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Julius

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (11th June 2021)

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44 minutes ago, Magnus said:

Isn't this supposed to be a sequel to the PS3 games? Surely you'd be better off playing those instead if you haven't already.

Plus they're much better games, in my opinion...

Maybe? But having not played a Ratchet & Clank game before, I'd rather start with the most recent in this instance mainly as a crash course entry into the series more than anything else.

I think it'll probably give me a better idea of modern Insomniac's take on R&C, plus it'll be much faster than going through all of the (earlier) games - because if I did plan to go back to games earlier than the 2016 one, knowing me, that's me playing through all of the games from the start :p

Not to say that I won't go back to them at some point, but yeah, it's just to get familiar with it more than anything. I don't mind some of the story/nods going over my head, and hearing that the PS3 games might be better just makes it more likely that I'll go back to them at some point :D

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Isn't this supposed to be a sequel to the PS3 games? Surely you'd be better off playing those instead if you haven't already.
Plus they're much better games, in my opinion...
No I'm pretty sure it's a remake of the first one.

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9 minutes ago, Julius said:

Maybe? But having not played a Ratchet & Clank game before, I'd rather start with the most recent in this instance mainly as a crash course entry into the series more than anything else.

I think it'll probably give me a better idea of modern Insomniac's take on R&C, plus it'll be much faster than going through all of the (earlier) games - because if I did plan to go back to games earlier than the 2016 one, knowing me, that's me playing through all of the games from the start :p

Not to say that I won't go back to them at some point, but yeah, it's just to get familiar with it more than anything. I don't mind some of the story/nods going over my head, and hearing that the PS3 games might be better just makes it more likely that I'll go back to them at some point :D

I did a full playthrough of the series before the remake was released. It took me a full month, so you'd be getting a bit of a late start... hmm, but you could shave off some time by skipping some of the lesser spinoffs. :idea:

If you're considering going back at some point anyway, you may as well just skip the remake for now. The story isn't canon (also it's garbage) and the gameplay will feel fresher in Rift Apart if it's your first game. But hey, you do you. I just really like the PS3 games and think they're underrated. :p

 

4 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

No I'm pretty sure it's a remake of the first one.

Jeez, another one? How many times are they going to remake the first game!?

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Jeez, another one? How many times are they going to remake the first game!?

I dunno, but this is probably the best game to play if you haven't already started a R&C game, especially with the 60 FPS update if you're lucky enough to have a PS5. I read that it's a bit of a technical marvel, and was made to sort of tie in with the movie they did too.

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Posted (edited)

Reviews going up:

A lot of high scores going around. 

Digital Foundry's tech breakdown:

 

Edited by Julius

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My order from The Game Collection just arrived, I wasn't expecting it until tomorrow. 

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My copy has arrived too :peace:

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Installing now, not sure quite how much I'll end up playing it today, but I'm very much looking forward to checking it out! 

Out of curiosity, for those picking it up, which mode are you planning on playing the game in? I'm leaning away from Performance RT myself and more towards swapping between Fidelity and Performance, got to see those reflections and that smoothness! 

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Just downloaded it and played through the prologue. My first time with the series and quite enjoying it thus far.

5 hours ago, Julius said:

Out of curiosity, for those picking it up, which mode are you planning on playing the game in? I'm leaning away from Performance RT myself and more towards swapping between Fidelity and Performance, got to see those reflections and that smoothness! 

Fidelity mode for me. For one it’s the default, and as a single player experience I’d rather have the quality over extra performance.

I have to say Insomniac’s production values are insanely good. Everything is so well put together and the quality really shines through. Quite looking forward to see what’s in store as I progress through.

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6 hours ago, Julius said:

My copy has arrived too :peace:

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Just played through the prologue, great stuff. Started in fidelity mode for all the bells and whistles but will switch around like I did with Miles Morales.

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Can’t wait to play it. I’ve avoided absolutely every video, preview, review etc. Not for fear of spoilers, you can’t really spoil a game like this. Just more that I want to experience it via a ps5 on my tv when the time comes for me to get a PS5 again. 
 

Maybe Christmas. ☺️

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Posted (edited)

Only a few hours into this, and just got to the point where I've left the second world, but I'm having a blast. 

