When you hear the words Crash Bandicoot what do you think of? For older gamers, you probably think of the original Crash Bandicoot games on the PlayStation 1. For some, Crash games stopped in 2001 with the release of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex; following that PS2 release a majority of Crash Bandicoot games were released on the Gameboy Advance.
In 2017, the Crash Bandicoot franchise was revitalized with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Since then, the Crash Bandicoot franchise has been somewhat renewed with the release of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Now, Toys for Bob and Activision look to bring Crash and friends to the arena with Crash Team Rumble.
At Summer Game Fest, we had the opportunity to meet with Toys for Bob to preview Crash Team Rumble. For the demo, they had us split into two teams of four to face off against one another. Since the game was in the main hall, it did garner some attention but if there were not enough players a Toys for Bob employee would jump in to make the teams even.
For the first game, we had no employees in the game but it was still a competitive matchup. Once an arena was chosen, players could choose a character from one of three roles, Scorer, Booster, or Blocker. In the demo, Crash, Coco, Catbat, Tawna, Cortex, Dingodile, Ripper Too, Drs. N. Gin, N. Tropy, and N. Brio were available to choose from. Once each player chose their character, they could choose their special ability. After that, it was off to the arena. The first team to get 2000 Wumpa-Fruit scored is the victor.
For the first round of the demo, our team had no blocker so I decided to play as Dingodile and chose the special ability to summon a defender that could electrify the area. Once loaded into the map, I made the mistake of going to our team’s drop-off zone and trying to defend it. Thankfully, a Toys for Bob employee quickly told me that I was in the wrong area and was able to point me in the right direction.
At first, I thought I was also supposed to grab Wumpa-Fruit but focused primarily on stopping the enemy team from scoring their Wumpa-Fruit. While in the zone, I spent most of the time spinning to win until I had my special available. Once the special was available, I dropped it directly onto the drop-off point making the other team’s life a living hell.
With the guardian in the zone, it was easy to deplete the enemy team’s health and stop them from depositing the Wumpa-Fruit. The enemy team ultimately wised up and were able to use their keys to get the Akano mask, making them hit harder but still were rather unsuccessful. In the first round, I was able to deny 1977 Wumpa-Fruit and get 20 kills.
For the second match, someone from our team stepped out so an employee filled in. Rather than having two boosters on our team, we decided to have two scorers and two blockers. As the victor in the previous round, I had the option to choose the map for the second match and chose Serenity Gardens. The Serenity Gardens had a very oriental/Japanese feel to the map; if it wasn’t for having to fight another team I would have loved to explore the map and see its ins and outs. What I do recall is the beautiful buildings and the tree in the center of the map.
The second match was a bit closer with the enemy team having a better understanding of the game, but there was still a clear winner. With a second defender, it made it a bit easier to defend the zone, but we had to coordinate when to help our scorers push the zone in order to score. Even with having the Toys for Bob employee as the second defender, I still came close to having the highest number of fruits denied.
Each character’s abilities and the specials they chose can really determine the flow of scoring within the arena. The enemy team’s character that could jump and bash was a pain to deal with at first, but ultimately it came down to predicting their moment and then knocking them off into the fire.
With showing the game off to eight people, there was limited time to ask the developers questions. The back-and-forth action that you can face in the arena can be a lot of fun, but Crash Team Rumble does give each team the opportunity to get back in the game thanks to power-ups.
The game will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Crash Team Rumble does have cross-platform gameplay.