Only about two weeks left and Crash Bandicoot 4 will be released: After the remakes of the first three parts in the N.Sane Trilogy, the iconic bag badger will finally get a really new game on October 2nd with It's About Time. The game is being developed by Toys for Bob, the studio that already implemented the N. Sane Trilogy for Nintendo Switch and is responsible for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. So you can say that the new crash team is very familiar with the implementation of old-school 3D jump & runs.

It was all the nicer when Activision made the demo of part 4 available to us in advance, which is now also playable for pre-orderers. While playing we swore and cursed, but we also had a lot of fun and can now claim that Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time will most likely be the successor that fans of the crazy fur-chaot have been wanting since the end of the third part .

As before, just pretty and modern

In the demo we were allowed to play two and a half levels of the soon to be released jumping game. In the snow level Snow Way Out we jump over all kinds of abysses and slide over ice surfaces, while in Dino Dash we dare to slide and of course have to flee from a bad tempered T-Rex. The third level is again Snow Way Out, but this time from the Cortex timeline. Here we take control of Crash's archenemy Dr. Neo Cortex.







We can also take another route to the Snow Way Out level with Dr. Play Neo Cortex.



We can also take another route to the Snow Way Out level with Dr. Play Neo Cortex.

Source: PC Games




The evil scientist cannot jump as high and as far as our favorite pouches, but he has a radiation gun that turns animals into platforms. In addition, you can use a dash here to overcome larger abysses. After a while we take over Crash Bandicoot again and return to familiar sections of Snow Way Out. Only a few small things are different from the normal version of the level.

But it doesn't matter whether we're playing with Crash or Cortex, or whether we're jumping over ice floes or dinosaur heads, the title is incredibly charming and enormously fun. Toys for Bob have changed the design of the hairy protagonist compared to the N. Sane Trilogy. Crash purists may snort contemptuously now, but you can't always be considerate of the feelings of the bag-badger ultras.

The crazy main character now actually looks even more personable and thanks to improved animations, she also moves more smoothly. Crash plays the way you just want it to be today. It now has a double jump and under it there is a yellow circle, by which you can see where the hairy whirlwind will land, so that you can – if necessary – take countermeasures.

In addition, there are no counted lives and therefore no longer a game-over screen. Those who die are immediately revived at the last checkpoint. Instead of deducting a life, it is now counted how often you have died in a level. This applies at least to the "modern mode" activated by default. However, if you activate the retro mode, you get the well-known crash experience with limited lives and game over.






Classic runaway sections should of course not be missing in a crash game.



Classic runaway sections should of course not be missing in a crash game.

Source: PC Games




About dinosaurs and slow motion

Although Crash Bandicoot 4 has been modernized in some areas, nobody needs to worry that the new part of the former Playstation mascot will be too easy. If the levels from the demo are a good example of the difficulty level of the final game, we already know that we will swear a lot and still have fun doing it. Crash's new time skills not only provide variety, but also all kinds of tricky skill passages.







With the slow motion ability, Crash can build a path out of falling chunks of ice.



With the slow motion ability, Crash can build a path out of falling chunks of ice.

Source: PC Games




In Snow Way Out, for example, we can briefly slow down the time in order to build our way to the next platform over chunks of falling ice. However, the time window is so small that you have to time the jumps very precisely. In Dino Dash, on the other hand, Crash can jump back and forth between dimensions and thus bring certain objects into the game world or hide them. With this ability in his luggage, Crash slides over a rail that is of course peppered with all kinds of boxes and obstacles. If you really want to collect all the items here, you have to be incredibly on your toes.







Some skill passages are extremely tricky. Thanks to the precise controls, they are still fun.



Some skill passages are extremely tricky. Thanks to the precise controls, they are still fun.

Source: PC Games




Fortunately, the levels not only consist of timeline gimmicks, but also have enough old-school charm. The worlds are still shown in a rigid camera perspective and you have to master a number of crisp jumping passages over moving platforms as well as dodging treacherous TNT and nitro boxes or fleeing from an opponent while running towards the screen.

Thanks to the much more precise controls, there is less frustration than in the N. Sane Trilogy. It's About Time remains true to the feel of the original trilogy despite minor modernizations. Crash Bandicoot 4 does not have an open world, but still hose levels, which are now a bit larger and more creative. After this demo we are sure: Anyone who liked the N. Sane Trilogy will love It's About Time.

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My opinion

It's going to be a great comeback!

After the numerous crash games that followed the original trilogy, but never even came close to its class, it was actually thought that the bag badger had blown out. Fortunately, the N. Sane Trilogy taught us better: If done correctly, the gameplay is still fun! It is all the nicer that Toys for Bob seem to implement this correctly in a completely new part. It's About Time looks nice, controls itself more precisely than previous parts, but the title is still wonderfully tricky. Then there are the creative time gimmicks that provide variety. I cursed loudly several times during the demo, but I can't wait for the release of this charming jumping game.

The linear levels are wonderfully colorful and detailed. (Source: PC Games)

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