Crash Bandicoot 4 makes the choice to return to a world map format closer to Crash Bandicoot 1 than the warp room setup of Crash 2 and 3. And while the team at Toys for Bob didn’t initially plan for it, the map actually provided the developers with a structure for how it wanted to introduce players to Crash 4’s story and difficulty.

Speaking to IGN ahead of Crash 4’s launch, Toys for Bob studio co-head Paul Yan discussed the approach, as well as how the team set out to make the biggest Crash game ever. And initially, the team thought it would just continue the trend of Crash 3’s warp room map, but realized how the style of Crash 1’s world map better suited their designs.

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“We wanted to make sure that it was a follow-up to Crash 3,” Yan said when the team approached the whole project. “Part of that was making a presumption, ‘Oh yeah. We’ll just start off with the warp room format.’”

“As we went along further into our designs, we found that striking this balance between making sure the game is challenging, but also approachable and controllable was at odds with that format. We went back to that linear overworld map from Crash 1, and it gave us two really long benefits.”

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As Yan continued on, he noted that a balance between making the entire adventure approachable, but also delivering the difficulty players expect from the franchise, melded with the idea of physically having players walk along the game’s on-map path.

“We could very specifically craft the ramp and its difficulty in the way that we onboard new abilities. We knew with high confidence that if you could overcome level two with this set of new abilities and this new locomotion trick, then you were prepared for level three, and that experience could be really highly crafted and authored, he explained before diving into the other major benefit.

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“One of our goals for this game was to make story a bigger deal, and that we would put more emphasis on the storytelling and the relationships between the characters. Having that linear format allowed us to craft that story more linearly in the way that you could present without it feeling disparate and without any sense of chronological order,” he said.

And as players can experience for themselves, jumping from one level to the next on the map comes with obvious teases toward the other unlockable levels, like those Timeline adventures for other playable characters, and the flashback tape challenge chambers.

For more on Crash 4, be sure to read IGN’s Crash Bandicoot 4 review, and if you’re playing, be sure to read our Crash Bandicoot 4 wiki guide to find out how to collect the special gems and more.

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Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor and host of Podcast Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.
Source: IGN Video Games All
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