In an industry inundated with first-person shooters and massively multiplayer campaigns, the announcement of a new Crash Bandicoot series is certainly a breath of fresh air. Activision has made the announcement that Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy is slated for release in June, 2017, and fans of platforming adventure couldn’t be more excited.
Crash Bandicoot is something of a lost relic, heralding back to a time of Sony gaming when platformers dominated and bright, radiant colors flooded the television screen like an Animaniacs cartoon. The current video game industry has become focused on hyper-realism, firefights and a first-person experience. The reintroduction of a Crash Bandicoot game resists the mold by offering something that is animated and whimsical in tone.
The original Crash Bandicoot debuted on the Playstation in 1996, and it hasn’t been revisited since the spinoff racing game, Nitro Cart 2 in 2010. In the original Playstation and Playstation 2 eras, there was an influx of games to the platfomer genre, and many of them created lasting impressions. Spyro the Dragon came onto the scene with the vim and vigor of a baby purple dragon, and characters like Sly Cooper and Star Fox prove that the allure of anthropomorphic characters is quite effective.
Major platforming titles like Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet and Clank, Spyro the Dragon and Jak and Daxter created an army of intriguing mascots. These characters were able to successfully compete with Nintendo’s ever popular Mario, while creating an exclusive atmosphere around Sony that wouldn’t fade for years.
Today, Ratchet and Clank is the only series from the PS2 era that has managed to survive in a meaningful way, as most platformers have been left out to pasture in lieu of more gritty action titles. The resurface of Crash Bandicoot offers a promising future for the Playstation 4. Hopefully it will inspire developers to think outside of trends and realize that there are classic elements that are worth utilizing in our modern tech world. The breadth of genres has diminished significantly over the past console generation, and it’s up to current developers to revitalize the industry with more diverse material.