Before now I have never encountered a demo that I think is truly essential to play before putting down money to buy the game. Crash Bandicoot 4 It’s About Time earns that distinction, which makes the demo being locked behind pre-ordering all the more infuriating. It is important that you understand that me calling the demo essential is not necessarily a bad thing. I think that people should play this demo so they can set expectations, one way or another.

This is not a hard game in the sense that you will be punished for every failure — unless you play in retro mode — but in the sense that it will test your patience and resilience. Death merely resets you to a checkpoint with no true negative impacts on you. However, the game takes this as license to kill you at every opportunity possible. It is this “not difficult, but aggravating” approach that leads me to believe that you need to try this before you buy. Hopefully, they will release the demo to everyone so you can do just that. It will not be for everyone, but for those with whom this gameplay loop does click, I think they’re in for a real gem of a game.

Crash Bandicoot 4 It’s About Time will release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 2nd, 2020.