Starting today, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy fans can acquire the Stormy Ascent stage – an incredibly difficult level that was hidden in the original game from Naughty Dog – as a free piece of DLC for the platforming compendium. The video game developer Vicarious Visions announced today during its Comic-Con 2017 Then and Now panel that the level can be downloaded at no charge for players, and it will be available for free from today until August 19 on the PlayStation Store.

While Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will be offering Stormy Ascent for free for the time being, fans of the game would do well to jump on the deal as soon as possible, for it will cost $3 after the gratis period ends next month. Those who want to get a decent idea as to how challenging the level will be can check out the trailer below, which showcases the slippery steps, long distance jumps, and handful of enemies looking to end Crash’s life posthaste.

Interestingly enough, during Vicarious Visions‘ panel at Comic-Con today, Taylor Kurosaki, one of the original members of the Crash Bandicoot team at Naughty Dog, joined the discussion about Stormy Ascent. As it so happens, Kurosaki was responsible for the design and layout of the stage, and explained why it’s so hard to beat and why it was left out of the original game.

“I was new to games and game design back then; I didn’t have a great understanding of a difficulty curve. This level was so close to the end of the game and, you guessed it, it ended up being insanely difficult. As in, so difficult that it was hard for me, and I’m the guy who knew exactly how far Crash could jump, how late a player could take-off, and so on.

“It was one of the last levels I finished during production, and as we prepared to deliver our Gold Master to Sony for manufacturing, the decision was made to cut it. It was playable, but just too damn difficult, and we ran out of time to make it easier. It remained on the disc as it was less risky just leaving it rather than trying to remove it. It was basically hidden, but it was there.”

All things considered, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy fans will likely welcome the challenge and be pleased to learn of Stormy Ascent being available for free, especially since they’ve already gotten used to the compendium as a whole being harder than the original games. While that’s surely the case, it’s worth noting that Stormy Ascent will offer more frustration than any of the other stages in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, for as game director Dan Tanguay explained, one of the best players at Vicarious Visions tried the level out and it “took him 60 lives to get through it.”

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is available now for PlayStation 4.

Source: PlayStation Blog

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