Crash Team Rumble Review
Although primarily known for his platforming prowess, Crash has ventured into a variety of genres, achieving varying levels of success. From slamming the pedal to the metal to manic, mini-game madness, the bandicoot has pretty much done it all, so what’s next for the orange marsupial? After the success of the N. Sane Trilogy and the long-awaited sequel, It’s About Time, a traditional title seemed to be on the cards. Rather than continue down the safe path, Toys for Bob have taken a wild detour with Crash Team Rumble but will the gamble pay off?
The online team-based multiplayer successfully adapts the IP into a format I never knew I wanted. Battles have a simple premise that is easy to grasp, and addictive as hell! In teams, you must work together to collect 2000 pieces of Wumpa Fruit and deposit them before your opponent. The sought-after fruit is everywhere and you can gather these through breaking boxes, platforming, or fighting. With a litany of hazards and enemies littered throughout, each mad dash is a joyous romp that will you keep you hungry for more.
You Spin Me Right Round
While it may seem like a frenzied free-for-all, there is a healthy layer of strategy within. You can play it safe and bank small numbers of Wumpa, or risk it all by using Boost Zones, powerups, and much more to get an advantage. As you aim to collect more than your adversary, teamwork becomes essential. You must select the right combination of characters to fend off your opponent. Even though you can wander off and attempt a solo effort, it is more fun to strategize to claim victory and thwart your enemy. It never gets old to sabotage your foe’s efforts. Kicking the crap out of your opponent just before they deposit their fruit is a blast and will keep you giggling throughout.
Each iconic character has clear roles that make them unique and allows for various tactics to achieve your goal. Scorers are adept at gathering Wumpa, Boosters are fast which makes them perfect for initiating traps and bonuses whereas Blockers are tanks that are designed to defend. Luckily, you are not restricted to these tasks in the game which adds variety. While your strengths are obvious, you can still do any of the other tasks in a match. So if you decide to make a daring run for Wumpa with a Blocker, you won’t be restricted, it just may take longer which could be detrimental due to the time-sensitive nature of the game.
Characters are full of personality which makes each of them feel distinct. Not only are the aesthetics different but they also have unique powers which give them all advantages and disadvantages. Dingodile carries a gun and can suck up Wumpa from opponents whereas Dr Nitrus Brio can morph into a ferocious beast to pound all in his way. The animation is fluid and captures the zany antics perfectly. Flying around the environment is simple due to the intuitive control scheme. Each person’s attacks are assigned the same buttons to make it simple to jump from one character to another. While I would like more personalities in the game, those included are well-designed and fun to use.
With only practice, ranked, and private modes, Crash Team Rumble lacks options. Luckily, the core gameplay is solid and will quickly get its hooks in you. Each match is chaotic but easy to pick up and play. The maps are compact and include platforming elements, stranglehold points, and verticality which helps to enhance the anarchy. It never feels like you’re out of the match as with a boost and some adept collecting, you can quickly get back in the game. Due to this, the balance can slide in either team’s favor which keeps you on edge throughout.
Pass on the Battle Pass
As with most games now, Crash Team Rumble includes a Battle Pass. While the unlockable cosmetics are great, it feels like an unnecessary method to garner more cash. If it was free to play, then this would be easier to digest, however in its current state, it doesn’t feel fit for purpose. With so much competition in the genre, Toys for Bob needs to get as many people on the addictive loop as possible, but this may act as a deterrent.
Crash Team Rumble is a surprisingly great multiplayer. The simple premise is compelling and fosters a more-ish cycle. Each of the characters is well-designed and gives gameplay options that allow you to strategize during bouts. The lack of single-player content, multiplayer modes, and the inclusion of a battle pass is disappointing, however, the core gameplay is a ton of fun and is definitely worth a spin.
*** A PS5 review code was provided by the publisher ***
- Addictive Gameplay Loop
- Characters Feel Different
- Lovely Visuals
- Lack of Modes
- No Single Player Options
- Battle Pass