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1. All About Exclusive Mascots
Gamers are often on the fence about choosing between next-generation systems. And many will dismissively say there is little difference between gaming on an Xbox Series X/S and a PlayStation 5.
However, Sony has been working hard to change that by developing a stable of high-profile games that are completely exclusive. And Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart shows this PS4-era company philosophy now extends to the PS5 era.
It helps that Ratchet & Clank are adorable cartoon mascots. Sony arguably never developed their own signature mascots as Nintendo and Microsoft did, so the success of this game is likely to define the development future for the console.
2. Cinematic Games Are Here to Stay
Reviews for games are often very mixed. Even among reviewers who enjoyed a game, it can be tough to get everyone to agree on what they liked best.
However, pretty much every reviewer praised Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for its graphical quality. In addition to the silky-smooth use of 60fps, reviewers praised how realistic and lifelike the graphics were. Put simply, the game feels like you are taking control of a Pixar cartoon.
Between this and the insane graphics of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Sony is signaling its commitment to finally destroy the barrier between movies and games. And cinematic gaming is here to stay.
While it’s not exactly the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Ratchet & Clank series has a lot of history. However, developer Insomnia went back to the basics and made Rift Apart’s story and gameplay very accessible, even to gamers who had not played earlier titles.
On top of the narrative, the game itself is very linear. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when you’re figuring out the innovative rift dynamics. But newcomers to the series will likely be relieved to see game levels that take them pretty directly from Point A to Point B.
None of this is on accident, of course. Sony wants to make the next generation of gaming more accessible. And intuitive, linear gameplay along with a cute mascot means Sony is trying their hand at the simple philosophies that made Nintendo so successful back in the 1980s and 1990s.
4. Goodbye, Load Times
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart isn’t the first game to make good use of the PS5’s SSD drive. However, it is arguably the most impressive use of the SSD drive so far.
That is because once you are inside a level, there are no real load times. And given how large the levels can be, and how many wild things you can do with the rift mechanics, it’s even more impressive.
And this is about more than just loading your game faster. The fun, frenzied way you can use rift mechanics in this game showcase what future game developers will be doing for a console where long load times are a thing of the past.
5. Immersive Gaming
“Immersive gaming” is one of those elusive terms. Pretty much every developer says they want to make immersive games and pretty much every gamer has no idea what the hell these guys are talking about.
For example, Sony’s PSVR provides some very immersive games. But the natural limitations of the VR tech, the Move controllers, and the games meant that you are as likely to be distracted and annoyed by a PSVR title than immersed.
Ratchet & Clank has revealed that the most intuitive immersion comes from the new DualSense controller. In a game that involves constantly switching weapons, each and every weapon feels unique in your hands thanks to the controller’s precise vibrations. And firing these virtual weapons makes you feel like have actual alien tech in your hands.
Ratchet & Clank’s use of the DualSense to create immersive gaming is insanely impressive. And it’s just the beginning of what developers are figuring out they can do.
6. Intuitive Use of the Controller
The DualSense's vibrations help make the gameplay feel more "immersive". But it’s also important to highlight how intuitive the controller is.
Rift Apart makes perfect use of the DualSense’s adaptive triggers. Experimenting with pulling the triggers with different levels of pressure leads to different firing modes.
This goes back to the idea that the game is very newbie-friendly. On paper, the DualSense functionality is difficult to explain in any kind of coherent way. But someone who has never played a video game before can figure everything out within a few minutes or pressing buttons.
Future games will make use of these adaptive triggers and other features to create more intuitive titles.