Years later, not much has changed. Rift Apart works best when you’re jumping around, using your various navigation tools to gain momentum, and shooting waves of enemies with a series of elaborate weapons. While the thrill and splendor of these encounters shine through in just about every action sequence, veteran players will definitely want to bump up the difficulty level a few notches to get the most out of it. Indeed, some of the game’s more intense moments on higher difficulty settings made my hands sweat, which is a reaction I can’t say I’ve felt from a modern title since the Tony Hawk remasters.
Rift Apart is also a stunningly beautiful game. While even the title’s quietest moments are filled with visual details that will excite photo mode enthusiasts everywhere, it’s Rift Apart’s action scenes, and their side hustle as one of the greatest video game fireworks displays you’ve ever seen, that steal the show. Admiring the scenery is often all you can do to keep from getting completely lost in the onslaught of particle effects.
In fact, there are times when the game also seems to be struggling to keep up with the action. I was somewhat surprised by the amount of slowdown I experienced during Rift Apart’s biggest battles. I didn’t get to spend as much time with the optional Performance Modes and Day One patch update (they only became available recently), but I will say that both do seem to have helped performance overall, especially when it comes to the framerate.
Some of the PS5’s other notable features end up being something of a mixed bag in the final game. For instance, I like the idea of using trigger sensitivity to swap between a gun’s primary and alternate fire modes, but in the heat of battle, it can be a little hard to utilize that function without making mistakes. The DualSense’s powerful context-sensitive vibrations are also sometimes so intense that they can actually pull you out of the action rather than push you further into it. Thankfully, both of those features are adjustable in the game’s settings menu.
Ultimately, though, Rift Apart is simply a blast whenever it’s throwing enemies at you and forcing you to maximize the potential of your arsenal to defeat them. I also found many of the platforming sections (especially those that led to hidden items or new pieces of armor) to be an absolute joy. It’s when the game tries to do…other things that the quality takes a slight dip.
There are all kinds of gameplay diversions to be found in Rift Apart, and some are certainly better than others. For instance, I liked many of the rail sliding action sequences, but most of the game’s puzzles felt tacked on. You even have the ability to simply skip puzzles (even those that yield collectible rewards), so even the developers seem to be acknowledging that they’re not the most essential part of the experience and that some players will want to simply move past them.
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