Let’s get ready to rumble in our Crash Team Rumble preview!
I don’t think I’m the only one who was surprised at this next iteration of bandicoot mayhem. Announced last year at The Game Awards, Crash Team Rumble is a online 4v4 team game that brings all the characters you know and love into stunning mediocre battles.
Wait, what do I do again?
Developed by Toys For Bob (who also did Crash 4), the team released a closed beta recently that I was able to partake in. As Crash is a very important icon in my gaming upbringing, I wanted to share my thoughts here in our Crash Team Rumble preview!
Crash Team Rumble Preview – Gameplay – Squad Up or Wumpa Off
The set up is simple: a team of 4 players go against another team of 4 to score the most points and achieve victory. One of the early things I noticed about this system is that you need a good team to work together and do their roles well. There are three different builds to choose from, Scorer, Blocker and Booster, who all have assigned characters. There was only 5 available choices in the beta but Toys For Bob has promised many more on full release.
As if I’m not going to pick Crash.
As a Scorer your objective is simple, run around and collect wumpa fruit from anywhere you can whilst avoiding traps and the other team. Get as much as you can and head back to your teams “bank”, wait for the timer and you will deposit said fruit inching closer to a win. The Blocker is straight forward and possibly the most fun to play, you are slower but have a more powerful attack, allowing for easier knock outs on your opponents.
The map is displayed like this before every match.
Lastly is the Booster. There are several gem platforms around each map, converting those for your team will unlock a limited time boost which increases the wumpa fruit score when you deposit and the speed at which it collects. If your team has a good balance of these roles your victory will be swift!
Each character also has their own slightly different move set and abilities to better equip them in that specific position. You also get to choose an additional ability that you can change at any time before a match. The available ones in the beta included a Flytrap to attack the other team, a Healing Fridge to heal your own squad, a Gasmoxian Guard which is great for placing on the oppositions’ bank to stop them scoring and a Wumpa Stash which gives you a good fruit bump.
Crash Team Rumble Preview – Battlepass
Every Crash game has a story, even Crash Team Racing! But you won’t find anything here besides a fancy intro cutscene. As with almost all multiplayer games these days, a battlepass is present. This is basically the only reason to keep playing matches (aside from fun, I suppose) and contains some cool but ultimately pointless items.
The rewards you receive from your progress vary from skins, banners, emblems, poses and even music, all of which come from the impressive backlog of Crash games. On top of this, each character also has their own smaller progression bar which only increases if you use them. There are also special items that are specific to that hero which include emblems and skins. Challenges will help to fill your XP bar towards your next battlepass level, which I’m sure would change often.
Crash has a beanie because reasons.
One plus is that all of these progression bars aren’t at any extra cost. On release, the game will feature 8 characters to play, each with their own unlockables. It’s unsure at this point whether we will see seasons and new battle passes, but Toys for Bob has assured many new characters to come in the future.
I swear there was another popular game that featured backpacks…
Crash Team Rumble Preview – Music to My Ears
Upon booting up the beta, I was instantly met with a familiar tune, one which, if you have played any original Crash Bandicoot game, you would know. The slightly remixed version of this classic beat was enough for me to dwindle on the starting screen for several minutes before beginning a game. As I previously mentioned, you can unlock music that plays when you get the top performer spot in a match. These are tracks from all 3 original games and the recent It’s About Time.
Smooth as a Bandicoot’s Wumpa
In terms of gameplay, Crash Team Rumble felt quite smooth and surprisingly enough, worked well. It felt very similar to It’s About Time control wise and the moves are basically the same buttons. The only glaringly obvious difference is that you are able to spin the camera 360 degrees and go any way you want.
The three available maps to play were different, but only slightly. I got a few mixed up several times, so hopefully in the full release we see a lot more variety. Abilities were the main diversity between each map, as only specific ones are exclusive to whichever map you choose.
The maps available during the beta.
For example, on Calamity Canyon, you can unlock a spiked ball that makes you invulnerable for a short time whilst flinging any enemy you roll into far away. Other awesome abilities included an Oxide spaceship with lasers, an Uku Uku mask and a force field to protect your bank.
Over the several hours I played, I felt like I did everything I could in the beta, unlockable skins aside. Each match rarely took longer than 10 minutes and occasionally I had such a bad team it was over in 5. There is a real lack of depth here which is probably not that surprising, however I was hoping for something more than just a general multiplayer game.
You get a wumpa, you get a wumpa, everyone gets a wumpa!
I’m still not sold on my favourite bandicoot being pimped out for a battlepass and the main worry I have for Crash Team Rumble is its longevity. It will all depend on how much is still hiding up the sleeves of Toys for Bob, which I will be very curious to see what transpires on release.