‘Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time’ Review: It IS About Time

Crash Bandicoot has had an incredible 24-year journey. Starting off as a PlayStation exclusive, designed to rival Nintendo’s Mario and SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog, the crazy bandicoot’s franchise borrowed heavily from his rivals to create a fun and difficult gaming experience. Other games followed, but only three games were considered main-line titles. That makes the new Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time the long awaited sequel that fans have clamored for, and developer Toys for Bob gets it right.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time opens up directly after the events of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which was a remake of the first games in the “story.” Crash and Coco are enjoying a relaxing day when dimensional rifts begin to open up, caused by the nefarious actions of his three sworn enemies, Uka Uka, Dr. N. Cortex, and Dr. N. Tropy, who are trying to escape the void they are trapped in. Aku Aku seeks out Crash and Coco to hunt down the four Quantum Masks to end the dimensional rifts before all time and space is destroyed.

Dr. N.Tropy in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Not a bad story for a game about Bandicoot that runs around and collects fruit and destroys crates. Crash and Coco will travel to new worlds, and new time periods, both in the past and the future, letting the developers have fun with level design and the aesthetics. This is, without a doubt, the best looking Crash Bandicoot game ever.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time’s story takes even more crazy twists and turns, and developer Toys for Bob doesn’t shy away from the difficulty — or the item collecting. This game is lousy with things to find and collect, as each level has more secrets than the CIA, and you will lose you mind trying to find them all. The levels also get more and more difficult as the game progresses, almost to the point of frustration.

Crash visits the Age of Piracy in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

That’s not to say the game isn’t fun. It’s a blast. Just know that you will die. A lot. Boss battles are multilayered experiences that make you think before you act. Precision jumping and switching from spin attacks to using the power of Lani-Loli to conjure up new platforms on the fly are just a few of the things you have to juggle while being bombarded by threat after threat.

Crash and Coco play identically, so switching between the two is based more on preference than necessity. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time has a number of various skins for each character that can be unlocked by collecting gems or completing other tasks in the course of the adventure. These are just cosmetic changes, and again don’t affect gameplay.

As expected, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time features a few wrinkles to the game modes and gameplay. There are time attack levels where you try to get the best times, and a Pass N. Play mode for a form of couch co-op where two players take turns “passing” the controller between lives. There’s even an N. Verted mode where, you guessed it, everything is backward, making any memorized moves and secrets obsolete and flashback levels from previous games.

Crash runs the N.Verted level in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

The game’s many secrets and collectible items mean that you will be playing these levels over and over to collect and unlock them all. Toys for Bob, who created the original Skylanders franchise and masterfully remastered the Spyro franchise a few years ago with Spyro Reignited Trilogy, did not skimp here. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a full-featured game from beginning to end, and one worthy of the number in its title. There have been 18 or so games featuring Crash Bandicoot, but only four are numbered. And it is the perfect time for this next chapter in the Bandicoot’s epic odyssey.


Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is available now for the PS4 and Xbox One. This review is based off the PS4 version, and a code provided by Activision.

Crash and Coco in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
out of 5

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