Just What Exactly Is Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart A Sequel To?

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart looks to be a multiversal jaunt that takes our long-beloved heroes through a series of different realities, with a new Lombax in tow – one that could very well be an alternate fuzzball to he who we’ve spent so long with – but she may not be the only one. The question on so many fans’ tongues is just who are we playing? The original Ratchet – and by that, do I mean the original voice actor – or the 2016 reboot version? Insomniac’s answer as to which game Rift Apart is a sequel to was confusing, to say the least, “Both!”

The last entry into the original Ratchet and Clank timeline was 2013’s Into The Nexus which concluded with our heroes recovering the Dimensionator, a device that would allow them to hop between dimensions, worlds, and universes. But when poised with the journey of venturing into the unknown in a last-ditch effort to recover his own species, Ratchet turned to Apogee and said that there’s more for him here, and with Clank by his side, the two waltzed off into the sort-of-sunset together. Three years later, a movie reboot hit the scene with a video-game adaptation, retelling the original story, and we were left pondering just what happened with the Ratchet we left behind.

Now, here’s where things get interesting: the new game, Rift Apart, is all about Ratchet and Clank traveling through different dimensions to stop the multiverse imploding, but the Ratchet we see has a getup akin to the 2016 reboot and certainly looks more like him than the one we left back in 2013. This could just be Insomniac using existing models, albeit touched up for the PS5, or it could be a purposeful move on the studio’s part. Still, that synopsis is important – traveling dimensions, something only possible with the Dimensionator, the very tool that we’ve seen Nefarious wielding in Rift Apart. It’s clear that Into the Nexus will tie in somewhat, but how? I have my theories.

Ratchet Went Looking For The Lombaxes And Doomed The Multiverse

This idea is a touch bleak, but what I pose is this: the Ratchet we left behind in 2013 couldn’t resist the urge to use the Dimensionator and hunt for his people, bringing them back to the reality he had quelled from the Cragmite grip. He would finally free his galaxy of their ilk, making it a safe haven once more for the Lombaxes. In doing so, the multiverse went awry because the Dimensionator slipped into the hands of Dr. Nefarious during that search, and thus begins his journey to find a world he cannot lose in.

While Ratchet and Clank are trapped in the eye of the storm, Ratchet from the 2016 reboot is left to pick up the pieces with other alternates such as Rose, the female Lombax all over Insomniac’s marketing – she seems to have as much of the limelight after all. This fits the whole sequel to ‘both’ thing that Insomniac stated since it would tell the story of what happened after Ratchet got his hands on the Dimensionator, and why the 2016 Ratchet and Clank didn’t bleed into a retelling of Going Commando. It couldn’t as the multiverse was too busy falling apart.

Dr. Nefarious Stole The Dimensionator After Into The Nexus

Dr. Nefarious’s Dimensionator looks a touch different in Rift Apart – it seems more like a weapon as opposed to a helmet, and he’s even given it a slick purple paint job to match his own. Perhaps, following Ratchet’s refusal to use it in Into the Nexus, he put it under lock and key, hidden from the galaxy at large. However, we all know how hiding tools of destruction go in stories like this – the baddies find them, use them, and we’re back to square one. I posit this: Dr. Nefarious found it, fixed it up, modified it, and began his journey into the multiverse. A simple explanation, but one that could bring our 2016 hero to head with our 2013 one.

It All Stemmed From Rose’s Universe, And She Begins Traveling The Multiverse To Recruit Ratchets

Rose has a tail, a feature of male Lombaxes – just look at Angela – and seems to be a mechanic given the goggles and the big tool she’s lumbering around. I’m all for Stacey’s theory that this is a transgender Ratchet from another world. At any rate, she does appear to be another version of Ratchet. Perhaps then, the heart of this cataclysm will be Rose’s universe and we’ll be tasked with taking on a fight of of epic proportions. She could scour the multiverse in search of other Ratchets to help out in a Spider-Verse-like epic. In that scenario, the Ratchet from 2013 could be brought into the fold alongside 2016’s, and we could even see other alternates yet to be revealed. It’s an exciting prospect.

One of these could be true, none of them could be, or perhaps all of them in some ways. Hell, 2016 could even be the mainline universe but from the perspective of Qwark. Whatever the case, Insomniac seems to be building a sequel to both universes which is an incredibly intriguing prospect, especially considering that so many were expecting a re-imagining of Going Commando, a straight sequel to Into the Nexus, or something new entirely unrelated to both. The Dimensionator resurfacing is no coincidence, and I’m inclined to believe Ratchet’s attire isn’t either, but the wait is nearly over, so we’ll find out soon enough, and I’m damn excited to see where this all leads.

Next: Mass Effect Legendary Edition’s Galactic Readiness Will Take Into Account ME And ME2 Progress Instead Of Multiplayer

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James Troughton is a writer at TheGamer. He’s worked at the Nintendo-based site Switchaboo and newspaper TheCourierOnline and can be found on Twitter @JDTroughton.

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