Crash 4 Gets a Blowout in New State of Play Trailer
Funk Soul Brother
I don’t think anybody expected such a resurgence in Crash’s popularity back when the N. Sane Trilogy was first announced. Over the last four years though, believe it or not, Crash has jumped right up there to become one of Activision’s most profitable properties.
EVEN THEN, I never believed a brand new Crash game, in 2020, could look so damn good.
This morning’s PlayStation State of Play opened up with a brand new trailer for the game that went over some of the changes they’d made this time around.
Just like in the N. Sane Trilogy any Crash level can be played as his sister Coco, but impressively the trailer explained the lengths they went to make her feel less like a simple model swap, but actually serve a purpose in the story. Crash 4 isn’t solely about the Dorito-adjacent marsupial going up against a Mad Doctor, but about a brother/sister team going on an adventure. Coco will be present in cutscenes alongside Crash and play a role in how events play out.
It’s not just bandicoots this time around either, as the series’ primary protagonist Dr. Neo Cortex even has his own stages this time around. However, that’s not all for the villains, because even fan-favourite Dingodile gets a chance to spin some crates when we see what happened after he got his ass handed to him by that baby penguin in Crash 3.
Here, Dingodile has given up on his villainous ways, trading in his iconic flamethrower for a permanent gig running his own diner. That is until one of Cortex’ schemes destroys the honest business owner’s livelihood, forcing him back into a life of crime. These levels don’t stray too far from traditional Crash gameplay either, with Dingodile using his tail for traditional spin attacks and strapping a vacuum cleaner to his back for some very Luigi’s Mansion influenced environmental interactions.
The new unlockable costumes got a bit of a deeper look as well, which is a relief as I found a few of those seen in the initial reveal a bit obnoxious. Here, I found myself taking to some of the more understated designs. By far the most appealing costumes to me, however, were the references to earlier titles, because you know I’m gonna be rocking that biker jacket from Warped the entire time I’m grinding my way to 100% completion.
Something that’s interesting to note was the continued insistence on there being no micro-transactions at all featured in the game. It’s true that last year’s Crash Team Racing Nitrofueled suffered quite dramatically once MTX was introduced post-launch with many aesthetic customisation options being locked behind an unfairly high paywall. Although, I believe they made a little more sense given the title’s online legs that keep the game active today.
Something that caught me completely off-guard was the announcement of the N. Verted mode, a new mirror mode that encourages multiple playthroughs of levels by shaking up the gameplay and aesthetics of each level just enough to give it a whole new flavour. In this mode, the classic apple shaped Wumpa fruit is instead replaced with the new “Bumpa berries” as different timelines converge.
It’s not only the items that have changed, however, as the old level you ran through previously is given a fresh coat of paint or perhaps even a new gameplay mechanic layered over the top to keep things from getting stale. Think of it as something in line with the character skins, only with a few added mechanical changes as well.
Among these remixed levels were a sort of canvas mode that has the environment completely vacant of colour, having the character fling thick globs of bright, neon paint as they spin and bounce through the stage. Another had a futuristic metropolis entirely submerged, with the player’s progress being met with resistance from the water as they move forward.
Fascinatingly, the voiceover mentioned that these N. Verted levels were crafted with the assistance of Crash Team Racing Nitrofueled developer, Beenox. This is the first we’ve heard of the team helping out with the new game and with a few surprises still yet to be shown off, I’m interested in hearing how else they’ve assisted with development.
It’s insane that a Crash Bandicoot game releasing in 2020 still has surprises to share so close to release and I’m thrilled to see the team at Toys For Bob treat the franchise with the respect it deserves. The attempts to keep stages feeling fresh and exciting after repeated playthroughs are admirable, as completing multiple runs and hunting for secrets are an important aspect of the series often forgotten. I’m excited to uncover more of the secrets tucked away in Crash 4 as we inch closer to release, they’ve nailed the run-up so far, and I’m excited to watch them stick the landing.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time will be releasing on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One October 2nd.