Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart on PS5 – this is why we need next-gen exclusives

In the wake of Sony announcing that key first-party titles are being developed to straddle the PS4 and PS5 console generations, the arrival of Insomniac's Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is timely. It demonstrates the power and the potential of PlayStation 5 in a way that a cross-gen title would not be able to – and it showcases what the next generation of hardware can deliver when a first party developer can focus exclusively on it. Insomniac's Spider-Man: Miles Morales was an exceptional PS4/PS5 effort – but Rift Apart highlights what's possible when a generational leap in storage, CPU and GPU are expertly deployed. Oh, and 60fps with ray tracing? No problem.

We've all seen the trailers, right? Beyond the beautiful, dense visuals, the fast SSD allows seamless transitions between completely different worlds – a signature gameplay feature of the new game, while saturating the GPU with an astonishing level of detail. RDNA 2's ray tracing features are also deployed, with beautiful high resolution reflection work. Well, the good news is that the final game is actually better than the trailers. In fact, we were surprised to see that the day one patch – which actually 'dropped' last Saturday – actually improved quality still further.

One of the early trailer's showpiece sequences, showed Ratchet launching through multiple dimensions in real-time. In the original demo, there were noticeable hiccups in performance as areas were loaded and unloaded, but it served as an impressive example of what was possible. This same sequence exists in the final game and these hiccups are eliminated completely – at least mostly. I did note an occasional single extra frame on the frame-time graph but it's dramatically better than the demo. Furthermore, in the original demo, these rifts were not drawn within ray traced reflections – if you look at the final game, however, you'll see that they are reflected now. I think this is worth highlighting as it highlights a case where the final game improved upon the visuals in the early trailer – it's an upgrade!

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