Crash Bandicoot has seen a rising resurgence lately. Years ago, fans were treated to remasters of the original trilogy. Today we are covering a brand new chapter and the 4th entry in the series, in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. For those wondering if it can possibly live up to the lofty expectations in place, we’ve got some great news to share ahead within our review.
Don’t Call it a Comeback
It has been over 10 years since Crash has seen a new adventure and we’ve sorely missed this iconic bandicoot. This fourth venture is running on Unreal Engine 4 and was developed by Toys for Bob. This talented crew is responsible for both the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and most recently, the outstanding Spyro Reignited Trilogy. I can’t think of a better dev for this game and they have poured some serious time and love into this one.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time starts off with seeing the game’s villains stuck in prison, consisting of Uka Uka, Doctor Neo Cortex and Dr. Nefarious Tropy. They are desperately looking for a way out. With immense focus and determination, Uka Uka opens up a portal through space and time that allows them to escape. Once again, they begin their quest for world domination.
Sensing trouble, Aku Aku quickly wakes up Crash from his afternoon nap and alerts him of the disturbance felt. They manage to unravel the latest plot at hand, which is to acquire all four Quantum Masks. This would allow this evil trio to conquer even alternate dimensions. Our protagonist and friends aren’t going to let that happen without a fight.
Upon the opening act, fans we’ll know they are in for something really special here. Visually the game’s colors, animations and effects look phenomenal on the PS4 Pro. The music has been wonderfully crafted as well. The single player campaign is highly polished, using impressive cut scenes to tell the story that are full of hilarious moments from each character. The star here is of course the dazzling gameplay and Toys for Bob absolutely nailed it. It feels like a true sequel that features brilliant level design and controls. This can be a very tough game at certain times, which is also another throwback to the original entries of the franchise. You’ll once again be dying a lot, as you learn each level, enemy and boss encounter.
While Crash is the VIP here, players will also get to control Coco, Doctor Neo Cortex, Dingodile and Tawna. Each character has a subtle but different feel, alongside unique move sets that keep the action fresh and engaging. Masks found in each stage also change up the gameplay, as they provide special abilities temporarily (make objects solid or transparent, spin high into the air or even control gravity).
As you approach the final chapters, you’ll have to figure out how to efficiently use all the masks at your disposal to successfully make it through; a true test for any gamer. At the end of each map, you’ll also face off against a formidable boss. These are arguably some of the best battles in the series. The theme here is variety and there is tons of present here, resulting in a thrilling experience from beginning to end.
Loads of Achievements and Unlocks
As you progress through each level, keep your eye out for gems and hidden crates. There are many skins to unlock and a large collection of achievements to earn. Routes will branch off, allowing players to dive into the immensely difficult Flashback Levels (if you are up for the challenge) and additional stories from other characters. Two multiplayer modes allow you and a friend to see who can either be the fastest through a stage or collect the most fruit. N. Verted Mode (unlocked after completing “Trouble Brewing”) mirrors the previous played levels and totally changes the default art style to further mix things up.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is no doubt one of the best games of 2020 and certainly a contender for Platformer of the Year. Toys for Bob have delivered an amazingly polished experience. Fans will feel right at home from the very opening moments and first map. The additional playable characters and abilities obtained from using the varying masks in each level, make this new entry one of the very best in the entire franchise. The gameplay is tough, addicting and incredibly enjoyable. The future looks quite bright for our friend Crash.