Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled may have modern visuals, but its engine is still pure retro fun

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Crash Team Racing (3)

What’s old is new again! Hot off the backs of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon remasters, Activision is planning to bring back their trademark jorts-sporting marsupial for another remake of the past. This time though, Crash ain’t bouncing around a stage like a furry version of John Cena, he’s taking to the tracks and getting ready to burn some rubber in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.

Based on the original game from two decades ago that Alessandro never shuts up about, progress looks solid, quirky and fun so far. So how do you even begin remaking a game like Crash Team Racing? “It begins by replaying the original game a lot. We played a lot of Crash Team Racing. Taking notes, finding opportunities where we can improve on that game, where possible. Mostly – towards the fact that it’s been 20 years – things have evolved a lot,” Production Director at Beenox Stéphane Gravelat said to the PS Blog.

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What can we do to modernise that game up to today’s standards? Of course, visual fidelity was the most obvious choice, but there was also the online racing. 20 years ago, online racing wasn’t part of the standards, but now when you buy a game you pretty much expect to be able to race against your friends online.

That resulted in Beenox having a mix of experienced and young hands at work on the title, with the combination of nostalgia and freshness to PlayStation One games creating a mix of retro development that still aimed to feel accessible to multiple audiences. “For some of us it was nostalgic. I started in the game industry in 1998, and [Crash Team Racing] came out in 1999,” Gravelat said.

We were playing [Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled] during lunchtime and having a lot of fun competing against each other. It reminded me of the good time I had when I started working in the industry. For some of our team, they pretty much never saw an original PlayStation game. They are younger than I am, so they finally get to see what Crash Team Racing was. That game still has a huge cult following 20 years after coming out.

When you see the original graphics of the PlayStation, some of [the younger developers] were like “Whoa, you played games like that?” Actually, that game was great-looking at that time. Depending on how old you are, you have a different level of reception, if you will.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on June 21. I still think John Cena stole his look from Crash.

Crash Team Racing (1)

Last Updated: February 11, 2019

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