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Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

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Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex


"The check bounced? Are you sure? Well, the past few years have kind of been slow. Wrath of Cortex didn't do as well as we'd hoped and-"
— Dr. Neo Cortex, Crash Twinsanity
Protagonist(s): Crash Bandicoot
Genre(s): Platformer
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Nintendo GameCube
Release: PlayStation 2
NA: October 29, 2001
EU: November 23, 2001

NA: April 16, 2002
EU: April 26, 2002

Nintendo GameCube
NA: September 17, 2002
EU: November 1, 2002
Developer(s): Traveller's Tales
Eurocom Entertainment Software (GCN)
Publisher(s): Universal Interactive Studios
Konami (PS2)
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Crash Bandicoot
Predecessor: Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Successor: Crash Twinsanity

"Well, you know, I'm sensing a real fraught history here. How many times have you beaten this clown, anyway?"
"Really? Only three? Funny. Seemed like more.
Lani-Loli and Coco, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is a 2001 platforming game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Universal Interactive Studios. Eurocom (the same company behind Crash Bash) ported the Nintendo GameCube version, while Konami co-published the PlayStation 2 version. It is the first Crash Bandicoot game to be released outside the PlayStation consoles.

Bad Qualities


  1. Not much changes from Crash Bandicoot: Warped resulting in Wrath of Cortex being more or less a copycat of the former.
  2. Too many levels with vehicles in them. 22 out of the 30 levels in the game have one each, leaving only eight regular levels.
    • Some of the vehicles also suck tremendously, like the giant dragonfly and especially the submarine.
    • Also, there is a whopping total of thirteen vehicles, five of which are only used once.
    • Unlike Warped, they're all mandatory in their respective levels, instead of being mandatory in some levels but optional in others.
  3. There are some difficulty spikes in the second half of the game, often due to the overuse of Nitro crates.
  4. Some levels present serious design flaws; Ghost Town, the second secret level, can be completed with literally no input from the player.
    • The level before it, "Knight Time", is just "The Gauntlet" only at night and with slight adjustments to accommodate Coco's lacking moveset.
    • The levels are also very wide open and the enemy placement is pretty bad.
  5. Loading screens on the original PlayStation 2 version last for approximately forty-five seconds, though the Greatest Hits version, alongside the Xbox and GameCube versions had significantly quicker load speeds, although they still lasted fifteen seconds.
    • According to Jon Burton, this was because a Bonus Stage was planned for the transitions, but was scrapped late in development.
  6. Crunch feels a bit too serious for belonging in a Crash game as he lacks the Saturday Morning Cartoon style of other villains.
    • What's weird is that Crunch dies when you defeat him in the boss levels but then returns normal again, and it’s especially noticeable in the 4th boss battle where his bones fly everywhere (no gore, but still weird)
  7. This game only introduces one new power-up: the Sneak Shoes. This new power-up is pretty much useless, as its only use is to sneak on Nitro Crates (which you can bypass normally most of the time or use the Fruit Bazooka when you unlock it).
  8. The elementals all are wasted opportunity, as they are considered dangerous and all-powerful masks but all they do is give Crunch elemental powers.
  9. Lacklustre boss battles. There are a total of five boss battles, but instead of battling different foes each time, every boss battle is against Crunch, each time using a different Elemental, using all of them in the fifth and final battle.
  10. Tiny Tiger, Dingodile, Dr. N. Tropy and Dr. N. Gin are reduced to minor roles, only appearing as stage hazards in some levels.
  11. Crash is absurdly slow on the monkey bars.
  12. Coco's gameplay is not properly fleshed out since she plays exactly like her brother, only she doesn't get any of Crash's new abilities save for 2.
  13. The opening cutscene is very long.
  14. Due to levels being longer and inconsistent difficulty-wise, time trials can sometimes become really frustrating.
  15. Underwater levels are the worst here: they're long, full of hazards, and you're forced to ride a useless submarine that is awkward to control and doesn't protect you from hazards, unlike the launcher in Warped (this is worsened if you're going for the time trials since you can't die once)
  16. The models of most of the characters are pretty ugly looking due to their flat and textureless designs, a special mention going to Dr. Cortex and N. Gin. This is somewhat fixed in the Xbox version, where they get better-looking models and textures.
  17. The life system in the first half of the game loses some meaning as there are several boxes and Woompas scattered throughout the levels.
  18. Unlike the previous installments, the Japanese Box Art looks awful.

