Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is an absolute masterpiece of a game. The level design is fantastic, there's a ton of fan service and Easter eggs, and it's left every fan of the Bandicoot clamoring for Toys For Bob's next contribution to the franchise.
That being said, holy f***ing hell, this has to be one of the hardest video games ever created.
If The N-Sane Trilogy is truly "the Dark Souls of platformers," then Crash Bandicoot 4 is the brain surgery of platformers. Crash 4 makes the previous 3 Crash titles look as easy as Kirby games.
Every level in this game is as hard (or worse) than Stormy Ascent, the level that was literally removed from Crash 1 because it was too difficult. That being said, much like the games that came before it, the levels present a fair challenge to players.
Still, there are certainly some levels that induced a lot more migraines than they should have.
Before I get going with this list, though here are a couple of ground rules - firstly, I will not be including "alternate timeline" levels, though I may briefly touch upon a level's alternate timeline if it has one. Also, I will not be including flashback tape levels either; only the main, sequential levels will be included here.
10. Cortex Castle
Some have called Cortex Castle the most difficult in the history of the franchise. As for me, I don't think it's that hard once you get the timing down. Nevertheless, it's still challenging enough to earn a spot on this list.
While this level is one of the shortest that the game has to offer, it makes up for lost time by unleashing a fusillade of tricky jumps and tough-to-reach boxes, as well as a few inopportune enemy placements. But the real MVPs of this level are, of course, the Quantum Masks.
From start to finish, this level requires a mastery of all four Quantum Masks, quite literally from Lani-Loli to Ika-Ika. While there are challenging platforming sections at the beginning using the masks, the most infamous section of the level is its ending, which sees you utilizing all four masks in very quick succession to avoid various obstacles, such as bouncing metal crates, flying spiked gears, and lasers that will evaporate you on contact, among others.
It's understandable why so many people consider this to be the hardest level in the game, seeing as it throws so much at you and gives you so little time to process your next move.
However, once you play through the level a couple of times (and because this is Crash Bandicoot 4, you will *definitely* play it "a couple of times"), the timing does get easier. I promise.