Hands-On With Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy’s New Level, Future Tense

Last year, fans of the Crash Bandicoot series were delighted when their favorite Bandicoot made his return in all his remastered glory on PS4, thanks to Vicarious Visions.  Now that we’ve had a chance to replay all of the levels, using tech from the modern era, Vicarious Visions is set to debut a brand new level, something that hasn’t happened in decades. We were invited to check it out…

On the second day before E3 2018 opened, Activision held a private viewing to show off the brand new level being added to Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, a sentence many thought never would be uttered a few years ago.  We entered the demo room, located within the confines of the priciest hotel I never dreamed I could afford. Inside this room were three representatives from Vicarious Visions: Studio Head Jennifer Oneal, Producer Kyle Martin, and Activision Producer Lou Studdert, all eager to show off the new additions they’ve spent so much time on. 

With controller in hand, Martin recalled the innovations they made when the remaster released and then introduced us to the brand new level, titled Future Tense. He then announced this level would be included when Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy releases on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, and wouldn’t need to be unlocked. Once the initial shock wore off, Martin & co. took us on a tour of the first level developed in 2 decades. 

Future Tense is a level that features a mixture of obstacles from past games and ones never-before-seen, like a water wheel that even Martin had a moment of failure against. Martin & co. said that they designed the level with the thought of keeping the integrity of the previous Crash games in mind. Hence, why they’ve imported obstacles from all three games. 

However, that’s not the only thing they had in mind. According to Martin and Oneal, Future Tense took inspiration from both the casual gamers and the competitive community of gamers that fight tooth and nail to be the fastest to beat these levels, “Speed Runners” or “Try-Hards”. Future Tense will feature tons of hidden hallways and compartments, that even we couldn’t find when we demoed, that add a ton of intrigue to the exciting new level. If you do happen to explore enough to find and beat these areas, a prize in the form of a gem awaits you. They’ve also included time trials so gamers can compare and compete for the best time on the leaderboard. So, whether you’re a slower, exploratory gamer or a speedrunner, Vicarious Visions has you covered with Future Tense.

In terms of graphics, you may notice that this new level is quite bright and that’s by design. Vicarious Visions looked at each level that was made 20 years ago and realized that there weren’t many brightly lit levels. With that in mind, they went to work on creating a gorgeous, fluorescent, futuristic world to wow the gaming community. 

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was shown and demoed using an Xbox One X, and I have to say it was BEAUTIFUL. In fact, I’d even say it was better on Xbox than PS4. PS4 faithful may take umbrage with that statement but the proof is in the gameplay. Crash has never been more vibrant and well-lit as it was when I played it on Xbox, and that’s coming from a person who doesn’t own an Xbox.

Gamers can be the judge when Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy arrives on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC on June 29, 2018, with full 4K capability. Oh, and if you thought Activision and Vicarious forgot about PS4 owners who already own the game, they haven’t. Future Tense will be available to download for free. The Stormy Ascent DLC will be available on PS4 on June 15, 2018. A physical copy of the game that includes it will also be available.

Vicarious Visions wants the community to know that Future Tense is a huge thank you to the fans who have played the game and are excited to play it. They hope this is a challenging and rewarding experience for everyone. After playing it, I’d say Mission Accomplished.