Crash Bandicoot doesn’t have the greatest pedigree regarding spin-off video games. Crash Team Racing is a bonafide classic and deserves that recognition, but titles like Crash Bash, Crash Boom Bang, and Crash Tag Team Racing are pretty forgettable. After playing the recent closed beta, while not as extreme, we feel pretty safe saying you can add Crash Team Rumble to that list.
Crash Team Rumble is a 4v4 game built on the idea of gathering 2,000 Wumpa Fruit faster than the opposition. Everyone runs around the arena breaking crates and occasionally grabbing relics that can be used to activate special pads specific to the map you’re playing on. Examples include bounce pads, rolling ball power-ups, and Oxide or Uka Uka coming in to attack. Your team can also boost their Wumpa input by taking control of gem platforms.
With the above rules laid out, Crash Team Rumble isn’t a bad game by any means, but it’s pretty basic. This feels like a game originally envisioned as a side mode in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time that was forced into becoming its own thing. Matches are quick, and there’s a certain level of fun here, but it’s not something that made us want to return to it repeatedly. At times, we forced ourselves to keep playing. Much more often than not, our games were blowouts. One team gets rolling, and it seemed nearly impossible to stop that momentum.
The same visual treats in It’s About Time are here, with each character looking and behaving as you would expect, but there still feels to be a level of charm missing. Characters are split into three classes. Crash and Tawna are Scorers, characters dedicated to grabbing Wumpas and banking them. Dingodile is a Blocker looking to tank up and stop the enemy team, and Coco and Cortex are Boosters that aim to support the team through Relic use. In the early going, Dingodile was the character we dreaded seeing. If they placed themselves on your gate and you’re playing Crash, you might as well run around and waste time until a teammate can come to help you. That health difference is too much for you to do anything on your own.
Being a live service game that’ll cost you to get started, Crash Team Rumble might struggle to get a dedicated player base. It has a battle pass that levels up incredibly slowly. There seem to be plenty of cosmetic rewards to dress up your chosen character, but hopefully they speed up the XP gathering by launch, because it is way too slow in the beta.
Coming off of It’s About Time, Crash Team Rumble is a new direction for the bandicoot that we can appreciate for the novelty. That being said, it’s got limited potential to demand your time when it releases. It will have more characters and maps at launch, but nothing that looks to change anyone’s opinion on it right now.
Crash Team Rumble is due to launch on PS5 and PS4 on 20th June 2023 for $29.99/£24.99. What did you think of the closed beta? Are you excited to play this multiplayer spin-off? Slide into the comments section below.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is one of the most popular racing games available. Developed by Beenox and published by Activision, the game has seen immense success on both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, with more than 11 million copies sold worldwide. Now, the game is coming to the PlayStation 5 and the beta phase has provided an early glimpse of what players can expect.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’s beta phase has certainly been quite well received so far, with players loving the smooth visuals, improved frame rate and user interface. However, what we didn’t get to experience during the beta was a taste of the Wumpa elements, one of the staples of the game.
The Wumpa element of the game refers to the coins that you collect throughout the race, which allow players to purchase upgrades, unlock characters, and unlock karts. Unfortunately, the Wumpa was undercooked in the beta for both PS4 and PS5. The Wumpa was sparse and too few coins were available in comparison to the full version. Players were unable to purchase upgrades or unlock any characters whatsoever, only the standard character and kart were playable.
The experience was slightly different on the PlayStation 5, however. Just like the PS4, the Wumpa was sparse and upgrades and characters were still not available. The biggest difference is that the frame rate was smoother and more consistent on the PlayStation 5, allowing for a more fluid racing experience.
Overall, the beta for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on PS4 and PS5 was good, but Wumpa coins were significantly undercooked. Fans were eager to get their hands on some of the upgrades and characters, so it’s disappointing that those features were not available in the beta. It’s still possible that they will be added when the full version is released; until then, fans will just have to hope that their Wumpa cravings will be satisfied.