Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex Preview

Traveller's Tales is giving Crash Bandicoot a go on the GameCube.


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Universal Interactive, the owners of the popular Crash Bandicoot license, have entrusted the next game in the series, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, to Traveller's Tales, a UK-based developer known for its work with child-friendly licenses. Scheduled for release on the Nintendo GameCube this November, Wrath of Cortex will feature familiar Crash Bandicoot gameplay as well as a number of new attacks, vehicles, and an additional fully playable character, Cocoa, the sister of Crash. The storyline continues where it left off in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, with Dr. Cortex and Uka Uka plotting revenge on the Bandicoots with the aid of the four Ancient Elementals. Discovered by Uka Uka and embodying the destructive powers of nature, the Elementals cut a swathe of misery across the world. Dr. Cortex plans to harness the power in these forces to create a weapon of immeasurable power, with which he can finally destroy the meddlesome Bandicoot

To foil Cortex's plans, Crash and Cocoa will trek across 30 levels of platforming challenges, defeat the Ancient Elementals, stomp out Uka Uka, and finally take on Cortex himself. Assisting them in this stratagem, and providing an entertaining digression from the standard gameplay, will be levels where the Bandicoots will power up and control Mechs, race Jeeps across perilous terrain, and pull off aerial stunts in an airplane. The additional playable character, Cocoa, will have her own abilities and specialties, giving players more options throughout the entire game, in lieu of just having a new character model for occasional cameo appearances and minigame-type levels. Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex takes a cue from the level design found in games like Klonoa, in that it will feature 2.5D level design. While the environments are fully 3D, characters will follow a strictly linear path that occasionally deviates toward a predetermined destination. Obviously comfortable with this sort of look, Traveller's Tales has decided to renovate the Crash Bandicoot graphics, shifting them toward a more cartoony visual style. Determined to stay true to the addictive gameplay mechanics put forth by its predecessors, Traveller's Tales has also made sure that the character animations and level themes will be familiar to fans of the franchise.

Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex is still in development, so stay tuned to GameSpot for the latest information on how it develops on the GameCube. While the little that we have seen so far has been impressive, it will remain to be seen if the next-generation console versions of Crash Bandicoot will succeed without Naughty Dog behind them.

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