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Insomniac Games previously claimed that the portal-travelling mechanic in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart “would not have been possible without the Solid State Drive of PlayStation 5.”
“The way the Rift gameplay was represented before launch was pretty misleading,” he explained.
He added that: “Amazing sequences of Ratchet zipping between many other worlds all chained together into awesome action sequences” were “mostly just cutscenes or very short sections of very limited gameplay”.
Despite Burton’s claims of “misleading” marketing, he does admit that the PS5’s SSD helps things along with much faster loading speeds.
But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be possible to pull off on older systems.
During the informative video, Burton explains how the Rifts are done in-game and goes into detail about how this could be done on PS4 or even PS3 hardware. He also claims that the bonus Pocket Dimension areas are the easiest to accomplish as they are small levels with limited scenery.
“Now, they could be using all kinds of Solid State Drive trickery to pull these off,” Burton says. “But because it’s just one Rift and it always goes to the same area this can easily be achieved on older hardware.”
“The Pocket Dimensions are really graphically basic, and in fact just seem to use a lot of the same generic objects, like crates, that would already be available in generic memory,” he added. “It’s pretty much a sky dome, a few small platforms, generic objects and nice lighting, so on older hardware it wouldn’t take much memory, especially as it also uses the generic objects, all of which make it quick to load.”
He even claims that the more spectacular set pieces, where players jump from rift to rift, could be pulled off on older hardware using buffering.
Using a section of the game where Ratchet jumps through a portal on a speeder bike, then lands on a grind rail, Burton explains how this could be done.
“The important thing to note here is that none of this is optional, it’s forced,” Burton explains. “This is important because it means you can pre-load the grind rail section while you are playing the speeder section. In fact, every section of this sequence is both forced and small.”
“You only move across a very small part of the world and have very little ability to even move during this section – this means the game has the whole time you’re playing the section to load in the next section.”
“Imagine the game has two memory buffers. The first buffer holds the section you’re currently playing in. While you’re playing, it can load the next section into the second buffer. To transition between the buffers, you can just have a very simple intermediate Void location permanently in memory to hide any swap-over glitches that might happen.”
Despite this, Insomniac creative director Marcus Smith previously claimed that without the PS5’s SSD, the mechanics seen in Rift Apart would be impossible to produce.
“Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a game that utilizes dimensions and dimensional rifts, and that would not have been possible without the Solid State Drive of the PlayStation 5,” he stated.
“The SSD is screamingly fast. It allows us to build worlds and project players from one place to another in near instantaneous speeds. It is an unbelievable game changer in terms of we can now do gameplay where you’re in one world, and the next moment you’re in another.”
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