Crash Bandicoot is one of the most beloved mascots in the whole world. Riding high on the success of the first three titles, Crash Bandicoot was indestructible. That was until Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex released on the PlayStation 2 in 2001.
Developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Universal Interactive Studios. It’s the fourth main installment in the series and focuses on Doctor Neo Cortex’s new creature, Crunch Bandicoot, as he tries to destroy Crash.
Uka Uka is fed up with losing and orders previous villains, Doctor Neo Cortex, Tiny Tiger, Dingodile, Doctor Nefarius Tropy and Doctor N. Gin, to devise a new plan to defeat Crash. Cortex explains of his new creation, Crunch Bandicoot, but he needs extra power.
Here come the Elementals – a group of renegade masks who used to ravage the group. After witnessing a few catastrophic events, Aku Aku realises that the Elementals have been released. The only way to defeat them is to imprison them with the Crystals. Here comes our hero Crash Bandicoot to save the way.
The Wrath of Cortex is a platform game just like all the others. You go through platforming levels and then fight a boss. Along the way, you collect Crystals, Gems and Apples to build up to health. There isn’t anything creative or new about the gameplay.
There’s a lot of assumed knowledge when you start The Wrath of Cortex. They heavily expect you to have played the previous games and know how to play. There are no tutorials to tell you how to play or how to do certain maneuvers. Many love Crash Bandicoot, but tutorials would’ve been helpful.
Most of the enemies are just reskinned enemies from previous games. It feels cheap and unimaginative. This added with the sporadic checkpoints and poor boss designs just feels boring. It’s sad that it feels like a cash grab rather than a fun game.
The best thing about The Wrath of Cortex is the design on the loading screens. It looks cool and feels fitting into the series. Despite this, The Wrath of Cortex is just not entertaining. Anyone wanting to feel nostalgia or play a decent Crash Bandicoot game, play any other game aside from this one.
Words by Charlie Vogelsang