After years and years of entries that tried but often didn’t quite capture the magic of the original trilogy, we’re actually getting a proper Crash Bandicoot 4. Crash 4: It’s About Time comes from developers Toys for Bob, who have a long history with platformers, most recently tackling the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.With our first look at Crash Bandicoot 4 gameplay and details, we saw some of the various time-hopping locales Crash and Coco will venture off to. Thanks to a bit of new, exclusive footage, which you can watch in the video breakdown below, we can also see how a level will flow, and many of the new moves, ideas, and returning gameplay tricks Crash 4 will bring later this year.This pirate-themed level takes Crash from the seaside shore through a seeming pirate cove to a cavernous end-of-level treasure area. And, thankfully, a lot of the staples of the Crash experience appear intact, which Toys for Bob has said is a key component of why they called this Crash 4. Wumpa, Aku Aku, Nitro, and TNT crates all return as collectibles and hazards around the world.
There’s also a few new crates thrown into the mix, including one that spits fire in several directions, as well as a golden Wumpa fruit crate at the end of the level.
Speaking of the end of the level, in true Crash original trilogy form, we’ve got a crate counter tallying your success in aiming to 100% the level by smashing every crate in sight. It’s a familiar touchstone, but an important one. And another seemingly returning aspect is time trials, as a stopwatch appears at the start of the level. Toys for Bob’s Lou Studdert in an interview with IGN told us the team is focused on really enriching Crash 4 with replayability in the same way that players could find reasons to keep going back to levels in the original Crash games.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time First Screenshots
Of course, this time, they’re working with modern console technology, and the impressive detail and design work proves it. There’s a great bit of character enemy behavior early on, as Crash spin-slaps a foe into one of these new enemies sporting whirlwinds around them, which causes that foe to arc on the wind and take out another enemy. Combo kills in Crash have always been a joy to discover, and this one hopefully hints at some intriguing combinations to come.
The scope of the levels is also showcased in the middle, rope-sliding section, which offers a look at one of Crash’s main new techniques. But as he’s sliding and flipping around these ropes, you can see much more of the level unfurl below him. There’s a whole series of platforming challenges for Crash to face on the lower deck of this level, and it speaks to Toys for Bob’s efforts to offer expansive, larger levels than the original trilogy could.
And last but not least, I just really wanted to point out this crate with a shark on it. Is there a shark in the crate, is it a crate that will eventually house a shark, or is it a crate filled with food, toys, or costumes for sharks?
Crash 4 will take the series to new worlds on October 2, when It’s About Time comes to PS4 and Xbox One. For more on Crash 4, check out the initial reveal trailer, and learn about other major gameplay details set for the sequel.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor, Host of Podcast Beyond!, and lifelong Crash Bandicoot player. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.