One of my biggest issues with Ratchet & Clank (2016) when I played it last month was that it felt a bit "floaty", a bit like a PS2 game (I know it's a remake, but still, it just felt a bit off at times); that's not an issue here, as there's a real sense of weight that I've got from Ratchet and Rivet so far. I did toy around with all of the modes, and went in thinking I'd go with Performance Mode, but like @Will I ended up going with Fidelity Mode. I might change it up later into the game, or if there's a New Game+/Challenge Mode to check out and I'm up for it, but the game is too gorgeous to not see it at its best (though for anyone playing in Performance or Performance RT, just remember it's like Miles Morales and checking out Photo Mode actually reverts to Fidelity Mode, which is always neat). The loading times are insane too, and there have been a couple of instances where I've been left in awe by how it's been used to transition to another scene (such as with a hard cut or a diagonal fade). 

Something that added to the game as soon as I was able to move around in the menu was the haptic feedback, it feels so damn good in this game! The adaptive triggers have been nothing short of wonderful too so far, whether it be pulling down halfway to shoot at a steady pace and then all the way to unload your ammo a bit faster, or pulling down halfway to show you the arc to aim your throwables before pulling down all the way to actually throw it. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but once it's clicked it clicks well, and it's tough to imagine playing this game any other way. The DualSense is front and centre in this game almost like it was in Astro's Playroom (I say almost because it's just shy of being there, which is crazy in its own right!) and has really elevated the experience so far. 

The screen is always packed with things going on, and that's not to say that the other game wasn't, but they've really turned it up a notch here. It's so vibrant too, serious eye candy all around. The direction of major setpieces has evolved massively since their last Ratchet & Clank game, no doubt learning a lot from their time on Spider-Man and Miles Morales, and it shows, as those moments are brilliantly paced and very engaging. The attention to detail (hair, fur, scales - pretty much every texture I've come across so far) has been insane. That this is Insomniac's second release in just over 6 months is mind-boggling! 

As a result I've been messing around with the Photo Mode a whole lot, and have already taken over 100 screenshots of the game - and I'm sure that there will be many, many more. In fact, based on my experience with Miles Morales back in November, as soon I loaded into the game for the first time - during the cutscene - I immediately opened up my controller layout and remapped to allocate Photo Mode to right on the D-pad (thanks Ghost of Tsushima for teaching me your ways). 

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Me watching E3 trailers late at night

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The name's Lombax. Ratchet the Lombax. 

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You can see Rivet's reflection on this guy's dome! 

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So yeah, having a blast so far, despite it still being very early days. Very much look forward to playing more of this over the coming days, definitely hungry for more! 

Edited by Julius
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Totally agree with everything you say @Julius. This definitely feels next-generation for me. The combination of how good this looks, the non-existent loading, and the dual sense integration is really awesome.

1 hour ago, Julius said:

I did toy around with all of the modes, and went in thinking I'd go with Performance Mode, but like @Will I ended up going with Fidelity Mode

I moved over to Performance RT mode in the end. The drop in quality wasn’t super noticeable but the frame rate increase definitely is.

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Still more than I'm willing to pay at the moment but at least it's a bit of a discount.

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£59 is still really expensive. 
I’m sure it has been discussed before, but what do some of you plan to do with these full price new games?
Is it simply a case of waiting for the price drop or will you take into consideration what game it is? 
 

Anything over £50 seems like such a chunk of money let alone £70!! 
 

Haven’t been faced with the dilemma yet but looks like I might just have to get used to it. :blank:

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£59 is still really expensive. 
I’m sure it has been discussed before, but what do some of you plan to do with these full price new games?
Is it simply a case of waiting for the price drop or will you take into consideration what game it is? 
Anything over £50 seems like such a chunk of money let alone £70!! 
Haven’t been faced with the dilemma yet but looks like I might just have to get used to it. :blank:

Just waiting for a price drop in my case. I personally find it baffling that some people are throwing £70/£60 for these games when they will be less than half that within a year.
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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Aneres11 said:

£59 is still really expensive. 
I’m sure it has been discussed before, but what do some of you plan to do with these full price new games?
Is it simply a case of waiting for the price drop or will you take into consideration what game it is? 

Anything over £50 seems like such a chunk of money let alone £70!! 

Haven’t been faced with the dilemma yet but looks like I might just have to get used to it. :blank:

The maths of £70 PS5 games just doesn't make sense in a world where Game Pass is a thing. Really good article here comparing both ecosystems.

I'm finding prices on PS5 aren't dropping quickly at all yet so for the first time ever I'm just selling games I have no plans to go back to. Ends up costing me about 20ish quid per game. I've a box full of PS4 games I played and finished once and have never gone back to, so it seems like the right move for me.

Edited by Ronnie
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4 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

The maths of £70 PS5 games just doesn't make sense in a world where Game Pass is a thing. Really good article here comparing both ecosystems.

