I played Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation when it originally released, but it’s one of the games of that generation that never clicked. I think I was obsessed with more action-oriented games like first person shooters or action role-playing games. Platformers were old, 2D nonsense, why would I want to play a 3D platformer? It’s too bad, because I missed out on Crash during its initial run. It wasn’t until the remakes that released back in 2017 that I finally played through the original trilogy—and I loved it. I never played anything past those remakes though, which turns out to be a fortuitous decision—Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time ignores anything past number three.
I finally got around to playing the Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time demo, and I loved it. Crash is back, and it’s like the classic gameplay I enjoyed with the Crash trilogy remake, but everything seems smoother to me. It’s still the same 2.5D platforming that the Crash series is known for—with the removal of a little bit of the stickiness the classic control scheme seemed to have.
There are three different levels to play in the Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time demo—each show off different new abilities that Crash 4 showcases. One shows off the time stop mechanic, the other shows a phasing ability, and the third allows you to play as Doctor Neo Cortex himself. Even knowing that playing as some of Crash’s enemies was a possibility didn’t really prepare me for playing as Doctor Cortex.
In the full version, you’ll not only be able to play as Crash and Neo Cortex, but also Coco, Dingodile and Tawna. You can play as Coco and Crash during the main campaign, and Dingodile, Tawna and Cortex during the “Alternate Timeline” missions. Each of the villains you can play as have their own unique playstyle, and offer new ways to overcome the various obstacles you’ll find. Crash and Coco share a moveset however, both being able to run, jump, and slide.
The demo also showed off the two main games modes that will be available in the full release: Retro Mode, and Modern Mode. Modern mode does away with limited lives, and instead shows a death counter. Retro Mode, on the other hand, forces you to complete each mission with a limited amount of lives. I will probably do my first playthrough with Modern Mode, and use Retro Mode as a challenge mode for further playthroughs. But even with Modern Mode, Crash Bandicoot 4 looks like it will be a difficult game. I think I died no less than twenty times in each of the demo levels in my first run through.
I’m extremely excited for Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, especially now that I’ve gotten a taste of what to expect. It’s more of that classic Crash gameplay, but with a new twist on the mechanics. Playing as Doctor Neo Cortex and his villainous crew is fun, but I’m most excited for more of that classic Crash Bandicoot gameplay—I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
If you want to check out the demo for yourself, you can preorder the game now—otherwise Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time releases next week on PlayStation 4.
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