While it wasn’t the complete surprise Activision had intended, the announcement of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was met with much excitement from fans last week. The game, which is being developed by Skylanders and Spyro Reignited Trilogy studio Toys for Bob, is the first original entry the franchise has seen in a decade.
Following up 2017’s Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy from Vicarious Visions, the title sports a brand new art style for the franchise and an expanded approach to level designs, following directly from 1998’s Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
Will Blend New & Retro Style
While Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a direct continuation of the original style, right down to its namesake, ignoring titles following Crash Bandicoot: Warped such as Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Crash: Twinsanity. This does not mean that Toys for Bob is not interested in evolving the series, especially since it’s been so long since the series has seen a fresh title.
The initial gameplay trailer for Crash 4 introduces new elements such as expanded platforming levels (which almost look inspired by Uncharted) and the inclusion of new mask power-ups. Toys for Bob has also outlined its plans for retro and modern gameplay difficulty modes, which are intended to provide experiences geared towards returning fans and newcomers, respectively.
What this means for fans of the series is that while retro mode will offer an experience similar to the PS1 titles, with a lives system and game overs, the modern mode will instead feature regular automatic checkpoints and remove a traditional lives system. To accommodate this, while collecting 100 Wumpa fruit will result in receiving a new life, in the modern version collecting a certain number of Wumpa fruit will now be a required collectible for each level.
The inclusion of separate retro and modern gameplay styles actually makes a lot of sense for a brand new Crash Bandicoot game, as it not only caters to fans of the original looking for the same type of challenge found in the original PS1 games, but also modernizes the series for newcomers in a way more similar to more modern 3D platformers such as Super Mario Odyssey.
This also makes Crash 4 a perfect jumping on point for younger audiences in a way that Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy wasn’t, in order to preserve the difficulty of Naughty Dog’s original games.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time launches on October 2nd, 2020 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.