I'm finding prices on PS5 aren't dropping quickly at all yet so for the first time ever I'm just selling games I have no plans to go back to. Ends up costing me about 20ish quid per game. I've a box full of PS4 games I played and finished once and have never gone back to, so it seems like the right move for me.

Yeah I hear that. 
I did plan originally on picking up a digital PS5 as I just find having game boxes and no where to really put them quite annoying. 
But the benefit of a boxed copy, as you say, is the ability to trade in and recoup some of the money back for the next game. 
 

Game Pass does make it a harder pill to swallow I’ll admit. 

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16 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

The maths of £70 PS5 games just doesn't make sense in a world where Game Pass is a thing. Really good article here comparing both ecosystems.

I’m not sure I’d call that a good article, it only uses one scenario which is if two things are exactly the same but one of them costs less it will be cheaper than the more expensive option. That’s not to say Game Pass isn’t great value, it clearly is, but it won’t work out best for everyone.

Anyway… Made a bit more progress on this tonight and it really is awesome, I’m loving every moment of it so far. The variety of gameplay, fun story, scale and quality of the world - it’s hitting all the right spots. It’s also the first game I’ve been playing with headphones, and the sound design is crazy good too. Still kind of taking my time with it, but I’m definitely making an effort to play it, at least a little, most nights.

I use the US store on my PlayStation, so save a little compared to the UK. Even so, I’d still say this is worth 70 quid.

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The maths of £70 PS5 games just doesn't make sense in a world where Game Pass is a thing. Really good article here comparing both ecosystems.

I'm finding prices on PS5 aren't dropping quickly at all yet so for the first time ever I'm just selling games I have no plans to go back to. Ends up costing me about 20ish quid per game. I've a box full of PS4 games I played and finished once and have never gone back to, so it seems like the right move for me.

I mean you could also say the same about £50 RRP games no longer making sense compared to Game Pass, yet Nintendo charge that.

The reality is that you can charge what you want (within reason) so long as you have the goods, which both Sony and Nintendo do right now, while arguably Microsoft don't. I personally don't agree with paying £70 because you can just wait and get games cheaper, and I don't think games justify such an expensive price tag, but I'm sure Sony have done number crunching and figured out it still makes sense to increase the price. Enough people must presumably be buying the games at full price, while those who would have waited for a discount before are still going to wait now.

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Wrapped this up last night and grabbed the Platinum. 

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Was a great game to play the last week with E3 and the football on, hopping in and out between things, and I had a blast. I'm glad I played the 2016 game a few weeks ago - which I thought was good, but not great - because I genuinely think I'd struggle to go back to it after playing a Ratchet & Clank game like this which I enjoyed so much. 

Many of the things I enjoyed I mentioned before: the game looks incredible (hundreds more screenshots have been taken since my last post), the setpieces are fantastic (!), the DualSense is by far and away the star of the show, and the controls feel much, much tighter. The weapon variety and how you use each one adds so much, and while by the end of the game I certainly had a strategy like I did the first for huge encounters, I still found myself grinning the whole time. 

Some things I didn't touch on before were just how great it is for each planet to be filled with so much to do besides the story, and how full of life each planet is: it's not just the enemies, and it never just felt like a level, but a place with so much to see and going on. The gadgets are so much fun and there were times where I frequently would just play around with them for the sake of it, pushing myself to see if I could reach parts of the map in ways the game wasn't necessarily designed for, and it was a lot of fun. Certain planets are much more open than others, and I kind of wish there were less invisible walls in the way and the game was more sandbox-like in structure, because it genuinely is that much fun to traverse these planets and fully utilise these gadgets. 

Also, though we saw some of the uses of the SSD in trailers and gameplay to do with the portals, there's a particular planet about halfway through the game which did something incredible. I don't want to go into why exactly it blew me away, but I think it's something many here would appreciate (but might go unrecognised by less avid players). It was also my favourite level first time through, though it's a bit of a pain to traverse through on return visits!

Something I didn't expect at all from this game was that it actually touches on mental health a few times throughout. Though it's not the deepest dive we've seen into mental health in video games, it doesn't feel at all phoned in -- it seems genuine, and I think even with that lack of depth to it, added a lot to these characters and will hopefully land well with younger players in particular. 

Music is solid too, feels like I'm tearing apart the first game now, but I thought the music was much better here, and overall I'm struggling to think of anything I preferred from that first game compared to this one. 

