Everyone suspected that a Crash Bandicoot revival might be in the works, but when the N. Sane Trilogy was announced at this past E3, people weren't sure what to make of it.
Were the old games only getting remastered for the PS4 or was there something more to the trilogy? According to the latest info to come out about the game from today's PlayStation Experience Keynote and a follow-up post at the PlayStation Blog, the developer, Vicarious Visions, is calling it a "remaster plus."
Whatever that means in theory, in practice it looks somewhat similar to what Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country Returns tried to pull off, mixing the principles of a 2D platformer with the look and feel of a 3D environment that has depth and range.
According to Vicarious Visions, whose introduction to the series started with Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure on the GBA, elevating N. Sane to a remaster plus required digging deep into what made the original games stick with people after all these years.
"Using the original level geometry from Naughty Dog as a guide, we rebuilt the Crash gameplay from scratch, capturing its simplicity and precision. As the levels began to take shape, we layered in our own lush and zany art, animation, and audio," said the game's director.
But it wouldn't be a remaster plus without some new features. According to the developer, those include, but are not limited to:
Unified checkpointing & save game system. This includes manual and auto-saving. (Yes, the first game now has a proper save game system!)
Unified menu system. Here an example of the Pause menu for Crash Bandicoot.
Time Trials in all three games!
According to a press release, the game's audio is also getting a major face-lift with a "fully-remastered game soundtrack, packed with all the didgeridoos, xylophones and thumpin' bass lines you can handle, as well as newly recorded dialogue from some of the familiar voice actors who appear in the original Crash Bandicoot games, including Jess Harnell and Lex Lang, among others."
More recently, we got a taste of what to expect from Vicarious Visions' take on the games when they created a special Crash Bandicoot level for Skylanders Imaginators.