Crash Twinsanity: Hands-on verdict

PSone's unofficial mascot Crash Bandicoot grows up on PS2 with his new free-roaming 3D platformer Crash Twinsanity. In a bid to vanquish an even bigger evil, Crash has to call a truce and enlist the aid of his nemesis Dr Cortex, replete with new dual character mechanics.

The days of running towards the screen, being chased by boulders and suchlike, are all but gone. Yes, this Crash game finally delivers the freedom we demand and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The draw distance is striking and the levels are brimming with extraneous detail.

The traditional platform gameplay stays intact but the levels are interspersed with puzzles that require quite a bit of lateral thinking. And, as you'd expect, there are hundreds upon hundreds of collectibles to pick up and loads of mission objectives to keep things sweet.

The real breath of fresh air in the game is the new character Nina. She's the niece of Dr Cortex and a great little goth caricature. She's adorned with a robotic arm that extends like a grappling hook and when she's in full swing it's strangely reminiscent of Samus in grappler mode in Super Metroid. The main thing is she's instantly likeable in a freaky kind of way with her cutesy alternative looks and has spin-off material potential written all over her suitably pale forehead. Crash's best game yet? It's certainly looking that way.

Crash Twinsanity is out in October on PS2 and Xbox