The just-released PC version of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is looking like one of the better PC ports we've seen recently.
The only things holding me back from calling the port a definitive success are reports of crashing among the otherwise positive Steam reviews, and to a lesser extent, that Digital Foundry found some discrepancies between the graphics quality of the PS5 version and a pre-release PC version, particularly in certain ray traced shadows. I don't have the hardware or eyesight for those discrepancies to matter much to me personally, and I haven't been experiencing crashes myself. So far, I've found Insomniac's 2021 PS5 platformer to be a sturdy, refined piece of software on PC.
Using Nvidia's DLSS upscaling, I can hover between 50-70 fps on the highest graphics preset at 1440p despite my slightly aged hardware: Nvidia RTX 2070 Super, Intel Core i5 9600K @ 3.7 GHz, 16 GB RAM.
If I turn off DLSS, my fps is liable to drop into the 30s at times, but Rift Apart still runs plenty well enough to play. I'd rather tweak the graphics settings and use DLSS to hit a minimum of 60 fps, of course—I'm not a heathen, and it looks good even on its lowest preset. Rift Apart also supports AMD FSR 2.1, Intel XeSS, and Insomniac's own IGTI upscaling.
We never know what we're going to get when a big PlayStation game finally seeps through the exclusivity barrier and onto PC. God of War was fine, as were Insomniac's remastered Spider-Man games, but the bugs in the PC port of The Last Of Us were so dire they spawned memes, which is never a good sign. We didn't receive an early review copy of Rift Apart's PC version, which isn't totally abnormal, but can sometimes predict the presence of deficiencies, which made us slightly wary.
Outside of those reported crashes, however, I can't find much of anything to complain about. Rift Apart has got all the things we demand in a PC port and more:
- A toggleable launcher where you can tweak graphics settings before starting the game, as well as an in-game graphics menu where changes can be made on-the-fly. Chef's kiss: This is the ideal.
- Unlocked frame rate
- DLSS, FSR 2.1, XeSS, and IGTI upscaling support
- DLSS 3 Frame Generation support (available in RTX 40-Series GPUs)
- Support for hardware ray tracing
- Fairly granular graphics settings (shadow quality, texture quality, etc)
- An FOV setting (not common in third-person games)
- Motion blur and other post-processing effects can be disabled
- Auto-switching between keyboard and controller prompts
- Remappable controls
- A nice photo mode
Steam Deck performance is surprisingly solid, too. I asked PC Gamer's Tyler Colp to test it on his Steam Deck, and he said that he could get a stable locked 40 fps with the AMD FSR frame rate target set to 45 and the Deck's refresh rate capped at 40Hz. He preferred that config over trying to squeeze out a slightly higher fps, since the 40Hz cap benefits battery life. The game did crash once during his Steam Deck test, though, which is a little worrying given the other reports.
Back on my PC, I could complain that, even at the lowest possible graphics settings and with help from DLSS, I couldn't match my monitor's 144Hz refresh rate—the max I could squeeze out of Rift Apart at 1440p was 100-120 fps. I'm not being entirely rational if I'm demanding screaming speed from a new console port on a 2019 GPU and 2018 CPU, but I also tried pushing the resolution way down to 800x600, and my fps still hovered in the 120 range, peaking at 140. Frame rate obsessives might find that the range of achievable speeds leaves something to be desired.
Our official verdict on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is still pending, and it's possible we'll run into performance issues or bugs later in the game, so I may have to modify this technical assessment. It sounds like it's been a frustrating launch day for some players, who are saying that Rift Apart is crashing constantly—something Digital Foundry also reported in its pre-release version—so the port isn't a certified slam dunk at this point. I hope that issue gets resolved, because it'd be heartening to have a new shining star to point to as the quality standard during this string of bad PC ports we've been experiencing.
As for the game itself, these kinds of super-streamlined, prestige console exclusive action-adventure dealios aren't really my thing, but Rift Apart's first minutes illustrate well why they get so much praise. A tutorial mission that teaches you the controls and sets up everything you need to know about the plot without ever being boring is not something commonly achieved. That's where I stopped, though, so I'll leave it to our reviewer to come down on a proper verdict in the near future.