Developer: Toys For Bob
To be released on October 2nd
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
After long last, the Bandicoot is about to make his return. Continuing the story from the 1998 game Crash Warped for the PS One, Crash just got a demo showing what to expect from his new installment, available for those who pre-ordered the game digitally. Does this game holds up from all the nostalgia we have from the previous games? It’s about time we find out.
The game feels very authentic, even though the physics are a bit different from the originals and the N. Sane Trilogy remake released some time ago. Crash feels a lot more “floaty”, in a lack of better words. He takes a bit longer to fall and that gives a lot more control of him mid-air. His double jump also kills off any momentum, so changing directions mid-air is very easy. His slide feels a bit off to me, but when you slide off a platform, you have a short moment to jump. It’s very similar to old Cartoons such as Looney Tunes, where the characters take some time to actually fall.
The demo offered 3 levels (in a way): ‘Snow Way Out’, ‘Dino Dash’ and ‘Ship Happens’. Each level offers 6 gems, quite a lot compared to the old games which offered 2 at most. Some gems are pretty easy to collect, while others can be quite difficult, requiring all boxes and even completing the entire level without dying. This game will appeal a lot to the old fans who are thriving for a new challenge.
Snow Way Out & Ship Happens
‘Snow Way Out’, as the name implies, is a snow level. The ice physics are pretty good, being able to slide quite fast, but thanks to the momentum killer double jump, it’s pretty easy to regain control by jumping to the opposite directions you’re heading towards. The game also shows that it’s not kidding; there are at least 4 boxes that are particularly well hidden. It also shows the power of one of the masks that will be available during parts of the game; Kupuna-Wa. When equipped, she can slow down time, making seemingly-impassable sections of the level possible, and other parts easier, like getting rid of some enemies without worrying too much about getting hit without being able to fight back in time.
‘Ship Happens’ is an alternate version of the level. You start off playing as Dr. Neo Cortex (yes, the bad guy). His platforming style is very interesting; he can dash forward and shoot with his gun, which turns enemies into platforms. You have to think about what you’re going to do beforehand, it’s very interesting.
Once Cortex’s section is done, you return to Crash, about halfway through ‘Snow Way Out’. However, there are more boxes, and they’re positioned differently. ‘Ship Happens’ is basically a more difficult version of ‘Snow Way Out’. It’s a very neat concept, which I believed more levels will follow.
At first, this level is a love letter to the chase levels in the original. There is a lot of platforming, but there is also sequences where you have to run away from a T-Rex, running towards the camera. There is even a short sequence where you run from Triceratops, paying homage to Warped.
This level also teaches you 3 new mechanics; rail grinding, similar to the ones from Ratchet & Clank; a second mask, Lani-Loli, who can phase objects and hazards; and a part dedicated to show you how to properly use the new slide trick mentioned before. This level is very intense, every second of it was quite nice. Environment, models, enemies, obstacles – simply magnificent.
This game is turning out to be not just what I expected, but a lot more than that. It has the charm, the style, the controls and the difficulty that Crash Bandicoot was known for. Perhaps it won’t be that hard to reach the end, but to complete everything? That’s where the challenge lies. All I can say, from a Crash fan since I was 5 years old, is that I can’t wait to get my hands on the full experience. It’s about wumping time, indeed.