You'd be forgiven for looking at these pictures and thinking they're of an exciting new movie from the likes of Pixar. They're not. They're gameplay shots from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, PlayStation 5's new blockbuster game and the latest in the popular and long-running franchise.
This is what the next-gen of video games truly looks like.
In the early days of the game's production - around late 2017, early 2018 - game director Mike Daly and a select few on his team were summoned to Sony HQ. They knew it was serious. The cutesy alien Ratchet and his robo-sidekick Clank are two of the PlayStation's most beloved characters and the series is critically important to the company.
Upon arrival they were led into a room. Inside was a prototype of Sony's widely speculated but unseen and unconfirmed new powerhouse console, the PS5.
"Sony was willing to disclose the features of the new hardware early on, so we wove that into our design for the game," Daly says, before explaining that it was the features of the console, not the traditional power boost, that sparked their imagination.
"With console generations you get an expected evolution in power, which is great and useful and leads to all sorts of things you can do in game development, but the PS5 controller's Haptic technology was a new element that didn't exist before. It worked so well. I was energised with what we could do with that. I couldn't wait to get our own prototype controller and dig into it. Luckily those hopes and dreams played out and the Haptic turned out to be as expressive as we'd wanted."
Daly is a veteran of the franchise, having joined developers Insomniac in 2012 as a gameplay programmer, before taking the lead as weapons programmer on the following year's instalment, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus.
"That's where I got to sink my teeth in and fall in love with the gameplay systems," he says, before revealing that the secret spice that makes the games so much fun to play is that the team has fun making them, something directly attributed to the creative culture at Insomniac.
"One of the cool things about the creative process here is that if you're excited about an idea they want you to grab it and run with it. It's built-in. We want people to be passionate and chase after something they would love to have in a game. We've seen so many examples of how the standout features in our games began as a project of passion for somebody, no matter where they were on the team. We've embraced that and it got me invested in the wacky, fun stuff we could do with this series. It's such an opportunity to have fun with game development."
This creativity is on full display in R&C: Rift Apart, which doubles down on new ideas and imaginative gameplay.
"We knew early on it was going to be a PS5 game that let us do things that had never been done before and push boundaries."
The game is a technical marvel, with near-instantaneous loading times, jaw-dropping visuals, spectacularly huge and exciting set-pieces and fast and furious gameplay. It's on track to become the PS5's first real classic, being a blast to play and a showcase for what the console can do.
"We're pushing the PS5 to our current limit and using it to the full extent that we can right now," Daly says. "I can't wait for people to see it and play it. I'm very confident that we have an awesome game on our hands. It's gonna live up to expectations."
Who: Mike Daly, Game Director.
What: PS5's new blockbuster Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
When: Out now.