One of the most exciting announcements from the all-digital Summer Games Fest 2020 has been the return of a particular high-energy marsupial, starring in a brand new platforming adventure. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time was officially announced to be in development, with a release date of October 2, 2020.
It's About Time will release for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a future Xbox Series X release hinted at during the reveal trailer. It will serve as a sequel to the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, all of which were developed by Naughty Dog and released for the original PlayStation. Plot-wise, it will not be connected to Crash titles outside of the original trilogy, most notably ignoring the events of The Wrath of Cortex, Twinsanity, and the Mutant sub-series.
The story will focus on siblings Crash and Coco Bandicoot chasing down the villains Dr. Neo Cortex, Dr. Nefarious Tropy, and Uka-Uka. After escaping from the planet they were stranded on at the end of Warped, the baddies have punched a hole through space-time, which they plan on using to take over the entire universe. The bandicoot pair must follow them to new and exciting locations, including underwater vistas, futuristic cities, and prehistoric planets - the official reveal trailer even shows Crash being chased by a ferocious-looking dinosaur!
Developer Toys for Bob, who also worked on the remastered Crash N. Sane Trilogy, which released in 2017, have expressed a desire to combine beloved elements of classic Crash games with exciting new experiences made possible by advanced technology and the latest generation of consoles. It's About Time will retain the chaotic, innovative spirit of the original Crash Bandicoot platformers while also featuring a bright, eye-popping new art style and lots of fun new ways to play.
— Summer Game Fest (@summergamefest) June 22, 2020
In particular, Crash and Coco will be able to platform like never before with the help of four power-granting Quantum Masks. The two shown off in the trailer allow the characters to slow down time and manipulate gravity so that they can run up walls and along with ceilings! The other two powers remain mysterious, but they'll undoubtedly be just as exciting and unique.
Plus, we even get a brief glimpse in the trailer of a playable Dr. Neo Cortex himself! The evil doctor's playstyle is significantly different from Crash and Coco's. He wields a ray gun that can be used to transform platforms and other obstacles in order to make progress. The developers have stated that Cortex will traverse different levels than Crash, as players get to see the paths both characters took to wind up at the same location. They also hinted that other playable characters might make an appearance.
Finally, players will get to choose between experiencing the game on "Retro" and "Modern" modes. Retro Mode retains the classic three-lives-only model of earlier Crash games, with the ability to obtain more through collecting 1-ups and Wumpa Fruits. "Modern" mode will provide the player with unlimited lives, but offer bonuses for completing challenges such as only dying a certain number of times per level.
While some fans may worry that a new developer might not know how to bring that traditional Crash Bandicoot platforming difficulty, rest assured, Toys for Bob plans to keep things tight. The studio worked on both the Crash N Sane and Spyro Reignited remaster trilogies, both of which were praised for retaining the game's original tricky natures and "learning curve" playstyle.
Pre-orders for the game are available now. Purchasing the game in advance will earn you the Totally Tubular skins, new alternate outfits for Crash, and Coco, which are promised to be "totally radical." The game is currently speculated to cost $59.99.