game changer in terms of Insomniac Games can now do gameplay where the player is in one world and the next moment they are in another. They're loading up levels that happen so quickly and in the action, the player don't even imagine that is something Insomniac Games couldn't do before because it feels so natural. 

According to the gameplay, the weapon wheel underwent another overhaul, sporting a new UI and thank goodness, there are new weapons this time instead of old weapons from past instalments being recycled. Ratchet is able to latch onto a closed dimensional portal using a new gadget called the Rift Tether to transport himself and Clank to reappear in another portal. Due to the dimensions collapsing, enemies from previous games of the franchise literally drop in out of the sky ranging from robotic dogs to Sandsharks (native to the Aridia Outpost X11 in planet Aridia in the Solana Galaxy). The dimension-hopping mechanic clearly shows the PlayStation 5's capabilities. In other words, every world within each dimension are loaded up almost instantly. A few seconds, in fact. 

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

For the first time, interdimensional rift travelling is introduced.

Speaking of the dimensions, in every dimension Ratchet and Clank travel to, they are related to the different locations from previous instalments such as Sargasso, Ardolis and Meridian City from Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction and Metropolis/Aleero City from Ratchet & Clank (2016) and the Ratchet & Clank movie. Even new places are introduced such as a night time city reminiscent of Haven City from Jak II: Renegade, Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing. Within this city, it contained billboards which advertised Megacorp and the Protopets from Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked And Loaded as well as other things. For the first time, they're able to ride on various alien, exotic creatures. However, these creatures can't leave their own dimensions. 

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

Alien creatures can now be mounted on to traverse through a level for the first time.

In one of the locales (most likely the Molonoth Fields in Torren IV) Ratchet and Clank travelled to, a Gold Bolt can be seen somewhere in the distance. This implies Gold Bolts will return in this game. It makes sense anyway, considering Gold Bolts are one of the numerous staples in the Ratchet & Clank series. 

Thanks to the Solid State Drive, loading up dimensions and dimensional rifts is almost instantaneous. This means loading screens are a thing of the past. According to Marcus Smith (the creative director), the dual sense controller of the PlayStation 5 is tailor-made for weaponry. The tactile feedback when a player receives from using them feels way more powerful than ever before. It also lets the player know how the weapon is behaving. Take The Enforcer for example, it's a double-barrel shotgun and it uses the adaptive triggers to give the player tension as he/she moves their fingers down halfway, he/she can fire one barrel and if it's pulled all the way down, he/she can fire both barrels. The player can feel the difference between the tension tightening up and it just makes all of the weapons much more immersive and powerful feeling. Unlike the previous instalments, this game introduces 3D Spacial Audio. This is a fundamental difference between listening to a television set and going out into the middle of a forest. It brings the players into these dimensions in a way Insomniac Games never been able to do before. 

Not only that, but Ratchet now have a new dodge ability which is similar to a side-step along with the usual front, back and side flips. As stated by an Insomniac Games employee, Marcus Smith, Ray-Tracing is implemented into the game which is visible on Clank.

For the first time since Ratchet & Clank: Nexus, new weapons are introduced such as the Burst Pistol, Topiary Sprinkler, Shatterbomb and The Enforcer as shown in a gameplay video. The names of these weapons are subject to change during game development. 

There are other theories stemmed from this game such as what if "Rift Apart" isn't just referring to the dimensions and Ratchet and Clank being separated again, the title might also be about what if they will never see each other again or what if Clank decides to accompany the female Lombax while Ratchet searches for his best friend? The funny thing is what if the dimension Clank landed in is the very same dimension the Lombaxes lived in? The fact he arrived there instead of Ratchet. 

Another point I'd like to add is Pepper Fairbanks claimed that female Lombaxes don't have tails during the news report on Pirate Radio (hosted by Captain Slag and Rusty Pete) from Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time but Insomniac Games never confirmed all female Lombaxes have no tails. Since Angela Cross is already confirmed to be a female Lombax but is considered to be a mistake according to The Art Of Ratchet & Clank book, the new female Lombax have a different tail but it's more raccoon/fox-like in contrast to the lion-like tails the male Lombaxes (such as Ratchet, Kaden and Alister Azimuth) typically have. Insomniac Games either forgot to add a tail to Angela, she lost her tail in a freak accident or something happened to her just like something happened to the new female Lombax's arm. It seems like Insomniac Games is retconning the "Lombaxes don't have tails" canon out of existence. 

Ratchet's new appearance looks a little off (probably due to the eyes and how different the fur is) but Clank looks more or less the same. Ratchet is still wearing the same pilot suit he wore in Ratchet & Clank (2016), Ratchet & Clank movie, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force. The Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart logo is simplified and it may take some time to get used to. I'm still used to looking at the old Ratchet & Clank logos. Speaking of the title, it's a relief Insomniac Games returned to the sexual innuendos for the first time since Ratchet & Clank: Nexus. The words, "Rift Apart", sounds like "ripped apart" and "rip a fart". I could use a chuckle every now and then, especially in a gloom and doom time like this. Don't ever change, Insomniac Games. 

Just recently, according to Kyle Pegleg Shergold from Facebook (and a member of The Galactic Rangers of Ratchet and Clank, one of the Ratchet & Clank Facebook groups I'm an admin of), his friend came across a peculiar screenshot taken by a leaker. From what he said, the leaker is correct in the past on a lot of occasions. Please take this leak with a grain of salt. The State Of Play showcase will launch on Thursday 6th August and there are rumours that more additional gameplay will be revealed as well as the confirmation of the mysterious new Lombax's name. If you look closely at the screenshot, it says "Rachel" within the list of videos which will be featured in the State Of Play showcase. At the moment, I'm going to keep my expectations low in case the leak isn't true. If it's true then me and a lot of the Ratchet & Clank fans pretty much called it! My old, deceased friend from primary school/high school will live on in this new female Lombax. 

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

If the leak is true, Rachel might be the confirmed name.

In the meantime, either play any of the previous Ratchet & Clank games, play as Ratchet & Clank Bomber in Super Bomberman R or play Ratchet & Clank-esque games such as Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island and Iconoclasts to tide you over until Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is released.

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