Crash Team Rumble beta preview — A new way to clash

Crash Bandicoot doesn’t exactly seem like the IP to make a competitive team game around, but it can work surprisingly well. We got the opportunity to play the Crash Team Rumble beta before the full game releases, and while the player count is unfortunately small, there is a lot of fun to be found here.

The basic premise of each match is to collect more wumpa fruit than your opponent, deliver it to your base, and be the first team to gain 2000 wumpa. Characters are divided into three roles, and while the beta only has five characters more will be in the full game and added later on. Crash and Tawna are Scorers, which means they’re suited to gathering and delivering wumpa, while Coco and Cortex serve as Boosters, activating score bonuses, traps, and items around the map. Lastly, Dingo Dile is the lone Blocker, with powerful attacks and a lot of health to prevent the other team from scoring or defend the base. Players can choose any role they want, but I have found the most balanced team composition is two Scorers, two Boosters, and one Blocker. Whoever you choose, you’re not restricted to only doing what your role states; scorers can activate boosts, boosters can attack, and blockers can score. However, problems do arise if you have someone shirking their duty.

Crash Team Rumble Preview Gameplay - PS5 [Gaming Trend]

So far, it seems most players have skipped the tutorial and I hope that trend doesn’t continue into the full game. Obviously that’s not an issue with the game itself, which actually does a pretty good job of teaching you, and caps it off with a bot match (which are available at any time). A lot of my matches were pretty one sided, mostly with one opponent perpetually AFK with seemingly no time out kick, but the game is a lot of fun when you’re evenly matched. It could all come down to you waiting for a boost to kick in before scoring, placing traps on the enemy base like a spitting plant or alien guardian, or using the stage’s gimmick item by collecting enough relics. These can be things like Oxide’s ship coming in to help you out, a second base for your team worth 2x the points, or summoning Uka Uka to make you invincible and rain death all over the stage. They’re pretty powerful and getting one may make or break a match.

There’s only a few stages in the beta, and they all function fairly similarly. Usually symmetrical in design, you’ve got one bank on each side, at least two sets of bonus gems to activate, a smattering of traps and items, and of course crates and fruit scattered around. I don’t think the stages are based on specific levels in the games, though they do have punny names like them, and instead draw from themes like island, desert, and temple. Some stages can feel pretty small, making it difficult to find collectables as a scorer since you have to wait for them to respawn after being collected. They’re just not particularly interesting either – the temple’s three bonus gem sets makes for the most engaging territory struggles out of the stages. This is a live service game, so I’m sure more will be added in the future.

The live service component is probably the most worrying part of the game. You earn cosmetics for characters through leveling the battle pass and individual characters, but the battle pass feels glacially slow to level. In my time with the game, I only reached level 4 out of 40, and that’s with most of my matches being wins. We’ll have to wait for the full game to see how it really works there, and if it will really hook audiences long enough to complete the battle pass.

Crash Team Rumble releases on June 20th for PlayStation and Xbox systems with cross-play multiplayer.

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