The Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart demo shows us the raw horsepower of the PS5

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

After an abbreviated trailer at the PS5 unveiling event held back in June, Insomniac Games returned to the limelight during Gamescom’s Opening Night Live event to show gamers what the PS5 will really be capable of with an extended look at Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

The demo, which lasted seven-and-a-half minutes, showed the eponymous duo arriving in the bustling metropolis of Aleero City, only to be confronted by Dr. Nefarious using a device that rips holes in the space-time continuum. 

Dr. Nefarious’ plans get foiled, as you’d expect, but doing so causes the universe to fall into disrepair – kicking off your quest to put things back in the right order.

For longtime fans of the series, there’s elements there that sound like Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus on PS3, but the difference in graphical fidelity, interactivity and sheer liveliness of the world is staggering, and it’s all thanks to the power of the PS5. 

High-power specs to the rescue 

In a post trailer interview, the game's lead developers said the keys to the game’s design are the PS5’s SSD that allows them to toss the player from world to world without long loading times (in fact, they say there’s no loading times in the entire game) and the GPU that can render large amounts of data on-screen at once.

Watching the trailer, you’ll get a real sense of what the PS5 is capable of. 

Notice Metropolis’ inhabitants escaping the fray while Ratchet battles Nefarious’ forces and how many individual characters can be rendered on screen at one time. Look at the particle effects as explosions shower the screen in bolts. 

Visually, it’s an overwhelming feast for the eyes.

Now compare the trailer above to a similar level in Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus:

In addition, the DualSense PS5 controller's haptic feedback feature is being utilized in Rift Apart, meaning each weapon feels different to use - such as varying degrees of vibration. Players will also be able to utilize the controller's adaptive triggers to perform more powerful abilities, applying certain degrees of pressure to build up attacks.

Coming in the PS5 launch window

When pressed for an exact release date, all the developers would say is that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be available in the PS5 launch window – likely the holidays of this year into the early parts of 2021.

The only other confirmed PS5 games for that launch window so far include Astro's Playroom that will be included with every console, plus Just Dance 2021 and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the standalone game also from Insomniac.

While the lineup is still a bit sparse, we'll likely hear more about additional titles once we get a bit closer to launch.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.