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What to expect from new Crash Bandicoot, 20 years after the original

By Fiona Morgan
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightActivision

Uncharted and Last of Us are pretty impressive titles to have in your back catalogue, but twenty years ago Naughty Dog were known for a different game.

Think back to 1995, the original PlayStation and epic 3D platformer, Crash Bandicoot.

Rumours of its return started circulating four years ago now and it was finally confirmed at E3 last year.

Vicarious Visions have taken the first three games and re-mastered them for release at the end of June.

For some it churns up stories of their early gaming experiences, for others Crash Bandicoot is just a mythical creature who existed before they were born.

'It was an iconic game'

Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy's lead producer, Kara Massie, says the original "was considered groundbreaking".

"People hadn't seen game play like that before. The art blew everybody away. It was lush, gorgeous artwork.

"What I think is really important and key to these three games is the personality of the games themselves and all the characters.

"It's a little bit punk, it's a little bit nerdy. Crash is all of us.

"And when someone loves something and has those strong feelings of nostalgia for something, you have a sense that you have to do right by that."

image copyrightActivision

She says that the game's original creators, Naughty Dog, have played it through and been very positive about the remake.

And she didn't feel any pressure from the love surrounding the original, "it was more of an inspiration to do right by such a great series of games".

The levels are the same, but pretty much everything else has changed

"Our vision has always been to keep it to what people expected and what they loved, because it was their great game, but also very much make it contemporary.

"We knew the scale and placement of things in the levels, so that's where we started, but everything else beyond that has been built from scratch.

"So it's all new sounds, all new voice over recordings, all new art."

image copyrightActivision

Newsbeat had a chance to play through some of the levels and there were actually laugh-out-loud moments with some of the new animations.

Despite all the new elements, it felt just like the old games.

The characters are still as you'd expect, only they look clearer and they've got more to say for themselves.

Even the original exploits are still there

If you remember beating your mate's speed run through Double Header using the walls as a faster way to ace it, you will still be able to do that in N Sane Trilogy.

image copyrightActivision

Kara says they "mostly wanted to capture that feeling, that sense of flow, the speed, the joy... so that you can burn through those levels for the speed runners if you want to.

"But also right down to the details like where you shoot the wizards with a bazooka his robe comes off.

"We remember every single one of those details and even added some of our own."

There was no multiplayer in the original

For those fans that talk of passing the controller between friends and family members, that might be about to change.

"We hear from fans all the time saying there was a lot of passing the controller back and forth around your friends and family, and that is something that's really lovely about this game, it is actually quite social" explains Kara.

"As far as actual multiplayer, that's a little bit wait and see... and let's see what comes from us."

image copyrightActivision
image captionVicarious Visions have updated all the graphics and animations

But Kara isn't willing to go any further than that, so we're not sure if she's referring to Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy, or something else.

Could Kara be talking about a re-master of Crash Team Racing?

"I'd love to see more Crash in the pipeline," she says.

"Obviously we're hearing a lot of interest, there's a huge and very positive upsurge in fans asking for Crash Team Racing and people are hearing that.

"Unfortunately I don't have any news to announce beyond the fact that the trilogy is coming out on 30 June."

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