With Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Insomniac is threatening to become the PS5 studio to watch out for

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)
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(Image credit: Sony)

PS5 design revealed - Here's what Sony's new console looks like

When Sony Interactive Entertainment acquired Insomniac Games last year, the company's now former chairman Shawn Layden told The Hollywood Reporter that both Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank were now considered "vital series in the present and future" for both the studio and PlayStation at large. In hindsight, we probably should have read into that a little bit more. 

Today's Future of Gaming showcase saw not one, but two Insomniac projects unveiled as part of PlayStation's slate of upcoming PS5 games, with both Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart heading to the next-gen console in Holiday 2020 and TBC, respectively. 

What's up, danger?

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

While rumours of a sequel to Spider-Man PS4 has been doing the rounds for quite some time, the news that Insomniac has been simultaneously developing two major PS5 exclusives came as a gloriously unexpected surprise, especially given that Miles Morales' incoming adventure is scheduled to land as a launch title in just a few months time. 

Both titles looked astonishingly pretty, of course, demonstrating Insomniac's talent at kaleidoscopic visual design conjured in free-flowing detail, but that's about where the similarities end. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the first original title in the beloved action-platforming series since 2013's Into the Nexus, looks to be a multiverse hopping jaunt with subversive twists on the titular duo's iconic relationship, while Spider-Man: Miles Morales continues the story where Insomniac's 2018 superhero sim left off.

It's easy to assume that this latter title resembles the more ambitious project in the works at the Burbank based studio, but it's worth stressing that Spider-Man PS4 launched a little under two years ago. Either early production on Miles Morales had already begun during the development of its predecessor, potentially starting off in the form of a standalone expansion, or this open world exclusive isn't quite the fully fledged, 'bigger is better' sequel that we would traditionally expect to see. 

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

"It's quickly becoming clear just how valuable the Insomniac acquisition is going to be for PlayStation as we head into the next generation cycle."

It does at least look like Bryan Intihar is once again helming the project as creative director, while renowned comics writer Evan Narcisse has also been brought on board to help mould Miles' story into shape with the respect and care it deserves. 

Insomniac's first stab at Spidey offered some characteristically inventive twists on the source material that nevertheless remained authentic to the Marvel icon we know and love, so here's hoping the studio has maintained that self-assured approach to crafting its own narrative as it turns the spotlight to a new protagonist. 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, meanwhile, is being led by Marcus Smith, an Insomniac veteran whose directorial credits include Sunset Overdrive and Resistance 3, two of the most underrated titles from the studio's esteemed history. 

During his brief appearance on the showcase, Smith promised that Ratchet's next gen debut is being "built from the ground up for PS5", with the new technology afforded by the platform allowing the team to reach unprecedented visual and mechanical heights, such as letting the player "leap from planet to planet nearly instantly" and adding "ray traced reflections on Clank."

Miles ahead

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Insomniac is staying quieter when it comes to Spider-Man: Miles Morales, letting that heart-pounding reveal trailer do all the talking, but – let's be honest – does it really need anything more to convince us? Marvel already commands a wide and faithful fanbase, but now that Insomniac has proven its worth in that space with Spider-Man PS4, there'll no doubt be a fair few hoping to pick up a PS5 purely to play its follow up. 

It's quickly becoming clear just how valuable the Insomniac acquisition is going to be for PlayStation as we head into the next generation cycle. The studio is not only clearly capable of multitasking (a feat that not every first-party studio has the infrastructure to achieve), but multitasking on the kind of blockbuster experiences that sing exactly the sort of notes that Sony needs to be making at this crucial early stage in the PS5's lifetime. 

The tech giant apparently doled out the eye-watering sum of $229 million to welcome the developer under its wing of PlayStation Studios but, given what we've seen today, I'd say Insomniac handed its new parent company the deal of the generation. 

For more, be sure to check out all the biggest upcoming games of 2020 on the way, or watch the trailer for Spider-Man: Miles Morales below.

(Image credit: Future)
Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!