Rayman Legends (PS3) Review
Are we all completely sick of GTA yet? Have you had enough of the near 24/7 coverage about Rockstar’s latest and greatest? Well Ubisoft may well have the exact opposite of GTA for us in the form of Rayman Legends… The follow up to 2011’s Rayman Origins it takes one of the most impressive game engines around and takes us to a universe filled with colour, heart and fun.
So what is Rayman Legends? Well essentially we are looking at the evolution of side scrolling platform games here. We take control of Rayman who has been tasked with saving the Teensies, a set of creatures which inhabit out game world. While our characters were all asleep the realm was taken over by dark creatures and now we must save the day. Simple.
Except it’s so much more than that. The minds of the team at Ubisoft Montpellier have been given free rein to expand on that basic side scrolling adventure and they do that by filling the world with collectables called Lums, hidden Teensies/areas and various other items. This of course opens up various gameplay modes… speed based for those who want to just get from A – B as quickly as possible or (in our opinion the more enjoyable) exploring mode where we try to complete as much of the game as possible. This style of gameplay is very much promoted in Rayman Legends by the inclusion of level end statistics (and awesomeness level). We get awarded cups for completion for example and better performance in the game opens up various extras such as scratch cards which give us new items to assist in our quest.
Success in levels, of which there are over 100, also opens up further game areas but Ubisoft never force us down a route as areas always open before we are finished the earlier levels. That way if there is a level we just can’t beat, or complete successfully enough, we can move on and return later.
Adding to the main story driven gameplay Rayman Legends includes online delivered daily challenges which further expand on the game universe and the epic Kung Foot competitive football/soccer based game.
Key to Legends is the inclusion of additional characters. For those of us playing solo that means activating an AI companion (Murfy) who we command to activate in-game objects and platforms. When playing in co-op it is our colleague takes on an additional character, some of which are unlocked as we go. That certainly expands the enjoyment of the game when we have someone else to play with but interestingly a mechanic which could be very fiddly/awkward is executed near perfectly on one single controller when using the AI. If anything the only time we run into trouble with this mechanic is when we don’t quite go close enough to the aspect we want Murfy to interact with and instead they interact with a different (closer) object.
So that’s the basic gameplay… A to B…. explore as much as possible because it is very worthwhile and unlock the levels to complete. All good… but the thing that elevates Rayman Legends to a whole new level is its presentation and delivery.
In creating the newer Rayman games Ubisoft Montpellier created the UbiArt Framework, a fantastically complex level editor on its back end but simple to use and create with on the front end. We have a video above where their staff walk us through creation of the levels and as it goes on it is mind blowing in its achievement, we highly recommend watching it through.
The end result are some fantastically detailed and crafted levels which are filled with phenomenal art and effects including detailed lighting, levels of depth and various planes to play on within the various worlds. Mix that great art with some audio which fits the character of the game perfectly and the experience playing Rayman Legends is as high in quality as the best Disney and Pixar have to offer.
The likes of Mario and classic Sonic are classed as the pinnacle of platform games however Rayman Origins took Ubisoft close to the same level… Rayman Legends with its awe inspiring presentation and slick gameplay takes them to the same classic status.