Publisher/Developer: Ubisoft / Ubisoft Montpellier
Genre: Action/Adventure 2D Platformer
Platform: PlayStation 4
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is an expression that applies perfectly to Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends. While the ‘cartoonish’ look and theme may project an image of a 2D platformer game aimed for a younger audience, there is plenty of fun for adults to have as well. Rayman Legends offers a healthy serving of vibrant backgrounds and sensational game play that will reward anyone young or old willing to pop this disc into their PS4 and give it a try.
The game’s story revolves around Rayman and his buddies rescuing little blue creatures, called “teensies”, who have been sucked into various paintings and have become trapped. By playing through the levels you rescue them by running, jumping, swinging, punching and stomping your way to completion. As you progress through Rayman Legends you will learn more skills such as wall jumping, wall sliding, gliding, and etc, which will come in handy as the levels become increasingly more difficult. While this sounds similar to other platforming games you may have played, Ubisoft has crafted distinct levels designed to keep you engaged and challenged.
Rayman Legends proudly boasts of some of the best level design I have played through in recent memory, and is easily one of the most enjoyable platformer games as well. The levels vary from races, mazes, to huge luchadores chasing after you in a level made out of cake. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. My favourite level has to be “Orchestral Chaos”. The background music basically punctuates the action as you race through the level avoiding various perils. Whether you are jumping, hitting an enemy, or sliding down a vine, symbols will crash, violins strings will be plucked and xylophone keys will be struck as you race through the level. The on-screen actions have to be timed perfectly as you make your way through the level o complete it successfully.
Another level has a building collapse and fall on you as you race to rescue the captured Teensies. The levels do get more difficult, and some will require you to start over again after losing a life, but with the quick reload times you won’t mind doing so at all. As you progress through each stage and save more Teensies, you will unlock more levels and characters. There is a crazy amount of content and reasons to keep any player coming back for more. It would have been nice to have online co-op play instead of being restricted to local play, as it is the only thing lacking. There are daily / weekly challenges which have you test your skills and compete against other Rayman Legends players. I found myself diving into these challenges almost every time I started up the game trying to best other players records and scores while earning some medals in the process.
The graphics look sharp and crisp. The colours are vibrant and characters are animated extremely well. I have not noticed any frame rate issues whatsoever while playing especially when the levels start getting crazy. There is always something on screen that will grab your attention but is not overly stuffed with things which cause unwanted distractions. The background music mostly consists of orchestral music, and manages to fit each level of the game wonderfully. In fact, the score is actually quite entertaining and catchy. After hours of game play I was not tired of listening to the musical score.
Rayman Legends is a hidden gem that may escape the eye of some gamers. If you are willing to look past the kid friendly tone, you will find a game that is surprisingly fun, simple to play with enough of a challenge to make it an extremely satisfying experience. Plumbers, and hedgehogs should be nervous with Rayman around because this latest offering is an inescapable and refreshingly fun addition to the platforming genre. Whether you buy Rayman Legends for yourself, your kids or younger siblings, you can do no wrong in adding it to your collection.