Once an unofficial mascot of the Sony Playstation, Crash Bandicoot's farewell from the exclusive Sony world hit all of his fans hard and below the belt. I for one was really wishing that Sony would purchase the franchise and don't let it slip away into the hands of another developer, let alone new publisher. Unfortunately the ultimate happened, Sony losses Crash to Konami and Traveler's Tales will be doing the development for his newest adventure on the PS2. Along with the PS2, it made my stomach turn when I found out that Crash would also be released on the GameCube and XBox. But after Sony acquired Naughty Dog I knew that this would never happen again, and I was quite relieved. At the moment Naughty Dog is hard at work on an amazing adventure game yet to be named, and it will be revealed at E3 2001. While that isn't happening yet, here's what is, the unveiling of Crash Bandicoot's fourth adventure and seventh videogame, sub-titled The Wrath of Cortex. Konami has provided us with the first screenshots of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, and I've got you covered with a preview.
I never thought I'd see the day when Crash would look as good as this. Traveler's Tales is barely 30% into the development of Crash: Cortex, but the visual achievement is remarkably high, and there is still 70% left for improvement. Crash Bandicoot's final appearance will weigh him in at 2,000 polygons, that's quite an extraordinary leap from 400 isn't it? As these early screenshots show us, Crash Bandicoot's detail is extremely vibrant, Crash himself looks exactly like he should, goofy looking and yet somehow heroic. The backgrounds are another nostalgic piece of visual evidence, the signature Crash Bandicoot ever so luscious colors are re-created on the PS2 and for one, look better than ever. If the environments are not some of the best and brightest I've ever seen, then I don't know what are. As early as the game is, Crash still looks just as amazing as it ever has on the PS2, just with 2,000 polygons per character, special effects like never before, 60 frames of non-stop animation, amazing textures, trademark Crash Bandicoot jungle-esque environments, and much, much more.
Expect everything that you've played from previous Crash titles to return on the PS2. The linear and side-scrolling courses will be making a comeback this November 2001, and so will that weird looking apple/pear fruit that our bandicoot enjoys so much. Coco Bandicoot will now be a fully playable character, unlike she was in Crash: Warped where you can only use her with her tiger. Her missions and Crash's missions will be pre-set during the game, so you can't choose which character you want to play on a certain stage, like you could in Donkey Kong for SNES, but that would be a good idea though. In this new adventure Crash will be able to pilot a helicopter, use a glider to soar over a farm, ride on a Jeep to escape from a cave and even ride on top of a lily pad-backed Turtle over a body of water. Of course as you can tell, Neo Cortex has returned and may very well be the last boss in this adventure.
At the moment Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is planned to be released in November 2001, which seems like a likely date. Let's just all hope that Traveler's Tales and Universal can pull off a successful Crash game, without having us to beg for the return of Naughty Dog. In the meantime, we've got 8 screenshots for you to look at, make sure you do!