Everyone’s talking about the visuals in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and rightly so – it’s a true next-gen tour-de-force. But let’s take a moment to appreciate the audio work, which also appears to be a cut above what we’ve come to expect from existing PlayStation 4 games. We watched the trailer a second time with our PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset, and it’s impressive just how well the sound is mixed.
You can get a taste of the 3D audio features right at the very beginning of the demo. There’s a critter crawling through some foliage, and you can hear it scuttling around in your right ear, before it whips out its wings and flies across the scene. You then hear a space craft coming from directly behind you before whizzing past your right ear and soaring in front of you. The soundscape gets a little busier from there with the introduction of orchestral music, but there’s lots to pick out.
For example, in the scene where Ratchet & Clank runs past the aliens waiting for their train, you’ll hear them complain directly in front of you, before their conversation is dispersed and they run behind you, screaming. These are all very basic but noticeable examples of the PS5’s Tempest Engine in action, and while you’ll no doubt have experienced audio design like this before, there’s definitely much more happening in this release’s soundscape than we’ve become accustomed to.