Here we are folks, IT’S ABOUT TIME! It’s been close to 20-years — and about 20 racing games — since the last mainline addition to the Crash Bandicoot series. Was 20 years worth the wait? Let’s find out.
Crash has always held a little place in my heart as some of my favorite games on the good ole PlayStation 1. And though its almost two decades later and a whole new developer at the helm, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time still has a lot of the heart of the originals. No longer developed by the big dogs over at Naughty Dog, the newest addition to the series is developed by Toys For Bob, who most will be familiar with from the Skylander series…
Stylistically, you can tell the game takes on much more of a cartoon aesthetic along the lines of Skylanders, which may put off fans of the original series. As you get acquainted with the characters you come across throughout the game, however, it becomes apparent how befitting it is. And speaking of characters, you’ll get to play a range of different characters as you traverse the different timelines— some familiar, some new, and each of them unique to play as (aside from Coco, who plays the same as Crash). And the game does play much like the original games in the series, which is both a good and bad thing.
Depth perception still stinks when it comes to some of the platforming, especially when attempting to jump to/from ropes. And the game can seem a bit too safe and familiar at the beginning. But as you dive deeper and further, Crash 4 feels more evolved thanks in part to some cool level design. Hell, did it ever cross your mind how much the series could benefit from the addition of an Austrailian alligator wielding a vacuum? These shockers each add their own twist in gameplay to give you a bit more than what you come to expect out of the Crash series.
All in all, It’s About Time gives the Crash franchise a renewed interest for both older and newer generations of gamers. It’s not a game that’s going to overstay its welcome with the campaign easily being completed in under 10 hours. But it’ll also offer a bit of replay value for completionists in the way of attempting to collect the 6 diamonds for every stage and unlocking/completing N.Verse stages.
It’s familiarity will be both its blessing and its curse depending on who you ask; but, there’s enough here in Crash 4 to differentiate it not only from other platformers out there but also from its own past. And let’s just all be grateful that Toys for Bob didn’t make buying figures a requirement! 3.75/5 Bibles.