Ratchet And Clank: Rift Apart – The Latest Sci-Fi Video Game To Put Mental Health In The Spotlight | Ents & Arts News
Mental health has been a global focus in recent years, with awareness campaigns attracting royal and political support – especially during the pandemic.
It’s a topic that has been taking center stage in the video game industry for a while.
Developer Insomniac’s latest science fiction release, Ratchet And Clank: Rift Apart, tackles the concepts of fear and self-worth directly.
The exclusive PlayStation 5 is intended for players aged 10 and over, but appeals to players of all ages – some of them will have played the first iteration of the franchise as early as 2002.
In an accessible rendering of its themes, the game revolves around the two title characters – Ratchet, a two-legged cat alien, and Clank, his loyal robot buddy – with the new edition introducing two new playable counterparts, Rivet and Kit.
Kit, also a robot, is a scared character who struggles to connect with new people and lives in self-imposed isolation.
It was built with the purpose of destruction but learns as the game progresses that it makes decisions that make it what it wants to be. She also learns to accept new people into her life and to trust them.
Ratchet is concerned about living up to the formidable legacy of his ancestors and needs reassurance that he is worthy of their inheritance.
But the two have Rivet and Clank on hand to help with their problems.
At the end of the game, the player leaves the impression that even galactic, interdimensional heroes need encouragement and validation.
Insomniac was also recently recognized for reflecting these ideals in dealing with employees.
“The Crunch” – a term used for the final weeks of production before a new game title was released – was apparently avoided by the company as it approached its release date in early June.
Reportedly, this meant employees didn’t feel pressured or eager to work overtime.
Game designer Grant Parker tweeted that he “didn’t even crack” and that it was possible to work on a video game “without suffering”.
Lindsay Thompson, animator at Insomniac, echoed the sentiment, saying that “team wellness gives free rein to creativity”.
I haven’t cracked a single time, the entire production. A couple of late nights here and there to get something done, but TOTALLY CRUNCH FREE. It is possible. Team wellness gives free rein to creativity. https://t.co/Bf9C7BQLRn
– Lindsay Thompson (@Binzimation) June 8, 2021
In contrast, Bloomberg reported last year that the developers of CD Projekt Red, the company behind Cyberpunk 2077, had experienced months of “crisis” ahead of the launch.
According to reports, the game was riddled with bugs and bugs that took extra effort to get it market-ready – only to cause the game to crash so many times on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that it had to be taken off the market.
With plenty of hotly anticipated titles to be released later in the year, the game will place more emphasis on mental wellbeing through 2022 and beyond.
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