The Fanatical Blog
All you need to know about Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
By Declan Barry - 24th Aug 2020Games
Head back to N. Sanity Island with our favorite Bandicoot returning for a new adventure
The wumpa loving marsupial is back on October 2nd with a sequel to the N. Sane Trilogy. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time brings back the fun with a unique and modern spin on the franchise for Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
We’ll be exploring the explosive new plot that will put the Nitro boxes to shame, brand new gameplay mechanics and much more in this preview of the latest entry in the hit platforming series.
Set after Crash Bandicoot: Warped, evil scientists Neo Cortex and Doctor N. Tropy have escaped from their space-time prison alongside the mask Uka Uka. In doing so, they’ve created a rip in the fabric of time… because of course, they have!
This has caused the multiverse to be exposed and it’s up to our favorite bandicoot to stop the crisis and, in turn, Neo Cortex from taking over ALL dimensions.
With It’s About Time, you can expect to see a larger role for Crash’s sister Coco who will accompany the box-stomping, orange protagonist throughout his adventure.
Mirroring the first-ever Crash game, you will be starting on N. Sanity Beach 24 years later. What a throwback. I wonder if that large crab is still knocking about.
More Expressive Crash
Using the original Crash Bandicoot games as the source material, as well as the animated TV shows that inspired the games, the orange Bandicoot will be more expressive than ever. These changes will see new character models for the lovable and unlovable characters alike, bringing them right up to the new gaming standard.
The scale of the game is also huge! We’ve seen massive, lush canyons, icy, water-filled caves so far, and no doubt there’s more to come. One thing’s for certain, it looks set to be the best looking Crash game to date.
More Platforming Fun
Alongside the bouncing, jumping, and spinning, Crash Bandicoot has some new tricks up his sleeve… which is odd considering he doesn’t wear sleeves.
ANYWAY, you will now be wall-running, rope swinging, rail grinding, and zip lining all to get that delicious wumpa fruit and finish the level.
Fear not if you’re a hardened fan of the series though as classic mechanics are back including the legendary chase levels.
Aku Aku and his twin brother Uka Uku aren’t the only masks in the Crash Bandicoot universe. It’s About Time will introduce the Quantum Masks whose powers can be used at certain points to cross specific areas in the levels.
The first mask is Lani-Loli, which allows objects to be phased in and out of existence - including crates or platforms.
The next is Kapuna-Wa - the female mask of Time. As you’d expect, she will allow you to slow down time to jump across fast-moving platforms or avoid speedy enemies. The interesting thing with this mask is that you can even jump on Nitro as it will allow a small amount of time to get away from it before exploding!
The Ika-Ika mask harnesses the power of Gravity. When Crash or Coco use it, they can flip gravity so they’re standing on the ceiling… Sorry, Lionel, we didn’t say dancing!
The final mask is Akano but the ability of this purple mask has yet to be revealed by developer Toys for Bob.
Play As Other Characters
If you’re more of a Coco fan, then the good news is that the blonde-haired sister is a playable character throughout the game in place of Crash.
You can also play as the villain Doctor Neo Cortex. He plays differently to the heroes with a phaser that can transform enemies into platforms to traverse the level. These levels are the same as those you will play as with Crash, but boxes and placements will be different from the Wumpa loving hero’s level. These levels will also converge so you may play a section as Cortex which will then impact the level for Crash in the story!
Another playable character is Dingodile! The fan-favorite crocodile hung up his flamethrower at the end of Warped and traded it for a diner. However, as the diner goes up in flames… ironic I know, he gets sucked into another dimension in order to tail whip some boxes.
Two Game Modes
Within the game, there are two modes - modern and retro. Retro will keep with the old-style life system where you have to collect lives and Wumpa fruit to avoid restarting a level if you die too many times.
Whereas modern replaces this system with a death counter that you can die as many times you like with.
Like other Crash Bandicoot titles, there are gems to collect.
You usually receive a gem for destroying all of the boxes and another hidden gem within the level. But in Four, there are 6 gems to find in each level, including picking up all Wumpa fruit and there’s three for level progress. These are for beating the level and the bonus level - that’s two gems not one, and one for beating the level without dying.
Another fan favorite returning alongside gems is the time trials. For the newbie Crash players amongst us, once you complete a level you will find a stopwatch at the start when you replay it. Picking this up will start the timer and you will have to spin the time boxes to freeze time.
Complete the level before the set time and you will receive a collectible. So get those running shoes on, and get practicing if you want to 100% this game.
There’s also a new mode for when you’ve completed a level. Inverted Mode will allow you to play the same level but with a twist. Each one will have a unique art style, and with this, different gameplay mechanics. An example we’ve seen is having to spin color into the level to progress, whereas another is a quicker, old movie-inspired version of the level. They all look super fun and we cannot wait to see the other twists that Toys for Bob and Beenox have created.
Cosmetic skins can be unlocked throughout the game. Whether you want to be neon raver Crash or unicorn Coco, these will all be unlocked through completing challenges and collecting gems with no microtransactions in the game… Can we get a hallelujah?
These skins will give another reason for completionists to keep playing the game long after the story has been finished.