In March, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Sierra Entertainment. According to a report on Variety's gaming blog, the long-standing publisher was in store for significant shake-up as a result of the impending $18.9 billion merger between its parent company, Vivendi Games, and Santa Monica-based megapublisher Activision. Two Sierra stalwarts evidently not to be affected by any reevaluation are Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, given that the publisher announced today a new game in each of the series.
With Radical Entertainment looking to finish off the violent Prototype this fall, the developer is targeting the same release window for its family-friendly Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant. As is evident from the title, franchise antagonist Neo Cortex has devised a mind-control device, and is using it to dominate the will of monster and marsupial alike in a bid to take over the world.
Mind Over Mutant will introduce a number of new elements to the long-running platforming series. In addition to an open-world design, Crash can now climb and dig, and the bandicoot's sister, Coco, can be played in co-op mode. Mind Over Mutant will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, and Nintendo DS.
Etranges Libellules will be wrapping up its Legend of Spyro trilogy with Dawn of the Dragon on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS2, and Wii, with a DS version also in development at Tantalus Interactive. In this final installment in the Legend of Spyro story arc, the titular purple dragon will face off against the nefarious Dark Master in a final showdown, allying with former adversary Cynder in the process. The series adds two new play mechanics: Spyro can now take to the sky at will, and players can now take advantage of two-player co-op as either Spyro or Cynder in the game's single-player mode.
As with previous installments in the series, Sierra has spared no expense landing celebrity voice talent for the series, and Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings, Flipper) and Gary Oldman (The Professional, Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night) will reprise their roles in the game. Wood and Oldman will be joined by a number of other Hollywood stars, including Christina Ricci (Monster, That Darn Cat), Blair Underwood (L.A. Law, Malibu's Most Wanted), Mark Hamill (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Guyver), and Wayne Brady (Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Don't Forget the Lyrics).