“It’s about time” Crash Bandicoot came back


On Oct. 2, 2020, “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time” was released on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Crash returns in his first original game in 10 years with silly but challenging platforming gameplay for old and new fans of the series to enjoy. (Photo courtesy of Activision)

It’s been 10 years since a new addition to the Crash Bandicoot series has been released. However, on Oct. 2, 2020, that changed as Activision published the newest entry of the series, “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time.” 

Is this the game that helps return Crash to his old glory from the late 90s, or does it flop and fall flat like all of the other games released after 1999?

While on the surface this game looks very childish and like an easy platformer style game, after playing it you learn that it is very silly but also provides a challenge to anyone who plays it. Regardless, if you’re a longtime fan of the series or a newcomer, there are a lot of levels and in-game tasks that will take a few tries to beat and might lead to a few frustrating moments that’ll make you want to pull your hair out, but feels rewarding once you beat it.

The plot of the game takes place after the events of the third game of the series, “Crash Bandicoot: Warped,” where the main antagonists Neo Cortex and Nefarious Tropy are trapped in a time prison after being defeated by Crash Bandicoot, and his sister Coco Bandicoot, the main characters and protagonists of the series. Cortex and Tropy have found a way to escape their prison, but in doing so have ripped a hole in the fabric of space and time and are not only free, but are able to travel to different time periods and dimensions. 

It’s now up to Crash and Coco to stop Cortex and Tropy from not only trying to take over the world, but take over every dimension in the multiverse. Along the way Crash and Coco are helped by allies both old and new to help save the entire multiverse. 

As someone who’s been a fan of this series since the early days, it feels like a breath of fresh air playing a new Crash Bandicoot game and actually enjoying myself. I feel like a kid again sitting in my room playing this silly, yet challenging and fun game from one of my favorite series. 

This game took the good elements from the original trilogy, but at the same time added new gameplay mechanics not seen in any of the previous titles and made it work. For example, while in most levels you do play as Crash and Coco, you also play as other characters with their own unique abilities such as Dingodile, who uses a high-powered vacuum that’s able to suck up TNT crates, and launch them at enemies.

“Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time” also has a little bit of everything for any type of gamer. If you are more of a casual gamer who just wants to play for the story and have fun, you can play in Modern Mode, which allows you to play with an unlimited amount of lives and don’t have to worry about restarting the whole level if you do run out of lives.

On the other hand, there is also a Retro Mode which does give you a life counter for the more experienced gamer, or those who are looking for a challenge. Plus, each level has their own list of tasks that the player can complete such as finding and breaking all of the crates, collecting a certain amount of “Wumpa Fruit,” and only losing up to three lives per level. 

However, those tasks are completely optional, and are not required to proceed through the story. They’re just there for anyone looking to complete the game at 100%, and there are rewards you can earn for completing those tasks as well as unlocking a secret ending if you beat every task from every level. 

As fun as the game is, it does have its flaws. The new abilities that Crash and Coco are able to use are power-ups called “Quantum Masks.” There are four in total and each have their own unique ability but all of them has a weird learning curve and the controls feel very clumsy while using these power-ups. I found myself losing more lives while using these masks than any other point in the game and became very frustrated trying to get past that section of the level.

Despite that setback, this game is very well-made and I’m very happy to see that a Crash Bandicoot game feels fun to play again after all these years of bad games according to critics and fans of the series, myself included. If you own a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One and are looking for a silly but challenging and fun game to play, I would recommend picking up a copy of “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time.”