Game Review: Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time

Jake Basford

Rating: 5/5

It’s About Time – never have truer words been spoken, and we’re here to tell you, Crash Bandicoot 4 does not disappoint on any level whatsoever.

Since the remake of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, and the success of the reworked CTR: Crash Team Racing, fans have been chomping at the bit for a new Crash Bandicoot game.

Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time takes place just after the original trilogy, reworking the timeline that originally saw the likes of Crash Twinsanity introduce character after character to try and pummel the concept into oblivion only for sales to dwindle resultantly. With fully realised 3D levels that blend the best parts of Crash Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot 3, power designs ripped from Crash 3 and improved upon with the inclusion of a mask system, fully changeable skins for both Crash and Coco, fully playable additional levels for characters outside the main trio, and, a full inversion mode that makes replaying earlier levels challenging whilst adding to the fun, it is clear that Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time has truly knocked it out of the park.

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Having completed the game (at least the story – come back to me in about a year’s time and ask if I’ve 100% completed it because the 0.1% that have according to PSN’s trophy system have clearly got better muscle-memory and patience than me), it is clear that the biggest difference between Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time and the original trilogy is the difficulty. A friend has likened it to the platforming equivalent of Dark Souls dubbing Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time “Crash Souls” – yes it is that hard, and you will want to select that option at the beginning that asks if you want to track lives through checkpoint use as opposed to the old skool wumpa fruit = lives version. On the last playable-level I discovered that you can break the 99 on how many lives lost and honestly I am not ashamed to admit that. There are times when you get the opportunity to go for collectibles which you can only collect if you reach that point in the level with only one life and you laugh because it seems not possible. In previous games, you used to use specialise movement combinations to either cheese or obtain difficult-to-reach areas for collectibles, but in Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time it is par for the course to use them to complete the level normally (referring directly to the slide jumping and if you make it through the section where you are doing it over molten lava, on moving platforms working against you, to slide under a barrier and jump in time to reach the next platform without losing the gem you get for completion within three lives you are a better person than me).

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Just to be clear: I am not embittered – I liked the challenge Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time posed, and I remember being just as frustrated when I couldn’t complete the original trilogy first time around as well. Did I get angry and swear like a trucker? Of course, but that’s how I play games like this. If I don’t get healed in Overwatch or a Black Mage pulls the boss when I’m tanking in Final Fantasy 14 I have a similar response.

The other major difference you will see in Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time is the way that the power abilities are introduced. You already have access to double-jump, a standard first-boss super power introduction, and upon completion of the game on story mode you get access to special spins, but otherwise your super abilities are only available when the masks give them to you, making it harder to cheese through the game like you could with the Wumpa Bazooka, for example, in Crash 3. This also adds a level of complexity to the final levels of Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time where you are expected to use the powers of each of the masks with no space between them, having to use one to get to the next platform, to grab the next mask and use their power to the next bit. This means your timing, jumping and precision landing have got to be perfect otherwise you are going to end up running through lives like I did (seriously – forty lives on one section alone).

The challenge, the sumptuous look and feel of the game, and the fun you can have with the additional content that isn’t even going to be mentioned here for fear of spoilers, will mean that Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time may be arriving on an outgoing console, as the PS5 has been mentioned for release later this year, but is clearly designed to be one of the farewells to the PS4 as it gets taken over by the next generation. It is, as the name says, about fucking time and is not a disappointment in any area.

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You can purchase Crash Bandicoot 4 – It’s About Time from Amazon now.

About Jake Basford

Essex-boy living in Cardiff, Jake is a writer, PR/Media officer, and Social Media consultant. Obsessed with video games, American culture and Buffy. Can usually be found at his laptop working.