Following the immense success of last year’s Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy, Activision has wasted little time in resurrecting another fondly remembered 90s platforming hero for modern consoles. Spyro Reignited Trilogy brings Insomniac’s three Spyro The Dragon games to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a visually lush conversion by industry veteran Toys for Bob – the studio responsible for classic games such as Star Control 2 as well as the Skylanders series.
If you grew up with a PlayStation in the late 90s, chances are you have fond memories of Spyro. Developer Insomniac was coming off the back of its first release, a technically impressive and critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful first-person shooter for PlayStation called Disruptor. It couldn’t be more different from Spyro, but that’s the point – the studio had proven its talent but was looking for a new audience. Meanwhile, Sony was looking for more family-friendly games for PlayStation as well as a counter to the revolutionary Super Mario 64, which had upended expectations of what a 3D game could be with its massive levels and open-ended style.
Many believed this style of game would be impossible on PlayStation, but Insomniac set out to disprove that myth – and succeeded. Spyro was designed with free roaming in mind, and although the stages were small compared to Mario 64, they were still impressively large for the hardware. Insomniac also used some clever tricks to circumvent some of the PlayStation’s weaknesses and run the game without distance fog – a common performance-saving technique at the time – which meant it could match Mario’s crystal-clear, colourful look.
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