After 22 years now, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is finally another main part of the series about the crazy bag badger. Crash whistles on modern virtues and proves in our test to be a rock-hard jump and run of the old school with a lot of variety.
Crash Bandicoot is already drifting since 1996 his mischief on the PlayStation and achieved fame there through the first three parts of the "Jump and Run" series. Since then, Crash has been one of the PlayStation mascot and has been allowed to swirl around in numerous spin-offs over the years. Most recently in 2019 in the racing game offshoot Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled.
That you have been over 22 years since the last part (Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped) can now finally play part 4, should be mainly due to the success of the Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy. In 2017, the first three parts of the series appeared as a prettied remake for PC, PS4 and Xbox One and enjoyed great popularity among the gamer base and young at heart fans of the series.
Crash Bandicoot proves again and again how popular it is Old school jump and runs are. Tricky levels, "trial and error" passages, classic boss fights and camera problems have always been part of the characteristics of the series. Crash always stays true to itself and refrains from daring gameplay experiments, and that is exactly what goes down well.
The fourth part this time is all about time travel and four different masks that Crash and his friends have to find and that give him different skills. For example, you can manipulate the time or reverse gravity, which leads to numerous challenges in the varied levels. You visit these through different worlds that are connected to each other by time lines.
You can get an impression of the mask skills and the playable characters in the following trailer:
Crash Bandicoot 4 also stays true to its roots and is also strongly based on the successful N.Sane Trilogy. However, there are also numerous new creative elements that keep the gameplay varied.
So you can not only control Crash and Coco in the levels, but also take control of supporting characters (Tawna, Dingodile and Dr. Neo Cortex)which in turn have their own abilities. Together with the different properties that the Crash creates Masks you get a lot of variety here.
The level design has also gone a step further. This is even more varied thanks to the time travel theme. Classic jungle passages and hated ice worlds are just as represented as a carnival in the big city or a crazy alien planet. The attention to detail in the development is particularly evident here.
All around, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time has become exactly the successor that fans of the series could only wish for. The basic mechanics of jump and run remain untouched, but are usefully supplemented by numerous elements.
However, this also has its bad sides, because There are still camera problems and the many changes of perspective will confuse beginners in particular. Of the Level of difficulty also rises steeply early and Crash 4 is therefore particularly suitable for platform fans who are resistant to frustration.
These are the strengths of Crash Bandicoot 4:
- Four masks with different skills ensure playful variety.
- Dr. Neo Cortex, Tawna and Dingodile as playable characters with their own levels.
- Yet More varied level design with lots of details, weird enemies and animations.
- Numerous unlockable skins for Crash and Coco.
- Choice between classic mode with life and modern mode with checkpoints makes it easier for beginners to get started.
- Nicely staged, albeit a bit simple Boss fights.
- Decent scope (10 worlds, 43 levels, approx. 10 hours playing time) with lots of unlockable extras and hidden collectibles.
These are the weaknesses of Crash Bandicoot 4:
- High level of difficulty and many "trial and error" passages.
- Camera problems and changes of perspective often cause confusion.