Developer: Toys For Bob
Release Date: October 2nd
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
After 12 years, Crash finally gets a brand new game. No remakes, no living in the past. Continuing the story left open in Crash Warped, it brings the best things the old games offered, combined with new mechanics and a painful but enjoyable challenge, It was about time we got some new Crash experience, in a game so good that it even gives the original games a run for their money.
The developers cared a lot about the controls, and it shows. Crash (or Coco!) are very responsive and their controls are very fluid. You have a lot of control of the character, even in the air. This allows for nice tricks while jumping and also sliding, which now can momentarily keep you in the air, giving you a time for jumping and allowing to go very far.
The Quantum Masks also give a lot of new mechanics to the game. Their powers can help you a lot in many levels, but also allow the levels to be more complex, raising the bar to levels never seen before in the franchise. We have Lani-Loli, who can phase objects in and out of existence; Akano, who gives you a powerful spin that breaks strong crates and also allows you to jump longer distances; Kupuna-Wa, who can slow down time; and Ika-Ika, who can flip gravity.
With so many new abilities to consider during gameplay, the game itself became more difficult. So difficult in fact, that this game easily became the most difficult game of the entire franchise. This game’s campaign is as difficult as doing 100% on the old ones, and it’ll take a lot to get 100% on this game (and even more to get 106%). To complete everything, you’ll have to beat the levels without dying, getting all the crates – which are well hidden – finding secret gems, among others.
The only nitpick I have in terms of controls are the mounts/vehicles. They feel very clumsy, and while that clumsiness makes it fun to run through the level, they make it very difficult to get all the crates along the way. These levels can really be infuriating if you’re going for all of them. Still, they are fun to just rush through the area.
Crash Bandicoot is one of those franchises with a simple story that justifies what is going on. Still, the story is well rounded and doesn’t cause plot holes to what was established on the originals unlike other games that came after them. The characters are well written, entertaining and the comedy is pretty spot on, which is nice considering not many games appeal to humor. The Quantum Masks are also pretty good new characters, making me wonder if they’ll appear more in future games. They did such a good job with the story, in fact, that I honestly thought there should be more story in the game.
Timelines and N. Verted
The game also offers two new types of levels; Timelines and N. Verted mode. In the Timelines, you play as a different character with their own unique move set; Tawna, with her acrobatics and grappling hook, Dingodile, with his sucking weapon, being able to suck crates and throwing TNTs, and Dr Cortex with a gun that morphs enemies into platforms. They all play extremely well and are just as responsive as Crash and Coco, aside from some minor difficulty with aiming diagonally.
As for the N. Verted mode, you can play a mirror version of each level. But they are not just mirrored; They have a completely different art style, making the levels more unique. It’s a nice change of pace, with refreshing look and helping to sharp your skills by being able to do things in a mirror level.
Crash was already back thanks to the remakes, but now, with a brand new game, it’s safe to say that he’s officially back. Crash Bandicoot 4 It’s About Time perfectly combines the difficulty of the classics and adds plenty of modern twists alongside. It’ll challenge you a lot, to the point you might get stressed out a few times, but it’s this same challenge that only becomes more and more enjoyable once you show the game who’s boss.