This is also the first game where I used some of the Activity Card hints for tracking a couple of down, namely Gold Bolts, and combined with the Map-o-Matic, it's a much better alternative to looking up a guide. Trophies tracking progress is also great (though it doesn't seem to track everything that you'd think it would?), but I did find it a bit weird that they make such great use of the Activity Card hints but then there are still items to collect which aren't in the Map-o-Matic or Activity Cards. I got most of them anyways, so I only had to look up one at the end when cleaning up, but it honestly felt like a step backwards having to look up a guide because of how Activity Cards are incorporated. Maybe for a rare item like that they could have the Activity Card hints unlock after you complete the story? Maybe they should have certain Activity Card hints unlock at certain points in the story too, and have them greyed out until then (for example, you revisit some planets later in the game with new areas unlocked, but it'll show hints for those newly accessible items on your first visit). 

Anyways, overall, felt like I took a risk playing this game after enjoying the 2016 game but not loving it as I know others here do, and I'm happy I took that risk. I'll probably dive into it a bit more later in the Gaming Diary thread, but what we saw of this game before it's release, and my trust in Insomniac after Spider-Man and Miles Morales, was rewarded. Loved this game! 

On 15/06/2021 at 3:52 PM, Aneres11 said:

I’m sure it has been discussed before, but what do some of you plan to do with these full price new games?
Is it simply a case of waiting for the price drop or will you take into consideration what game it is? 

Wanted to wait until I finished Rift Apart to chime in on this, but it certainly depends on the game for me.

It's been so infrequent so far that I've actually bought a game at around the £69.99 RRP (only Demon's Souls and Rift Apart, and to be fair I've enjoyed both immensely), and if that money didn't go towards those games, I probably would've spent it on some other interest, hobby, or going out (as that type of spending I do from a monthly entertainment budget), so for me at least, that money is going somewhere for me to use for fun anyways, might as well be a shiny new game. 

It probably helps that I have relatively little interest in AAA releases from most of the bigger publishers launching at or around that £69.99 price too (I'm thinking your annual Ubisoft, EA, and Activision games), and I'm more than happy to go back to stock up on games I missed out on for PS4, PS3, 3DS, DS, etc., instead. 

This all being said, there are certainly a couple of games I'm waiting to go down a bit before picking them up, because either I feel it's a bit of a risk as I don't have much experience with that genre (such as in the case of Returnal, though to be fair I'm also waiting for them to sort out a quick save feature for that game), or I just wouldn't feel the need to pony up the £50 - £70 they're asking for anyways (such as in the case of Sackboy's Big Adventure). 

Which brings me back to Rift Apart: I'm genuinely surprised that there hasn't been the classic "the game isn't long enough to justify its price" topic coming back up. I actually ended up spending less time with this game than I did the 2016 one, and overall that first playthrough was comparable to Miles Morales in length (though to be fair, skip the cutscenes in Miles and the length is halved). What makes this game £69.99 vs £49.99 for Miles? Were they considering the reuse of assets in Miles and the need for unique assets throughout much of Rift Apart? It's an interesting one because it's the same studio. I was happy to pay full price based on what I enjoyed of Insomniac games before this, but can completely understand why others would want to hold off. 

On 15/06/2021 at 4:15 PM, Ronnie said:

The maths of £70 PS5 games just doesn't make sense in a world where Game Pass is a thing.

Game Pass is undeniably great value, but in my case, it means absolutely nothing to me if I can't reel off a list of games I personally want to play on their release date -- indie games I tend to play after the hype has died down in a lot of cases, as I find it a bit harder to commit to them when there's so much else to play. 

Sure, there are games I want to play on there (the entire Forza series, the Halo series, Rare Replay), but in terms of big, brand new games, I think Forza Horizon 5 and Starfield are the only ones moving the needle for me at all, which is why I'm happy to just wait until next year when Starfield releases to consider picking up a Series X, because I can reel off a list of 10 or more first and third party exclusives that are either confirmed, or very likely on the way, for both PlayStation and Nintendo that I cannot wait for. Also, to be honest, Starfield is the exact kind of game I'd want on my shelf, I love it's artwork! 

For me, I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Game Pass is great value right now, but we still haven't seen even the first wave of Xbox first party exclusive games come out consistently (forget this generation, that's been the case for the last few years), and though it seems Infinite might kick it off later this year, how their lineup is curated, and how those teams are managed, remains to be seen. I'm hopeful for them, but until they've proven themselves, I think it's fair to be a bit cautious. 

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@Julius the topic of the game’s length vs price has popped up in quite a few other places. What’s weird to me about this markup in price is that the 2016 game is longer than Rift Apart AND also launched at a budget price. Still, it doesn’t seem to have hurt the initial sales of the game here in the UK but for me the £70 price is hard to justify when the game can be finished in around 10-12 hours.

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