Games Inbox: Is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart worth £70?

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart – not a cheap game (pic: Sony)

The Wednesday Inbox is still uncertain about cross-gen games like God Of War: Ragnarök, as one reader calls the Guilty Gear -Strive- review score.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

One and done
After GC had one of the highest scores for Returnal I notice you had one of the lowest ones for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I have to say I’m not surprised because based on the description of the game it’s exactly how I remember all the other games being. I’ve played two, maybe three, and they always struck me as very shallow and repetitive. Very hollow, as if they were missing something and were purposefully holding back (maybe, as you say, because they’re aimed at kids).

As a PlayStation 5 owner though I am interested, just to see the graphics, which do look pretty amazing. But then of course we come to the obvious problem of all these games: the £70 price tag. That’s okay with something like Returnal, which takes a long time beat and has a lot of replayability, but it sounds like you can just rip through Ratchet & Clank pretty quick. How long did it take to beat, GC?

I’ll be very curious to see how this sells because to me it sounds like exactly the sort of game you would want to avoid paying £70 for. Maybe they should just put the opening level up as a free demo?

GC: It’s always hard to be precise with run times but it was around 12 to 14 hours.

Forlorn hope
It’s been a while since I last wrote in, but I thought I’d contribute the Battlefield news.

Upon booting up Battlefield 5 on Monday night, I was presented with what I can only assume was a teaser video for the new game. It was just a glitchy green and black video with horrible screeching noises but it does look as though it fits the art style of the screenshot you used on Tuesday’s Inbox.

Still hoping for Bad Company 3 though.

GC: We’d quash that hope right now if we were you. Those teasers have been appearing across all the games and will probably update again today once it’s officially announced.

Good guess
I noticed your Guilty Gear -Strive- review was missing its score, which got me wondering how accurately I could guess it.

Having read GameCentral since I was a 13-year-old schoolboy on Teletext, I’m now a 32-year-old software developer, and so should be pretty familiar with the writing style!

Based on the praise showered on what sounds like an excellent fighting game, the review read like either a GC solid 8 or 9 out of 10, most likely the latter. Am I right?!

GC: You are right. It’s a nine, although it was a fairly close call between that and an eight. The score just got left off by mistake initially.

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E3 questions
Do you know if the El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron PC port is going to be shown at E3 at all?

Have GC had the review code in yet for Alex Kidd In Miracle World remake? When’s the full review due?

Again, I asked not too long back but any word on The Wolf Among Us 2 showing up at E3?
TheSpectre N8 (gamertag)
PS: What are GC most looking forward to seeing at E3?

GC: For us the answer is always something new, so we’re hoping Nintendo and Microsoft will deliver on that account. We don’t know anything about El Shaddai or The Wolf Among Us 2 being at E3 but we were in contact about an Alex Kidd In Miracle World review copy just yesterday.

Price freeze
Liquinathium wrote in on Monday, stating that £70 for games in 2021 is actually very fair, as if they ‘had risen in line with inflation then games would now be at around £125.50’.

I think that’s a very one-sided argument. Wages have certainly not risen on the same scale, yet comparatively, the cost of living has increased.

I do think we, as consumers, have been spoilt in the past few generations, with games generally being released at the same price, and many often seeing huge price cuts within weeks. Personally, my main gripe is paying £70 for a digital version of a game, which is something I can’t justify.

Mostly 3D
I knew somebody would write in and say Doom wasn’t 3D. I nearly put a sentence in my letter explaining that it is 3D with a limited engine.

It is absolutely a 3D game. Yes, there are no rooms above rooms, but there is height, monsters fly in the air, and you can jump across gaps. The limitations all come from optimisation of the engine to make it run fast on hardware from back in the day. So you can’t look up and down and your guns automatically shoot higher enemies. But if the enemies aren’t there above you shoot horizontally.

The important thing is it clearly looks 3D. What does it matter what coding tricks were used to make it? And it looks great.

Console hoarders
Regarding scalped PlayStation 5s, yes, I realised I probably wasn’t clear but my point was regarding the software attach rate and the assumption that a lot of PlayStation 5s weren’t getting into the hands of actual players.

If the vast majority weren’t making it to those homes, then then not only would scalpers have stopped hijacking them but the market would have also pulled the price down to RRP or lower.

The price has come down but it’s still £100-200 above RRP for a disc version. I’ve no doubt scalpers are still taking advantage of this, but I do think there’s a danger of people writing off every instance of quick stock take-up as bots and scalpers. It’s hard to find any reliable information but in my experience customer demand really does mean that lots of genuine customers are still competing for the limited stock.

Scalpers post their boasting messages to drain people of all hope that they have any chance, or the idea that they’re competing against anything other than a computer that will beat them in nanoseconds. They’re desperate to play us into their hands but I think the idea that they’re sitting with any substantial number of PlayStation 5s and are losing out on more cash each week as they struggle to shift them is a bit too much like wishful thinking.

Unwelcome surprise
Have you seen anything of Overboard! GC? It’s the new game from inkle, who did 80 Days, and it got a surprise release the other day.

They described it as a murder mystery where you play the murderer and there are numerous branches to the way the story can play out. It sounds interesting, but I’d be keen to see your review before taking the plunge…
Sparky the Yak

GC: We hate surprise releases. It’s basically asking not to be reviewed, especially when it’s just a few days out from E3.

Holding back
I have been following with interest the debate about cross-gen development holding back new-gen games, thrust into the limelight because of Horizon Forbidden West and God Of War: Ragnarök coming to the PlayStation 4. But presumably this will also apply to the Xbox exclusives, given Phil Spencer’s comments on not having any Xbox Series X exclusives for the first couple of years. (Or did he literally mean no exclusives I begin to wonder? This is just a joke!)

Having watched the absolutely wonderful footage of Horizon Forbidden West, and read the comments from the game director today, I wonder what people are concerned about? GC, have you heard any particular evidence for the games or game ideas being held back by cross-gen development? Or is it pure speculation on gamers part?

On the evidence I’ve seen: 1. Cross-gen development always churning out very good games in the past, 2. Horizon Forbidden West looking absolutely fantastic, and 3. the Horizon game director saying they didn’t hold anything back (he would say that though!) I don’t really see anything to get disappointed or upset by. The only evidence I can recall for cross-gen development holding something back was the disaster Halo reveal which birthed Craig the Brute, which did look like a very old game made on old hardware, pretending to be a new gen game.

Bit can you think of any other evidence I have missed?

I don’t really give much credence to speculation or guessing. I have no idea about game development so don’t worry about the process or imagine things I might (or might not) be missing. I am personally a very boring, evidence driven, rational person (I would say that!). That’s not me saying anyone who is upset is not rational or evidence drive… oh who I am kidding that is exactly what I am saying.
Henshin Agogo

GC: It stands to reason it would be held back. If the developers want to do something that would only be possible on the PlayStation 5, such as the portals from Ratchet & Clank, then that is made impossible. Even things like designing levels to hide loading would not be required on PlayStation 5 but are on PlayStation 4. That doesn’t stop the games from looking great, and better on the PlayStation 5, but it’s still a compromise.

Inbox also-rans
So in Tuesday’s Inbox David said he’d been buying games for years without reading reviews and only regretted one purchase. I’d like to ask him what was the game he regretted? My guess is Cyberpunk 2077 (or possibly that E.T. game that they buried hundreds of copies of because it was so bad).
Manic minor 100 (gamertag)

I’m not confident of Capcom showing anything new this month. I think that hack really knocked them for six. A real shame, but thankfully they rebounded with Resident Evil Village.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Hot Topic this week due to E3 at the weekend.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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