Crash Bandicoot 4: The Story Behind Cortex, Dingodile, and Tawna as Playable Characters


You’d certainly expect to play as Crash in a game named after the bandicoot, but Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time introduces three additional playable characters – Dr. Cortex, Dingodile, and Tawna – on top of Crash and Coco. Each comes with their own moveset and series of levels that test players with unique mechanics within the platforming framework of the Crash series.To coincide with Crash 4’s launch on PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and Nintendo Switch, IGN spoke with Crash 4 creative producer Lou Studdert about developer Toys for Bob’s creative process in bringing these characters to life. From the selection process to determining each character’s mechanical hook and more, read on for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how Crash 4’s ensemble playable cast came to be.

Who Makes the Cut?

While Crash 4 is a direct sequel to 1998’s Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Toys for Bob certainly understood the entirety of Crash’s history when creating It’s About Time. And so when the topic of other characters to include came up, Studdert explained how it was no easy task to choose for a team full of lifelong Crash fans.

“It’s actually one of the toughest conversations we had at the start of the game, because Crash as a series has this amazingly deep bench of characters. And we had a bulletin board with everyone from the franchise on it,” Studdert explained, namechecking everyone as varied as Crash 1’s Pinstripe to Crash Tag Team Racing’s Willie Wumpa Cheeks. But at the end of it all, gameplay had to be king.

Every IGN Crash Bandicoot Game Review

And while Dingodile’s narrative role took some finessing, Studdert explained how the devs early on knew “the general notion of a vacuum” was what they wanted for the character’s gameplay. But, still, there were plenty of different iterations to get to what players ended up enjoying, including some more complex puzzle solving than some would expect in a Crash game.

“We had a bunch of different experiments of how there would be other moves that he could do. We initially had move sets where he could grab a TNT crate and then if he held onto it too long, the explosion would launch him backwards,” he said.

“But because he’s so beefy, it wouldn’t kill him. And so we had these puzzle steps where he’d grab a TNT and then have to turn away from the jump and get launched backwards. It made you feel super smart, but at the same time it just didn’t feel right, because that whole, facing the wrong way and lining up your jump, it was a little too layered.”Studdert elaborated how the vacuum at various point also was used to pull switches, or to pull and launch slingshots, but that these more complex pacekillers didn’t line up with the overall goal of the team: making a great Crash Bandicoot game.

“It’s all about trying to make sure that this felt like a Crash Bandicoot game, where those mechanics [are] really cool in a test area, but trying to make sure that we kept at a pace and kept it feeling like it was part of Crash Bandicoot was so important to us,” he explained. “We need to strip away some of the layers here and get rid of some of the extra thought that goes into these puzzle mechanics to ensure that it still felt like Crash Bandicoot.”

Maintaining pace and ensuring that Crash Bandicoot DNA remains throughout the experience is something I praised it for in IGN’s Crash Bandicoot 4 review, noting how each character felt distinct enough to work in their own spinoff game, but still of apiece with the greater Crash game. And now players on Switch, PS5, and Xbox One can experience that for themselves, while PC players can enjoy Crash 4 later this year. If you’re just diving in, be sure to check out IGN’s Crash Bandicoot 4 guide for tips, tricks, and help finding every last gem.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and PlayStation lead. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

Read More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *