Yes indeed, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is heading to PlayStation 5. We had a hunch we'd see this excellent platformer make the jump, and sure enough, the mascot marsupial is spinning onto Sony's latest console.
We were fortunate enough to speak with Lou Studdert, creative producer at developer Toys for Bob, about this new version and what PS5 adds to the experience. Read on for all the details on upgraded visuals, DualSense integration, and much more besides.
Note: The below interview has been lightly edited for readability. Featured images are 4K shots from the PS5 version of Crash 4.
Push Square: Is this a native PS5 version of Crash 4, or just an update to the PS4 version?
Lou Studdert: It's a native PS5 version of the game. The team went back to the game and updated certain things, added additional features... Yeah, it's a native version of the game, separate from the PS4 version. It's not running on backwards compatibility.
With a lot of PS4 games that get a PS5 edition later on, that up-to-date version is being offered as a free upgrade to owners of the previous version. Is that the case here?
Yeah! It'll be a free upgrade from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5, with the exception of Japan, but everywhere else it'll be a free upgrade.
In addition to that, we're allowing players to transfer their saves over from PS4 to PS5 as well.
Nice! So people can continue their quest for 106% completion.
In terms of visual enhancements, then, what are we looking at on PS5?
We've got the game running at a native 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second, which allows us to really lean into the cartoon aesthetic that we built for the game. I mean, seeing the game running at 4K and 60fps is like watching butter on-screen. It's crazy what it does for the game — it's really crisp, really smooth. Super exciting to see.
One sticking point of Crash 4 on PS4 were the loading times, which were on the longer side. Is this dealt with on PS5?
Obviously we're taking advantage of the solid-state drive, so the load times are incredibly expedited, really fast stuff there.
What other PS5 features have you utilised for this update to Crash 4?
We had our audio team look at and work with the enhanced 3D audio feature on PS5, so it takes advantage of that, which is really cool.
We were also able to play with the adaptive triggers. I mean those adaptive triggers, I don't need to tell you, are really fun and really tactile. So we went back and made it so our playable characters that use those buttons, Cortex and Tawna, for instance, take advantage of those adaptive triggers. It really adds this cool tactility when you're playing as them.
So you've got Cortex's blaster that blockifies and jellifies enemies to make them into platforms; it really feels like you're pulling the trigger of the blaster. Tawna's [hook shot] is super-cool, because you get that trigger feel, but then once it goes, in the trigger you actually feel the coiling rope extending out, and then impacting, before it pulls her to the next location. I love the work the team did with the adaptive triggers.
Another feature of PS5 not every developer is making use of is the Activity Cards system. Will Crash 4 implement those?
Yes, we're also gonna be using the Activity Cards that the PS5 brings, which is fun.
What's being offered there? Will we be able to jump into specific levels, or start the multiplayer mode, for example?
So I don't think we're talking yet about specific details, only that we're supporting [Activity Cards].
Should players expect any extra content in Crash 4 on PS5?
From a content perspective, what we wanted to do was make sure that, on this 25th anniversary year of the Crash Bandicoot series, that people get their chance to get their hands on the game that we made. So it's really leaning into the features of the consoles we're releasing on, as opposed to adding additional content to the game.
Do you have a release date for Crash 4 coming to PS5?
March 12th on PS5, Xbox Series systems, and Nintendo Switch, and the PC version is coming with a release date TBD.
What about Crash Bash?
What about Crash Bash?
When's it getting its time in the sun?
[Laughs] That's a question for another person. I honestly don't know, man. It has its fans, and it's a fun game.
A little while ago, what people believed to be a teaser was discovered in the first level of the game. If you flick through the channels on the TV, there was an image people hadn't seen before, and nobody's figured it out yet. Can you talk about that?
I haven't the faintest idea what you're referring to.
Okay. Alright, Lou, I get it.
[Laughing] I just, I don't know. I didn't know people were finding things, I don't know.
What's next for Toys for Bob, or indeed Crash Bandicoot?
Honestly, this is it. I mean we're focused on bringing [Crash 4] to additional platforms, and you know, just really excited to be getting the game into the hands of more players.
Any final thoughts before we wrap up?
Just I'm really excited for people to get their hands on it. I mean the 4K, 60 frames-per-second makes just a huge leap, it looks amazing.
A big thank you to Lou for talking to us about Crash Bandicoot 4's upcoming arrival on PS5, and to Activision for making this interview possible. The game comes to PS5 on 12th March, and it's a free upgrade for owners of the original. Will you be taking this new version for a spin? Take your time in the comments section below.