Rayman Legends Review

Written by Rick Lane

September 6, 2013 | 09:27

Tags: #platformer #rayman-legends

Companies: #ubisoft-montpellier

Rayman Legends Review

Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, Wii U
UK Price: £24.99

This is a Public Service Announcement: These new Rayman games are vital in the fight against mainstream ignorance about computer games. Next time you hear some Jack Thompson or Keith Vaz-level idiot bemoaning games as child-brainwashing gore machines, point to Michael Ancel's latest creations and say "Listen, Sonny Jim, we're making Disney movies you can play."

It's difficult to imagine anyone who wouldn't be enraptured by the limbless-leaper's latest adventures, unless they had a spectacularly profound hatred of platform games, or colour, or joy. In fact, Legend's is so charming, such a bombardment of endorphins, that it's bloody difficult to think about critically. It makes you want to just sit in your chair and go "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Rayman Legends Review
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It’s not impossible, however, to glimpse through that cloud of happiness and see that, mechanically at least, not an awful lot has changed in between Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends. This doesn't make the act of playing Legends any less of a pleasure, but it is nonetheless very much an extension and refinement of the first game, rather than a revolution in platforming.

Legends generally plays the same way as Origins. There are some slight differences in terms of what's going on. You're rescuing blue-goggle eyed Teensys from cages dotted around the levels this time, rather than pink, ponytailed electoons, and Rayman begins with the majority of his powers intact. The biggest change is the much larger role played by Rayman's companion Murfy. This grinning insect-frog-thing accompanies Rayman through roughly a third of the available levels, and is basically used by the player in order to help Rayman progress.

Rayman Legends Review
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Murfy's assistance can involve something as simple as pressing a button to make a wooden platform emerge from a wall. But this being Rayman, it's used in far more imaginative ways than that. One particularly memorable level sees you running across the table of a Mexican Day of the Dead party, using Murfy to eat holes through cakes in order to make paths. The very next level flips this idea on its head, and instead has Murfy smearing Guacamole on surfaces to create platforms for Rayman to jump on. Murfy can also cut ropes to create rope swings, and his speciality is poking monsters in the eye.

Rayman Legends Review
Click to enlarge

Murfy moves automatically as and when he's needed, but for him to perform an action requires the player to press a button. Again, this sounds very simplistic, but often it will need to be pressed while Rayman is in mid-air, or performing a complex series of wall-jumps. It adds an extra layer of complexity to the platforming which helps to elevate the game a little above Origins' mechanical straightforwardness.
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