Crash Team Rumble Hands-On Preview

Crash and grab!

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There’s something about the wild, deranged look in Crash Bandicoot’s eyes that tells me he’d be perfect for a chaotic, competitive multiplayer game, and clearly I’m not alone. After sitting down with the people at Toys for Bob to howl and hurl trash talk at one another for an hour as we played their upcoming Crash Team Rumble, it’s clear they’re onto something. The over-the-top world of Crash Bandicoot fits very nicely with the surprisingly nuanced competitive slugfest they’ve created, and I was hooked after the first scream-inducing match.

Crash Team Rumble is a 4v4 brawler where teams compete to be the first to score 2,000 points in the form of Crash’s iconic wumpa fruit. To do so you’ll need to smack crates, slap other players, make use of power ups, and of course, master platforming. That’s all with the goal of gobbling up as many wumpa fruits as possible to stash into your team’s bank before some heartless goon stomps on your head and takes you for all you’re worth.

If you’ve ever played Killer Queen, then you’ll feel right at home with a lot of Crash Team Rumble’s formula, which allows for multiple strategies to put you on the path to victory. You can play it slow and steady by depositing wumpa fruits into your team’s bank until you’ve racked up enough points, or you can multiply your wumpa-depositing potential by capturing the level’s Boost Zones. Or, if you’re like me and just want to grief your opponents, you can camp out on the enemy bank and relentlessly kill opposing players to slow down their own harvest. Unlike Killer Queen, a mix of each strategy will likely be required, rather than achieving victory by pulling off just one. Every match then becomes about prioritizing the right strategies and communicating with your teammates to emerge with a winning formula.

To that end, each of the five characters have lots of options to help you crush the competition, whether it’s double jumping, sliding, spinning, or other unique abilities like Crash’s mid-air dash and extra powerful slide attack, or Doctor Cortex’s ability to turn opponents into harmless little critters for a time. Crash and Tawna are well-rounded Scorers, who excel at grabbing wumpas and depositing them at the bank. Meanwhile Coco and Doctor Cortex are Boosters, experts at controlling Boost Zones that earn you multipliers for any wumpas deposited while they are held. Finally there’s Dingodile, who is the sole Blocker, intended to simply stop the enemy from scoring by being a big, scary DPS machine.

"the sort of glorious mayhem that reminds me of my childhood days yelling at my friends during Mario Kart 64 or Smash Bros."

As your team scrambles to carry out their strategy, you’ll also have to contend with power ups and modifiers within each level. One level has a giant UFO that rains death upon the opposing team once summoned, while another has beach balls that can be used to increase your team’s mobility and deal extreme damage to anyone in your way. With so much to think about and numerous things that can go very wrong or very right for each team, the result is the sort of glorious mayhem that reminds me of my childhood days yelling at my friends during Mario Kart 64 or Smash Bros. and it’s really hard to put down.

One match I was able to win by simply beating up the enemy team so much they had a hard time depositing anything into their bank, while another I racked up tons of multipliers by capturing Boost Zones so we were able to bank 2,000 wumpas in no time at all. Many matches were extremely close calls, but even when they weren’t the energy in the room was hilarious and infectious.

After a short time with it, I’m confident I’ll be putting some time in with Crash Team Rumble during its beta next month and when it gets its full release in June.

This post might contain affiliation links. If you buy something through this post, the publisher may get a share of the sale.
In This Article

Crash Team Rumble

Developer: Toys for Bob
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One
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