What a rush, huh? Opportunity when offered, is always a good thing to take up. Thankfully I knew that I should do this when it was offered, and it was a GOOD THING to take up. Is that enough build up? I think so. Not that it’s any secret considering the title for this piece.
I got to attend a Digital Event for the upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Safe to say I have some admiration for Insomniac. I’ve absolutely adored their Spider-Man games. And there’s definitely a hint of nostalgia buried deep within me, thanks to their time with PlayStation. Whether you started out with them on Spyro The Dragon for the PlayStation; Linked back up with them on the PlayStation 3’s Resistance franchise, or jumped across to Sunset Overdrive, I’d like to think it all comes round to the PlayStation 2’s, Ratchet & Clank. Considering that the PlayStation 2 is still the highest selling console of all-time, I like to think that Ratchet shares some of the prestige thanks to its inception there.
And now it becomes the next, big thing for the PlayStation 5.
Rift Apart’s showing at the last State of Play set the internet alight, as people wondered how the team at Insomniac managed to pull this off. Was it wizardry? Did they really put a PS6 inside the PS5? Are they time travellers? Possibly. “Ultimately we wanted to take what folks loved about the franchise, and wind it up to 11”; This thought shared by Senior Writer, Lauren Mee, in our first breakout of the day. And the footage the team shared, wholly reflects this. Everything about how the game looked and played, was indeed wound up to 11.
Creative Director, Marcus Smith, steps in and runs us through the plot of Rift Apart. You’ll be surprised to find out that it takes place after Into The Nexus. Yes, the 2013 PlayStation 3 title, and not the PlayStation 4 remake. Did you ever wonder why the 2016 title was from Captain Qwark’s point of view? Well that helps explain away the remake, so Rift Apart can pick up from the Future series. With it, they hope to unify the different tones of the franchise, while reintroducing characters people have loved in refreshing, fun ways, along with a tonne of characters new to the franchise. And this is where Lead Animator, Lindsay Thompson, steps in to talk about Rivet.
“She’s a scrappy little punk. She relies on her wit and charm, as much as she does her hammer-hitting skill.”
“Lindsay makes an impressive Rivet and Clank” says Mee, as Thompson continues. Insomniac worked to have as much lead time as possible with Rift Apart, which meant they could utilise this time to develop Rivet. While doing this, they felt like they caught “lightning in a bottle”, as Rivet came into her own.
But “a great story shouldn’t have to rely on words alone” says Mee, to which Thompson responds but “we always did our best to bring the words to life”. A warm sense of pride floated across the faces of the team; Bonded by their work on the franchise.
We finally got to ask some questions of the team to wrap up our first breakout, and I immediately stepped in; “NOT A QUESTION, BUT A THANK YOU TO LINDSAY THOMPSON FOR THE BEST GIF EVER”. If you don’t know what the GIF is, it’s this:
? Her name was Rivet all along! ? pic.twitter.com/XiFRdMIFVC
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) April 26, 2021
They all laughed about the viral tweet, and Thompson credited their love of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as helping confirm that the “female Lombax” was indeed Rivet all along. Other media then proceeded to step in with more ‘professional questions’ such as what the team is excited for. Marcus Smith said he had to come around to the DualSense again. While mentioned frequently during State of Play, and in some of the roll we got to see, he’s excited for how players will be immersed by this, and how the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers will add to the beloved franchise in new and exciting ways.
There were others, but we’ll make it about me again as I somehow got another question in, asking if Jennifer Hale was who they had in mind as the voice of Rivet. Smith advised that they “put a net out” to agencies for this, as they always do. They weren’t looking for a particular name, but Hale stood out, soaring to the top with their performance of Rivet. And you know why?
Because that’s Commander Shepard, baby.
Our first breakout of the day was done. Thanking the team, the rift closed as we needed a short break before our next session (I’ve been told this is due to the Dimensionator technology being relatively new). And so we too, will take a short break, but be back again next week to talk about the design of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.