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Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled: Crunch Bandicoot Confirmed

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled will include tracks and characters from Crash Nitro Kart – including polarising antagonist Crunch Bandicoot – it has been announced.

Beenox, the studio tasked with remastering the PlayStation classic for current-gen systems, confirmed the news earlier today. Creative director Thomas Wilson was interviewed by YouTuber Canadian Guy Eh on the development process for the title, which was unveiled by publisher Activision at the Game Awards last December.

Following the release of the critically acclaimed Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy in 2017, CTR: Nitro-Fueled will see the fourth and final Naughty Dog-developed Crash title, the seminal PS1 kart racer, be rebuilt from the ground up. Nitro-Fueled will feature fully reimagined tracks, characters and modes from the original game, but, as its name suggests, will also incorporate elements from PS2 karting game, Crash Nitro Kart, which was created by N. Sane Trilogy developer Vicarious Visions.

In the in-depth interview, Wilson stated that many of the Nitro Kart tracks featured have “undergone surgery”, with some elements such as anti-gravity sections being removed to enable the game to be a “cohesive package”. As far as the ‘core’ CTR stages are concerned, Wilson pointed to slight thematic changes and added depth that current-gen consoles have allowed the developers to consider. Dragon Mines, for instance, is one example of a track where Beenox have used creative license to provide it with a more ‘dragony’ and fantastical cinematic atmosphere.

Excitingly for diehard fans of the series, Wilson also confirmed that Crunch Bandicoot, Dr Neo Cortex’s cyborg henchman, would be a playable character in the game – meaning that more cast members from Nitro Kart are likely to be included as well.

Additionally, it was also announced that CTR: Nitro-Fueled will feature a music toggle, allowing fans to swap out the game’s remastered soundtrack for the PS1 original. Beenox had reached out to the game’s original composers, Wilson confirmed, to consult on the score for the remaster.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is scheduled to release on June 21, 2019 for PS4, Xbox One and Switch – almost 20 years since the original’s 1999 launch on PS1.