After successfully releasing the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Activision is back at it again remastering another classic Crash title. It's been nearly twenty years since Crash Team Racing first released for the original PlayStation in 1999, and though the Mario Kart series has dominated the kart racing scene for those two decades, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled looks to give it a run for its money.
What is Crash Team Racing?
Originally developed by Naughty Dog, Crash Team Racing is a kart racer featuring a bunch of characters from the Crash Bandicoot series. The evil boss, Nitros Oxide, is the self-proclaimed fastest racer in the galaxy, and he looks to turn Crash's earth into a concrete parking lot. The only way to save it? For Crash and pals to beat him at his own game. Because don't ever let anyone say a racing game can't have a plotline.
Taking the reins from Naughty Dog, developer Beenox has now been tasked with remastering the game and releasing it as Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. If the name Beenox sounds familiar, that's because it's the same studio that developed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
According to Thomas Wilson, creative director at Beenox, the team's main goal was authenticity. As such, you can expect a game that delivers a similar experience to the original. Back in 1999, Crash Team Racing featured five game modes: Adventure, Time Trial, Arcade, Versus and Battle. These should be making a return with some minor adjustments, one being the inclusion of online multiplayer. In Wilson's words, "Playing split screen is a lot of fun, but racing online is awesome!" After all, what good is a remaster if the experience isn't modernized a bit. And if online multiplayer isn't your thing, you'll be happy to know that it still offers 4-player split screen.
On top of that, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled will still retain its traditional kart racing feel. From a few official screenshots that have already been released, it looks like crates are making a return, meaning that you'll be able to access a variety of power-ups and weapons to give you an advantage while on the track. Beenox teases that even more has been added to the experience like new karts and tracks, but the studio isn't revealing everything just yet.
Other than showing off its remastered graphics, the team hasn't specified at what resolution or frame-rate it will run. Despite that, it's safe to assume it'll hit at least 1080p on consoles. 4K is a possibility but not confirmed, though its Microsoft Store page states that it is Xbox One X enhanced.
Frame-rate is harder to guess at this point. For comparison, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy runs at 30FPS on consoles, but PC supports 60FPS. We'll need to wait and see just how well Beenox can optimize the game.
As for the design and aesthetic itself, Wilson said, "We established very early on that we wanted CTR Nitro-Fueled to be brimming with personality both from an environmental and character stand point. Fans will see this attention to detail shine through in every part of the game from the camera work, to the characters' quirky animations, to the lush environments you're racing in."
You can expect the same level of care that Activision's previous remasteres, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reingited Trilogy, received.
When can you play it?
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is set to be released on June 21, 2019, for Xbox One, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
You can preorder the Standard Edition right now for $40. A digital-only Nitros Oxide Edition can be preordered from the Microsoft Store for $60, and it includes a few additional character skins, Nitros Oxide as a playable character along with his kart, and more content to be announced at a later date. (Nitros Oxide and his kart can also be unlocked in-game for players who do not purchase the Nitros Oxide Edition.)
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