Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time has been a long time coming for Crash fans. With the wildly successful remake of the N’sane Trilogy, Toys for Bob have gone out to work on a brand new Crash Bandicoot title and my hands-on with the title proves they are more than up to the challenge.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time PS4 Preview
Crash Is Back And In Great Form
In my early hands-on of the game’s demo, I got to experience three levels from the upcoming title, two featuring Crash Bandicoot and one featuring Cortex. The three stages showed off unique aspects of the game such as the different masks Crash will get to wear that drastically alter the platforming along with how drastically different Crash and his arch-nemesis Cortex will play.
The three stages each provide a unique setting throughout time. The first of the stages I got to play was a snow-covered ship graveyard featuring zombie pirates. The second was a prehistoric land with dinosaurs and a massive Tyranassoris Rex chasing you throughout the stage. While the stage with Cortex brings me back to the snowy ship graveyard, but from a new and unique perspective.
The stages pack a lot of detail and there are plenty of obstacles to get through. The games art style is wonderful and looks like a fun cartoon. Crash’s animations are also a stand out with his various over the top facial expressions. The death animations are also quite good. When struck Crash turns into an angel and flies up to heaven and when falling into freezing water he pops up in an ice cube with various poses.
The first thing I instantly noticed about my hands-on was how simple and familiar the gameplay felt. Much like its predecessor, Crash will run, spin attack, and break open crates to collect apples. The biggest change that comes to Crash 4 is his new mask abilities. Though each stage has only one specific one to wear to help with the specific challenges of each stage. In the snow level, you get the ability to slow-down time. This ability allows Crash to slow down falling blocks of ice to make challenging jumps. It’s also used to quickly reach disappearing platforms and hidden crates that only appear for a limited time when exposed.
In the prehistoric stage, you get a mask that makes some objects visible while others are invisible. In this stage, I had to ride on a vine and jump over obstacles. Some of these obstacles can only be removed with this new mask by switching them in with another object. The prehistoric stage also brings back the chase sequences from the N’sane Trilogy, where in this case a giant dinosaur chases you down the screen as platform your way to safety.
Though Crash’s stages play just as you would have hoped for, Cortex is a different beast. Cortex doesn’t have the ability to double jump as Crash does limiting his platforming ability. Cortex uses his special gun to transform enemies into platforming blocks to get through each stage. On a second blast, the enemy turned platforming block turns into a jello block. This jello block acts as a bouncing platform letting Cortex reach further rights as he jumps. The other interesting ability that Cortex has is being able to dash in mid-air to reach hard to reach areas. It’s also an ability used to progress through his level.
Crash 4 Has A Few Small Issues We Hope Get Addressed In The Final Release
Unfortunately, the demo does have some issues I noticed. The biggest issue I ran into is in the actual double jump that Crash has. For some reason, the second jump in mid-air is a full separate animation that has to begin before the last one is over. What this means is Crash stops his momentum mid-jump right as the second jump animation begins. It’s a small pause that caused me to miss a platform multiple times and I hope it’s addressed in the final release.
Though not necessarily an issue. It’s About Time’s demo levels are difficult. I mean very difficult. The N’sane Trilogy was difficult in its own right and Crash 4 seems to carry that difficulty with it in this sequel. I only bring this up because those looking to buy this game for their kids may find that this platformer is on another level of difficulty compared to others released this year.
For the collectible hunters, the three stages have plenty of bits and bobs to find. From collecting over 500 wumpa fruit in each stage. To finding secret rooms, and collecting hidden translucent diamonds. There are plenty of things to find and some of them are incredibly challenging to find and even more challenging to obtain.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time releases October 2, 2020
Preview code provided by publisher.