Crash Bandicoot is a character who dates back to some of my earliest gaming memories. I never had a console growing up, but I was able to play Crash and other early PlayStation games over at friend’s houses. Developer Toys For Bob appears to be capitalizing on that sense of nostalgia, but can Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time engage fans old and new?
The games cutscenes are beautifully animated, but noticeably few in number. As a series, Crash Bandicoot has never been known for its narrative complexity, but seeing as the game is graphically on par with Ratchet and Clank there was an opportunity to deliver an epic story. Also the humor is a little tame in comparison to titles with more adult jokes like Twinsainity.
The gameplay of Crash 4 builds upon the classic formula with contemporary updates. The difficulty feels fair as opposed to frustrating and the inclusion of the quantum masks mechanic adds to a new dimension to the gameplay.
The visual presentation is stupendous, with every character and level looking like an action figure play set. There are plenty of unlockable alternate costumes, hidden gems, and bonus levels. The new playable characters — Tawna, Dingodile, and Neo Cortex — steal the show and are welcome additions to the Bandicoot family.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a colorful, cartoony, action platformer. And in the gaming landscape of gritty, realistic, tough as nails AAA games, it’s a breath of fresh air. The visuals, game mechanics, and character dynamics have been reinvigorated. Crash 4 manages to return to its roots while also carving out a potentially bright future for the game series.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s about Time is available now for PS4.