We are now less than a week away from the release of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. And whereas we thought the recent Launch Trailer was the last bit of news we’d get, it turns out there was still one major bit of news left to unveil: Multiplayer/ Battle Mode. IGN had an exclusive first look at the mode and based on everything they shared, it looks like Crash 4 is truly trying to check off every box of ‘things we love about this series’.
How Multiplayer/ Battle Mode Will Work:
As of the moment, multiplayer will be local/ pass-the-controller style only, which – despite being a little difficult in present times – is in my opinion the better route to take. For starters, you don’t have to worry about factoring in lousy connections. Additionally, when it comes to couch multiplayer, Crash Bandicoot will forever be one of those series that come to mind.
Up to four players can play, which initially might make sense since there are multiple playable characters in this game; BUT you have to remember that Cortex, Dingodile and Tawna all play differently. In terms of shared gameplay mechanics, there is Crash and Coco. So how do you get up to 4 players? Simple, you add in Fake Crash as well as the reveal of Fake Coco! Though choosing your character is the least of your worries as you’ll have two Multiplayer Modes to choose from.
Multiplayer Mode 1: Checkpoint Race
The first Multiplayer Mode is called Checkpoint Race and is largely the spiritual successor of ‘Time Trials’. Though instead of the winner being chosen based on overall time to complete the level, each level is broken down into a series of races based on the Checkpoints found throughout that level. Player 1 races to the first checkpoint, then passes the controller onto Player 2 who then does their run to that first checkpoint – and so on and so forth. Breaking the level down like this not only helps with the ease of this being Local Multiplayer; but also means that if for some reason you absolutely bomb one part of the race but decimate in the others, it’s still possible to win!
As you race, you’ll see the ghost of the competitors who went before you to let you know how you’re currently progressing. It’s also important to note here that the majority of crates appear to be replaced with Nitro Crates; but sprinkled in a few numbered crates that will give you the ability to freeze time. So you’ll have to weight the pros and cons of making a simple dash to the end or trying to hit that precariously placed crate.
Multiplayer Mode 2: Crate Combo
The other Multiplayer Mode revealed is called Crate Combo; and just as the name suggests, is less about timing and more about consistently smashing those crates! Similar to the Checkpoint Race, each section is broken down based on the checkpoints of a level; and your attempt ends when you (1) reach that Checkpoint or (2) die. As for scoring points, each crate is worth points and every time you smash one, the point value of those crates increase – up to 32 points per Crate!
That being said, you do still have to keep an eye on time as you’ll find a combo meter on the lower right of your screen. If this bar reaches zero, your crate multiplier will end and all the point values will reset. Again, similar to Checkpoint Race, there is the potential for a come from behind victory. So if you racked up a powerful multiplier early on and kept it going – but died just before reaching the end of the level – you could still win if Player 2 plays it too cautiously and lets their multiplier reset!
IGN also revealed that there would be a Local Co-Op mode as well; and that you’ll be able to work your way through both the normal and N. Verted versions of each level. That being said, no gameplay was shown, so it’s unclear how it will function. Will multiple characters be on screen at once or will you simply pass off the controls as you reach each checkpoint. Considering you could do that normally without a full mode dedicated to it; I’m personally hoping for Option 1; but I suppose we’ll have to wait to see at release.
Speaking of which, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time releases this week – October 2 – on PS4 and Xbox One. And even though it’s right around the corner, there’s still time to PreOrder Digitally, which will give you access to the Demo we tried a few weeks ago!