Developer Toys For Bob revealed a trailer for the new Crash Bandicoot game, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, during Geoff Keighley’s Summer Gaming Festival livestream on the 22nd June, 2020. This is a new—and original—Crash game for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Set directly after Crash Bandicoot Warped, It’s About Time follows Crash and Coco Bandicoot as they are taken through various time eras, dimensions, and even multiverses in order to defeat Dr. Neo Cortex, who was transported back in time due to the events of Warped.
Firstly, I love that this is a direct sequel to Warped, even if events of Wrath of Cortex are now non-canon for the franchise. With the time twister machine that Crash and Coco are placed in during Warped being broken, there were bound to be major consequences. Bringing in different eras and multiverses is also an interesting idea, especially since it was touched on in the 2004 Playstation 2 game Crash Twinsanity. It’ll be great to see more levels delve into these settings.
While It’s About Time brings in familiar linear levels, reminiscent of Naughty Dog’s original creations, it also introduces the concept of power-up masks and new abilities for the player. This is something that has become a staple of the franchise, usually awarded to the player after beating a boss battle or just before a difficult level segment. The new power-ups weren’t shown too much in the trailer, but I look forward to seeing what abilities will be available.
Another cool aspect that the trailer briefly shows is the ability to play as multiple characters, including Dr. Neo Cortex himself! This is only the second time that a platforming Crash game has done this (the previous title being Crash Twinsanity). This could mean that each character might have different abilities and powers. Furthermore, some levels may only be playable with certain characters—we just have to wait and see!
The art style is different from Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy, and something that has gotten a mixed reception ever since the cover art was leaked a week before the official reveal. While it is a different style, one that makes the characters look more like figurines, I love it. It makes the characters stand out more, and suits their crazy, colourful personalities beautifully.
Like previously mentioned, It’s About Time is being developed solely by Toys For Bob. They previously worked on the Nintendo Switch port of Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy and were the lead developer of Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy. While the Spyro remaster was fantastic, it did have its flaws, mainly with the controls and some issues concerning bugs and glitches—and that was only a remaster of an existing trilogy. This game will demonstrate to fans whether Toys for Bob can create a brand new, original Crash Bandicoot game. From the trailer alone, I am hopeful; however, watching a trailer and actually playing the game are two different things.
As a huge Crash Bandicoot fan, I welcome the orange marsupial back into the gaming industry. After the overwhelming success of the remastered trilogy and Crash Nitro Fuelled, a new game had been rumoured and the fanbase remained hopeful but sceptical. After Naughty Dog stopped making Crash Bandicoot games, various studios had tried to recapture the charm of the beloved series, which were usually met with mixed or negative reviews. However, the release of the remasters showed that the fanbase was ready for a new adventure. After seeing the trailer for It’s About Time, we finally have our wish; Crash Bandicoot is back and in his first original game since 2008!