Finally, after all this time, all these years of speculation and digging for clues, we get answers. It was starting to look a lot like the video game version of the Avalanches sophomore record, becoming just a legend. Crash Bandicoot is my favourite video game franchise of all time – and being 28 years old, I’m not even a little bit embarrassed to admits that – which is why my excitement after watching the trailer for the new game has me drooling. Here are a few of my thoughts…
1. The title, yak
The title is bittersweet. It’s great that they’ve branded it Crash Bandicoot 4, being a direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, and ignoring all the so-so games that were developed afterwards. However, the subtitle, It’s About Time, I don’t like. The lousy pun leads me to worry that the game is gonna be totally fourth wall breaking and self aware, a trend that has to end.
2. Developed by Toys For Bob
The long awaited game has been created from the ground up by the champs who worked on the remake of Spyro. The style looks elegantly simple but a little too cartoonish, very Spyro-esq. What’s going on with Cortex, his character design is not at all in keeping with the remasters, and Crash’s character model is seriously hunched over, but y’know he’s had worse character models. It’s a little disappointing that the game wasn’t developed by Vicarious Visions, the company who remastered the N-Sane trilogy and Crash Team Racing with amazing results.
3. Level design
In keeping with the title, it’s about time and the trailer teases some interesting locations in the past and the future. A few of the levels look like levels of the originals, such as Up The Creek, and other looks brand new. It looks great, and they are clearly hiding other amazing levels. The levels look just as linear as they always have been, with a simple hallway structure, and even the token level in which you’re being chased by a large animal (well, in this case a dinosaur,) but it would have been nice to see larger, more open levels, especially as Crash Bandicoot has been known for having interconnected levels full of secrets and hidden gems. Hopefully that’s something they are keeping quiet about.
Though they are pretending all the Crash games released in the 2000s didn’t exist, Toys For Bob have still found inspiration in some of them. It seems Cortex is now a playable character (like in Twinsanity,) and Crash has the ability to slow down time (which was a major part in the gameplay in, I think Wrath of the Titans?) If the option to alter time extends further than the simple way it’s shown in the trailer, that’s a potentially exciting huge addition to the mechanics. There’s also the apparent ability to skate on rails – and the way the trailer made it seem – to switch between dimensions… if that is the case and it isn’t just well constructed and fabricated trailer, this game is gonna be mental.
5. Is music a big part in the game?
Now this is total speculation, but it’s based on something the trailer focuses on. In what looks like a boss battle, N. Gin is playing the drums, and the beat makes these lazers shoot from the drum kit. Now, why would N. Gin be playing the drums at all? We don’t see any other boss battle, could each boss be themed around music? It would also explain the strange choice of music for the trailer, which was “Rockafella Skank” by Fatboy Slim (amazing track btw.) Of course, this could be completely wrong, but there must be a reason N. Gin is on that drum kit.
6. Release date
It comes out October 4th, which is just a little over three months away. Not much to add here other than the fact that it’s rare for a game to be released within such a short time after its announcement. It seems like they weren’t even planning on announcing it yet either, as they just did it now due to the leaks. Anyway, excitement.
7. The price tag
This is a full priced game, $60 compared to the N-Sane trilogy’s $40. This creates a big question; How long will the game be? The N-Sane trilogy was a decent length because it was three games. If it was just one of them games it’d be pretty short.
8. Missing things
Where’s the OG Aku Aku mask? Where are all the iconic bosses like, Ripper Roo, Tiny Tiger, etc.? Where’s the Devo soundtrack??? As mentioned, “Rockafella Skank” is a great track but why would Activision use a licensed song when they could use an amazing soundtrack that’s iconic and would get audiences hyped? Where’s Aku Aku? Has the ugly new mask with the annoying high pitched voice completely replaced Aku? Where’s cortex’s lanky scientist who plays all the different obstacles on the levels? Surely they can’t have omitted him?
Overall, it looks like a great package. Being such a huge fan of the series, it’s hard to judge the game based on what I’ve seen rather than speculate about what I didn’t see. It looks very polished and though fans love how familiar it is to the original trilogy, I think it runs the risk of being too familiar. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but only time will tell, eh.