As we come to the end of 2011, it’s a known fact that this year has been one of, if not, the best year for the gaming industry. With record breaking sales, and some of the most anticipated titles in the last few years being released in the space of a two month period, gamers certainly have had it good. However, all of these AAA titles have had one thing in common. Gloom.
From the ‘WW3′ setting of Modern Warfare 3, to the dark and gritty setting of Batman: Arkham City, most of the titles on offer have been, shall we say, rather depressing in tone. So, what better time for Ubisoft to unleash the vibrant and exciting Rayman Origins.
Rayman Origins is the first Rayman game in 8 years (no, we will NOT be counting the Rabbids games…or Hoodlums’ Revenge) and, frankly, he has been well missed.
Developed by talented team over at Ubisoft Montpellier, Rayman Origins is a classic 2D platformer, the likes of which have been sorely missing from this generation of consoles. Gameplay is simple, but incredibly rewarding at the same time. Each level has a certain number of ‘Electoons’ that you can receive for satisfying certain criteria (such as collecting ‘x’ amount of Lums), finding secret rooms, or completing the level in a certain time.
Once you reach a certain number of ‘Electoons’ new levels open up. While this is a simple concept, it does add a huge amount of replay value as you attempt to maximise the amount of ‘Electoons’ for each level.
One thing which will be apparent from the moment you start to play is that Rayman has never looked so damn good. Running on the new ‘UbiArt Framwork’, everything about this game just oozes quality and smoothness. Running at 1080p at 60 FPS the hand drawn environments and inspired characters and enemies are just beautiful to look at, and it makes playing the game an absolute joy.
However, while everything looks fantastic, it would have been nice to see a few more different models for enemies and a few more variety in environments. What is really prevalent when watching this game run is the sheer amount of love and care taken over each detail. It’s obvious to everyone who plays that this project has been a labour of love and it really shines through.
As far as 2D platformers go, this has to be one of the most fun since ‘Yoshi’s Island’ back on the SNES, however, it does have a few issues. While the simplicity of the title is one of it’s drawing features, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy playing, I would have liked to have seen the difficulty level raised a little on the later stages so that it presented a bit more or a challenge.
Similarly I would have liked a little bit more variation in the ‘transition’ level at the end of each world. While it is bags of fun flying around on the back of a mosquito sucking up stuff and spitting it in peoples faces, I’m sure they could have come up with a few more fun and zany ideas.
In short, Rayman Origins is a welcome change from the normal kinds of titles being waved at use from behind mutli-million pound PR campaigns. With 4 player ‘drop-in/out’ co-op play, loads of challenges and reasons to replay the different stages and a look and feel which scream quality at you, I can not think of any other 2D platform game which has created a smile on my face quite as big as Rayman does.
Well done, Ubisoft. Well done.
Overall score: 9/10
+ Simple but sublime. Feels like a 2D platform game should
- Could do with a bit more variation in levels
+ Astounding. Runs smoother than The Fonz, and looks breathtakingly good
- Nothing major. Could do with a few more character models
+ Great music and sound effects
Those ruddy nice chaps and chapettes at Ubisoft have given us 4 copies of Rayman Origins on PS3 & X360 to giveaway as well as some swagtastic Rayman Origins tees!
We’ll be giving away a PS3 copy with a tee and an X360 copy with a tee on here and on the forums, giving you a total of FOUR chances to win!
To enter on the forums, simply click here, sign up and leave your response to the question in the post.
To enter on here, just leave a comment with your favourite platformer of all time, old and new!
Both competions will close on December 23rd at 6pm. UK only I’m afraid!