Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is the sixth Crash Bandicoot game, but the fourth chronologically, and it was the first game to feature Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation 2, GameCube, and Xbox.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is a platform game in which the player controls Crash and Coco Bandicoot, who must gather 25 Crystals and defeat the main antagonists of the story: Doctor Neo Cortex, his new superweapon Crunch Bandicoot and Crunch's power sources, the renegade Elementals. Much of the game takes place in a "Virtual Reality (VR) Hub System" created by Coco to help Crash gather the Crystals. The VR Hub System is split up into five "VR Hubs"; initially, only the first VR Hub is available. Each VR Hub has five teleportation portals to different levels. The goal in each level is to find and obtain the Crystal hidden in the area. In some levels, the Crystal will be located at the end of a level or must be earned by completing a specific challenge. After completing all five levels in a VR Hub, a sixth teleportation portal to a boss level will appear. By defeating the boss, the next VR Hub will become available for play. When all 25 Crystals are collected and Doctor Cortex and Crunch are defeated, the game is won.
Crash and Coco start the game with four lives. Crash and Coco lose a life when they are struck by an enemy attack or suffer any other type of damage. More lives can be earned by instructing Crash or Coco to collect 100 "Wumpa Fruits" or break open a special crate to collect a life. Crash and Coco can be shielded from enemy attack by collecting an Aku Aku mask. Collecting three of these masks allows temporary invulnerability from all minor dangers. If Crash or Coco run out of lives, the game is over. However, the game can be continued by selecting "Yes" at the "Continue?" screen.
Each level contains a "Bonus Platform" that leads to a special bonus area, where the player must navigate through a maze and collect everything in sight. Once a bonus area is completed, it cannot be played again.
Besides Crystals, Gems and Colored Gems can be collected for 100% completion. Gems are rewarded to the player if all of the crates in a level are broken open or if a secret area is completed. Colored Gems are found in special levels and lead to hidden areas.
"Relics" can be won by re-entering a level where the Crystal has already been retrieved. To obtain a Relic, the player must initiate the "Time Trial" mode and race through a level in the pre-designated time displayed before entering a level. To begin a Time Trial run, the player must enter a level and activate the floating stopwatch near the beginning of the level to activate the timer; if the stopwatch is not touched, the level can be played regularly. The player must then race through the level as quickly as possible. Scattered throughout the level are yellow crates with the numbers 1, 2 or 3 on them. When these crates are broken, the timer is frozen for the number of seconds designated by the box. As no lives are lost in the Time Trial mode, the level can be played through as often as the player desires. Sapphire, Gold and Platinum Relics can be won depending on how low the player's final time is. The first five Relics the player receives unlocks access to a secret level. Every five Relics thereafter open up another level in the Secret Warp Room. The levels in the Secret Warp Room must be won before the game can be 100% completed.
However, the percentage system gives 1% for every boss, crystal, gem, and relic. There are 25 crystals, 30 relics, 46 gems, and 5 bosses, which gives a total of 106%- so a truly 100% game is 106% on the game screen.