Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is the long-awaited sequel to the Crash Bandicoot trilogy. Developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is set to launch on October 2. In the meantime, a demo is now available for the press, as well as fans who have pre-ordered the game digitally.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time lets players control five different characters in 3D platforming levels similar to the original trilogy. The game also brings back Doctor Neo Cortex and some other Crash Bandicoot villains who are playable in an alternate timeline.
Additionally, there are two playable modes, retro and modern. In the retro version, the gameplay mimics the original 1990s trilogy. Players have a set number of lives at the beginning of the level and must find more as they play. The modern version, however, features unlimited lives and a death counter instead.
The demo for Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time includes three seemingly full-length levels: “Snow Way Out,” “Dino Dash,” and “Snow Way Out” in the Cortex timeline.
The good news for Crash Bandicoot fans is that every level definitely felt like a Crash Bandicoot game. The bad news is that if you’re looking for some sort of evolution for the franchise, you’re not going to get it in It’s About Time.
Jumping into Crash Bandicoot 4 really was like stepping back into the 1990s. Not in a bad way – it’s just that it truly is a fourth Crash Bandicoot game. I had a fun time playing the levels, running away from dinosaurs, and switching back and forth from a side scrolling perspective and 3D platforming, but it wasn’t anything really different from the remade trilogy gameplay-wise.
The most interesting part for me was Cortex’s timeline for Snow Way Out. I love Crash, but switching up the gameplay and getting to use Neo Cortex’s ray gun and dashing abilities was so much fun.
There is a section of the Cortex timeline’s level where you play as Crash, but I still found it more enjoyable than the regular Crash levels because it was much more challenging. In the Cortex timeline, there were added collectibles and obstacles to overcome, making it much more interesting to play through, unlike the regular levels which were rather straightforward.
Unfortunately, the gameplay still suffers from being a little too floaty, just like the remade trilogy did a few years ago. The controls often feel sluggish and not incredibly accurate, which is definitely not something you want in a 3D platformer. There were quite a few times that I died where I felt like it wasn’t really my fault —it wasn’t human error, the controls just got in the way.
Overall, however, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is shaping up to be a real treat for fans of the Crash Bandicoot series. It’s a real continuation of the original trilogy with beautiful modern visuals. For folks wanting some innovation or changes to the core gameplay, It’s About Time is going to be a disappointment, but if you just want another new version of your favorite ’90s platformer, this definitely seems worth the wait.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time releases on October 2, 2020 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.