If you haven't played Uncharted 4: A Thief's End yet, then we actively encourage you not to read this article – and definitely don't watch the video above. Look, we think that we create some pretty darn compelling content here at Push Square, but some things are best enjoyed fresh, and seeing as Nathan Drake's latest isn't out until tomorrow… Well, you're better off just waiting until you've played through at least the first few chapters. Don't worry, this article will still be here for you to read when you've made some progress through the game.
Consider this your last warning, though – once you've scrolled past the oversized picture of Nate, this article will contain early game spoilers. You've no one to blame but yourself if you keep reading, okay?
We're assuming if you're still reading this then you want to get spoiled? Okay, then, let's get straight to the point: Crash Bandicoot is all over Uncharted 4. The former PlayStation mascot is not only referenced in collectibles and inspectable objects, but there's also an entire level from the PSone title that's playable in the game. Don't believe us? Scroll back up and watch the video above.
This is significant for two reasons: Sony's been teasing the maniacal marsupial for months and months now, yet there's no reference to Activision – the character's current steward – in the credits. Since shooting the video, Sony's Adam Boyes has re-iterated on Twitter that "Activision owns the rights to Crash Bandicoot" – but something has clearly changed.
Let's just look at some of the facts: the platform holder's been talking about the protagonist non-stop for almost three years now, chief Shawn Layden wore a branded tee at PSX last year knowing full well it would send fans into a frenzy, and now Crash Bandicoot appears in Uncharted 4 without any Activision credits – a year or so after Bruce Straley made the following comment:
"There's actually been a conversation about if it were at all possible – which it's not, let me emphasise – but we wanted to put a Crash Bandicoot game inside [Uncharted 4]. Not gonna happen, though – don't worry. It's not our title. Sony doesn't own it, so we don't have control."
Between comments from voice actors and slip ups from toy manufacturers, we have to imagine that Crash Bandicoot is making a comeback, and we'll find out more at E3. More than that, despite what Adam Boyes says, we reckon that the rights have changed – or are about to change – hands. The fact that the character is referenced multiple times in Uncharted 4 without credit surely suggests as much – especially after Naughty Dog was forced to mention the publisher in its recent art book.
We'll surely learn for sure in just over a month's time, but here's our speculation for the time being: the rights to Crash Bandicoot are changing hands, and a new game is in development for the PS4. Moreover, we fully anticipate that the original PSone games will find their way onto the PlayStation Store with Trophy support to tide you over until the new title's completed.
Whatever the truth, though, there's simply too much smoke surrounding the franchise now for it not to make a comeback of some kind – even if Activision itself is at the helm. But what do you think? Do you reckon that we're reading too much into things? Are you impressed by the Uncharted 4 Easter egg? Would you like a new Crash Bandicoot game? Spin around in circles in the comments section below.