GameCube Version

  1. Significantly worse graphics.
  2. The sound effects are louder than any piece of dialogue. For example, the generators produce an annoying and obnoxious clunking noise in Tornado Alley.
  3. The lighting is abysmal and sometimes non-existent in cutscenes and gameplay.
  4. The frame rate is always below 30 frames per second and there’s a frame drop whenever you head into a level.
  5. It has sound issues that make the volume of the characters' voices go down to a whisper after a few seconds. To make matters worse, if someone adjusts the volume on the TV, they would get their ears broken the next moment.
  6. In the plane levels, the developers forgot to designate the vehicle sounds to an audio channel, so they still play even when the game's audio is turned completely off.

Good Qualities

  1. The game still has the classic Crash Bandicoot platforming, and Crash controls very well.
  2. Decent graphics for its time.
  3. Interesting story.
    • The ending is very heartwarming, where Crunch thanks the Bandicoot Bros and Aku Aku for making him come to his senses.
  4. The game is even more challenging than the PlayStation 1 trilogy while still feeling fair.
  5. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions run at a consistent 60 frames per second, which was quite impressive for the time.
  6. Excellent soundtrack. Every level has a different soundtrack even when sharing themes with a previous level.
  7. On topic of GQ#6, there are a lot more themes in the levels, and very few levels in the game share the same theme.
  8. It introduces Crunch Bandicoot, who essentially represents the evil Bandicoot general that Dr. Cortex intended Crash to become.
  9. Some of the vehicle levels are fun, like the Atlasphere levels, which are some of the best levels in the game.
  10. The last boss is actually creative and better than the other battles.
  11. The GameCube version (while still bad) actually features a downloadable mini-game for Game Boy Advance called Crash Bandicoot Blast, which was made to promote Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure for the Game Boy Advance.
  12. This game's idea is decent and not bad at all, it was just not executed as well as it should. Sound familiar?
  13. Great Voice acting from celebrities:
    • Tom Wilson as Rok-o
    • R. Lee Ermey as Wa-Wa
    • Mark Hamill as Py-ro
    • Jess Harnell as Lo-lo, who would also voice Crash in later games.
  14. You can finally play as Coco by herself.
  15. Unlike the PS1 games, there's no backtracking.
  16. Some levels can be played in multiple unique ways.


Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex received mixed to positive reception. The standard platforming levels were praised, but the game was heavily criticized for having too many types of levels and trying too hard to be like the classics. Fortunately though, Traveller's Tales learned from their mistakes, as the next game, Crash Twinsanity, was a huge step up from this game and is often considered the best post-Naughty Dog Crash Bandicoot game by many fans.


  • The Wrath of Cortex is the last main Crash Bandicoot game where Clancy Brown voices Neo Cortex, having voiced him since Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. After Brown reprised his role in Crash Nitro Kart, he would be replaced by Lex Lang as the voice of Cortex from Crash Twinsanity onwards.
  • The Wrath of Cortex was initially known as the fourth entry in the Crash Bandicoot series, and was referred to as such in Japan, before Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time was announced as the new official fourth entry in the series.
  • The Wrath of Cortex was originally going to be designed by Mark Cerny, the same person who produced the first three Crash games, as an open-world game with Crash traveling between different planets, and was going to introduce some new female characters with possibilities for multiple endings, before Traveller's Tales was brought over and made the game with a similar gameplay to the first three Crash games.
  • The game's mixed reception was referenced in Crash Twinsanity where Cortex breaks the 4th wall by admitting the game didn't do as well as they hoped.
  • If you enter “WOMBAT” as a file name you automatically get a 106% completed file (Xbox and Gamecube only).



  1. Coco only referred Crash beaten Cortex three times, based on the events after Warped's 105% Completion. In context, this reckoned the events starting from Team Racing through Skylanders: Imaginators (Crash Bandicoot and Dr. Neo Cortex sections only).


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