Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Hands-on Preview

Ned Jordan
In Short
I took Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled's arcade mode for a spin on the Crash Cove, Dingo Canyon, and Polar Pass tracks.
Crash Team Racing

Crash Team Racing first appeared on the original PlayStation console twenty years ago. It is now making its return on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, but it's not the game it was back when it was first released. Crash Team Racing has been completely rebuilt from the ground up to be a modern console game with improved graphics, sound, and control, and is being reborn as Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. All of the characters, tracks, and power-ups from the original are here, they just look better than they ever have before. The technological advances of the past twenty years have also allowed the developers to add more visual flourishes to the game. New character animations have been created and the tracks have been made livelier with the addition of new off-track characters and other animations.

I recently had the chance to see the new Crash Team Racing in person and get a little hands-on time with the game. The build I played only had the arcade racing mode available for play, and only three tracks were available, Crash Cove, Dingo Canyon, and Polar Pass, but that was enough to give me a feel for the game. You'll not only need to run a good race and avoid the pitfalls on the tracks, but you'll have to contend with the other racers and the power-ups they can unleash on you. Power-ups fall into three categories ' weapons that fire forward, weapons that fire backwards, and defensive power-ups such as shields. You gain power-ups by hitting crates on the tracks, but the power-up you'll get is randomized.

First up was Crash Cove, a track set on a beach. Track features include a shipwreck on the shore that you can drive up onto and use the deck as a ramp, a water hazard where the ocean washes across the track, and a pier you'll have to race under while avoiding its pilings. This was the shortest and easiest of the three tracks, and a good one to play first while getting a feel for the controls.

Next, I took a spin around Dingo Canyon, a track set in a desert landscape right out of the Old West. You start out in a small town the likes of which you might pass through on a drive down Route 66. From there you enter the canyon itself which adds a few new track elements into the mix such as split paths and jumps ' fall short of the jump and you'll have a long fall down a cliff. You'll also have to contend with water on the track on the canyon floor as you race through its thinnest stretch.

Lastly, I took a couple of runs on Polar Pass. This track was the most difficult of the three I tried out, and is set in a frozen land filled with polar bears and Vikings. Seals slide across the track, you'll need to jump from one iceberg to the next, and you'll need to navigate some tight snow-covered turns. This track really showed off some of the game's graphical upgrades with the ice effects you'll see in places like in an ice cavern the track runs through or as you race pass a giant polar bear frozen in ice.

While I only had the chance to try out three tracks in arcade mode, I had fun with my short time with Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. The tracks look great and are fun to play, and I look forward to trying more of them out in the future.

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Transmitted: 4/22/2024 9:22:35 AM