ETA OUT NOW
DEV TOYS FOR BOB, BEENOX
This isn’t the first time a beloved series has been brought back with a return to its old numbering system, but it’s still a bold statement (and for those of us burned by Sonic The Hedgehog 4, a serious one). Helped by the team’s work on Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, though, no revival feels as natural as Crash Bandicoot 4’s.
Even the four in the title is explained, in a fashion, as time is shattered, worlds ripped apart, when villains Crash has faced previously escape from the dimensional prison they were trapped in. This also unleashes the doom-prophesying Quantum Masks. Crash has to run from time period to time period to save the masks and stop his old foes wreaking havoc throughout history.
There are enough themed worlds to ensure quite a bit of variety, from pirate coves to NewOrleans-inspired musical floats, and it rarely feels like they tread on their own trainered toes. It’s a more distinct set of stages than in the previous games (you’ll be relieved when we tell you not to expect multiple bridge levels), and it feels all the fresher for it – aided by fantastically colourful visuals that create some beautiful environments.
If you’ve played classic Crash you’ll be familiar with the core of what you do: run away from the screen while platforming; spin enemies; smash crates; sometimes do it all from a side-on perspective; and occasionally run towards the camera as you flee something coming towards you. It’s tremendously smooth, and little quality-of-life improvements go a long way. Those include an extra-clear glowing shadow beneath your jumps, clearly telegraphed enemy attacks, and the option to have infinite retries (you can use the classic ‘lives’ system if you prefer).
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