Reflecting on evolution before Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart launches on PlayStation 5

Players are just days away from the launch of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on the PlayStation 5 console. It’s been quite a journey to get here, as our team has been working on creating a showpiece for the new hardware.

Built from the ground up for PS5, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful and technically impressive games ever released.  I know the rest of the team here at Insomniac feels the same way.

Over the years they’ve worked on a lot of Ratchet & Clank games. When developers think back to those games on the PS2 and PS3 consoles, it’s amazing how far they’ve come. The Creators made a video to show the evolution of things over the franchise, take a look:

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The developer will never forget being a college freshman, working as a freelance journalist, and getting an early preview build of the first Ratchet & Clank. Sitting in my dorm room exploring planets with a lombax and his robot companion made an immediate impression on me. They anxiously devoured the future builds, and it was one of my favorite franchises on one of my favorite consoles of all time.

On the PS2 console, Ratchet & Clank did what it always does: be a showpiece for your console. The games, Ratchet & Clank, Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, and Deadlocked, were gorgeous, technical showpieces for the console with huge vista views and draw-distance, incredible action and weapons, and amazing heart and humor.

They were finally starting to hit the visuals of CG-animated films at the time and taking advantage of the Cell processor and horsepower in the PS3 console. But they also began at this point to really take the story in a more heartfelt direction like those animated films they loved.

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time on PS3, release date: October 27, 2009

They also experimented down the stretch, with the 4-player game, All 4 One, and a multiplayer / tower defense game: Full Frontal Assault. They continued to work on refining the mechanics and polishing our action and gunplay.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One on PS3, release date: October 18, 2011

Which all came together on the PS4 console. A CG animated movie gave us the opportunity to make a game based on a movie based on a game. This reimagined version of the original (told from Captain Qwark’s point-of-view) is a visual-tour-de-force. It allowed you to play through the origins of the characters but with years of experience in designing combat and weapons, and with amazing visuals that showed what the PS4 console was capable of.

Ratchet & Clank on PS4, release date: April 16, 2016

With our next standalone entry in the Ratchet & Clank franchise, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, this title was built from the ground up and designed exclusively for the PS5 console. The speed of the SSD allowed us to consider dimension-hopping and portals that would whisk you across the galaxy. The power of the console lets us give you our most visually spectacular Ratchet & Clank game yet. The DualSense wireless controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers bring Ratchet and Rivet’s arsenal to life in a whole new way. And all of the years of storytelling in the Ratchet & Clank universe allowed us to create a heartfelt story about friendship and overcoming all odds.

Looking at the evolution, from the PS2 console in my dorm room on a 13″ screen TV – to now Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart – in glorious 4K HDR* with ray-traced reflections and 3D audio in my headphones, it’s been amazing to see the way two best friends have evolved right alongside the console.

For those of you who have been fans over the years – you’ll notice a lot of easter eggs in the video. Swag and rare Ratchet & Clank artifacts dot the rooms, many of these items come from my personal Ratchet & Clank collection. Several more are props from the original TV commercials for the PS2 console (though they have been shrunken a bit for this video!). You might even see some glimpses of toys from other IP that Insomniac Games has created and developed during those timeframes.

One of the things that are most staggering to me about the Ratchet & Clank franchise is that it is coming up on its 20th Anniversary in 2022. Ratchet and Clank are some of PlayStation’s greatest heroes, having debuted on the PlayStation 2 console in 2002, and grown-up right alongside the consoles. Many of you have grown up alongside them.  They can’t wait to celebrate the 20th Anniversary next year.

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