Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be the next PlayStation Studios game to make its way to PC, Sony announced in a blog post on Tuesday. The game, which debuted in 2021, will launch on the new platform on July 26.
Although Sony has been in the habit of releasing its big PlayStation exclusives on PC long after their console debuts for a bit now, there are a couple of things that make this announcement particularly interesting.
First, this is the first Ratchet & Clank game to be released on PC—that’s after 16 home and handheld console releases since the first game was released on PlayStation 2 more than 20 years ago.
Fortunately, despite its position as the latest game in the Ratchet & Clank timeline, Rift Apart works fairly well as a standalone story. PC players who have not played the previous 15 games might miss a little inside joke, but they won’t be lost in following the story or characters. That said, it’s still wild that the 16th game in a series will be the first PC port.
More interesting to many is the technology angle. Rift Apart was made by Insomniac Games—developers of the recent Spider-Man games, the Resistance first-person shooter franchise for PlayStation 3, and the early Spyro the Dragon games in the PlayStation 1 era. After Sony’s relatively recent acquisition of Insomniac, Rift Apart was meant to be a technical showcase for the PS5.
Specifically, the game is built around the premise of moving through different dimensions and planets with completely different assets through portals without loading times, something that was only possible with the PS5’s ultra-fast SSD and related hardware. The PS5’s internal drive has a read/write speed of 5,500MB/s, far faster than most PC drives at the time of the console’s launch. Sony requires any add-on storage for the PS5 to meet that minimum speed requirement, too.
There have been PC SSDs faster than that for a bit, but they’re extremely expensive, and most people (even core gamers) even now don’t have drives that fast, so it will be interesting to see how Sony handles PCs with slower drives. Instant travel through those portals isn’t a nice bonus; it’s integral to the game’s presentation and experience, and it’s one of the reasons there was no PlayStation 4 version of Rift Apart.
Curiously, Sony didn’t touch on that subject in its blog post, even though it talked about other technical features of the game. Like the PS5 version, the PC version of Rift Apart will support ray-traced reflections, though Sony notes that there will be “a variety of quality levels to choose from.” The PC version will also get some things the PS5 didn’t: ray-traced shadows and ultra-wide monitor support. The PC version will also support Nvidia DLSS 3, AMD FSR 2, and Intel XeSS, as well as Nvidia Reflex and Nvidia DLAA. There will be full keyboard and mouse support, too, of course.
There’s a third reason we’re focusing on this game: It’s a personal favorite for a couple of Ars staffers, myself included. I’ve played every Ratchet & Clank game over the years, and the promise of a new one for PS5 was one of the main reasons for that console purchase. The same went for a coworker; I managed to nab two PS5s the first week of launch and gave the second to my coworker, who also wanted one specifically for Ratchet & Clank. It quickly became one of my favorite games in years. On the other hand, Ars gaming editor Kyle Orland called it a good game in his review but had some reservations—so your mileage may vary, of course.
They’re great games, with a good combination of action and story, and absolutely none of the games-as-a-service stuff you see in triple-A games all too often these days. After all these years, it will be fascinating to see how these games do on PC, given their deep console lineage.
Rift Apart ended up being a good entry in the series, but maybe not the best; we’re still holding out for a PC release of the Future titles that were originally released on PS3, which were arguably the franchise’s halcyon days. Even if it’s not the absolute apex of franchise entries, Rift Apart has one extra thing going for it: It is a graphically gorgeous game. The only other game I’ve played recently that rivaled it was Cyberpunk 2077 on an ultra-high-end PC, so Rift Apart is worth playing on that basis alone. Sony says it will be available on Steam and the Epic Games Store.
Listing image by Sony