New Crash Bandicoot game confirms series' first non-binary character
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Featured Image Credit: Activision/Toys For Bob
It doesn't matter where you come from or what your background is, representation can be exceedingly welcoming for a variety of gamers.
One such form of representation comes from the latest Crash Bandicoot game and is even inspired by the late music industry icon, David Bowie.
Crash Team Rumble offers fans of the franchise something a little different from the usual platforming and kart racing norm. Instead, Crash Team Rumble is a party game brawler, perhaps inspired in some part by Super Smash Bros., only the game is rendered in 3D rather than 2D. The game pits four players against each other and not only do they have to get into some feisty cuffs, but also stockpile the most Wumpa Fruit in order to claim victory.
Crash Team Rumble features multiple playable characters at launch that are well-known in the franchise, including Crash (of course), Coco, Dingodile and Tawna. However, there is also a newbie to the franchise, Catbat. As reported by TheGamer, it's the latter character that is today’s topic of discussion.
During a recent interview with Kotaku, Toys For Bob creative director Dan Neil and co-studio head Paul Yan confirmed that Catbat is a non-binary character, a first for the series. What’s more, Catbat will be referred to in Crash Team Rumble with they/them pronouns.
Back in November 2022, the games character artist Nicholas Kole said that Catbat was envisioned as being non-binary, but now that concept has come to fruition. In terms of being inspired by David Bowie, Yan explained: “The concept from the art side of things was this attraction to a David Bowie-like character.”
Yan continued: “Aesthetically, Bowie had this kind of rock star androgynous look that we really loved. As we started to flesh out that character and its design, and we finally got to a point [where] we had a model sheet, as a team, we started referring to Catbat as ‘they’ and it was a very natural thing.
“It wasn’t a ‘Hey, guys, we need to get together and have a meeting about this.’ It was a very organic way of describing that character and that just sat with us throughout.”
Crash Team Rumble doesn't release until later this month, but we got a chance to go hands-on in its beta test. After playing the beta, we said Crash Team Rumble is: “fun in short doses but I’m not convinced there’s longevity there - not with the £34.99 price tag attached anyway.
“I wonder if Crash Team Rumble will be able to build a solid enough fanbase at that cost. While the game may be fun, it is repetitive. The full launch game will need to offer a few extra bells and whistles to convince players that it’s worth purchasing. That could be too tall of an order from what I’ve seen.”