Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Gets New Preview Footage, SSD and Ray Tracing Use Detailed

Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart Update 1.002

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is less than a month away, and a new spate of previews are building hype for the game. For those looking for new footage, the official UK PlayStation Access channel has published a lengthy preview including a look at some stuff we haven’t seen before. This includes a rocky, desert area traversed by new Lombax hero Rivet and a brief chase/boss fight of sorts against Dr. Nefarious. You can check out the video for yourself, below.

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Meanwhile, The Verge had a chance to chat with Insomniac Games tech director Mike Fitzgerald about what the PS5 is bringing to the table beyond the obvious rift-hopping gimmick. Interestingly, while Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart isn’t an open world game, Insomniac is using the SSD in the same way they did in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Spider-Man is an open-world title. We built all of this tech to stream that open world as you go through it. When you’re downtown, there’s not much Midtown in memory. You can see it from a distance, but then as you go farther north, we pull in those areas. No Ratchet game has ever been constructed that way. They’ve always been: here’s a level, load the level, now you’re in that level and you play it. But by switching over the Ratchet world to use that same streaming architecture, we can pack more and more density and content and quality in every corner of a Ratchet & Clank world, because we’re happy to ditch the west side of Nefarious City when you go to the east side, and that type of thing.

With the SSD, it’s easy to say there are no load times, and look how fast we can load this other area, but it has all sorts of knock-on effects. We don’t need to be as careful with how we package our data. All of the assets for an area don’t need to be collated on the spinning hard drive to get the right streaming speed out of it. It makes the game smaller on your hard drive; it means we can patch it more easily. That’s a nice bonus. We unload the things literally behind you from a camera perspective. If you spun the camera around, we could load them before you see that. That lets us devote all of our system memory to the stuff in front of you right now, that you need to experience in that moment.

Meanwhile, it sounds like Rift Apart will be using ray tracing in a more extensive, and sometimes subtle, way than Spider-Man…

The ray tracing is nice and shiny — well, literally shiny — and it’s very obvious when it’s working. But it does have a really subtle effect on the materials. There’s a part where you’re in the spaceship with Rivet and Clank, for example, and you’re not actually looking at a reflective surface per se, but just all of the metal things in that cabin, which are all curved in different ways, are all showing the effect of those characters shifting position in a realistic way. It takes us a long way toward getting the same feeling of an animated film.

Sounds like we’re in for quite the visual feast! Do check out The Verge’s full interview if you have the time, as they cover a lot more than we can relate here.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart jumps onto PS5 on June 11.

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