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Can Rayman Legends possibly outdo its outstanding Origins?

Posted by Staff on Sep 13, 2013 10:27 (Sep 13, 2013 10:27)

Written by: Joe
Rayman ... legendary?
Rayman Origins (review) was one of my favourite games when it hit a couple of years ago, with its colourful visuals, winning soundtrack and it's back-to-basics gameplay.
The sequel - the oft-delayed "Rayman Legends" - has finally landed, and with such fantastic foundations the limbless hero has a lot to live up to. With all the extra development time, have the team at Ubisoft produced another instant classic or have they let the Origins formula go stale?
Rayman Origins was a story about the gang trying to get some sleep after being unceremoniously awoken by an old lady irritated by their snoring. As a direct sequel, it's unsurprising to see Legends is equally as silly with its plot. One hundred years of sleeping later the group - consisting of Rayman, Globox, The Teensies and an all new character Barbara - wake up and set out to destroy the nightmares that are invading dreams whilst rescuing some princesses that have been kidnapped.
To rescue your friends and put an end to the reign of nightmares you jump through a whole host of paintings - and with this mechanic Ubisoft have given themselves complete control over what sort of places the campaign takes you, often seeing you travel to 'legendary' lands of dragons, gods and mythic beasts. It's nothing we haven't seen before but it doesn't need to be - this game is about everything but the plot. For once the why truly isn't important - it's about the what, the where and the wow.
Rayman Legends screenshot #1
Rayman's traditional platforming is where Legends truly shines, reminding us of a time where nothing but pure gaming joy mattered. From its woodland beginnings to living-dead finale and during all the wackiness you'll find in between Legends never lets up, constantly offering players new, over the top and incredibly enjoyable experiences.
Whilst the basics of running, jumping and punching are simple and the controls tight, it's what Legends does with these foundations that truly impresses. Before long you - and up to three friends - will be flying through the air and shooting down enemies in shmup stages, sneaking past floodlights and sentries in Metal Gear inspired stealth missions, bouncing and punching to popular tunes in the music missions, battling towering bosses that break out stunningly from the 2D shackles the rest of the game sticks to, chowing down through edible levels made of tacos and omelettes, challenging yourself to worldwide daily survival challenges or trying to duke it out for the best time in an effort to save even more captured friends.
Rayman Legends screenshot #2
The diversity and ingenuity on display here is nothing short of spectacular, easily rivalling Nintendo's flair for platforming panache. With levels tasking you to also take control of a helpful friend called Murphy who can move platforms, cut ropes and disable enemies the game quickly ramps up in difficulty and constantly engages, never falling into a pattern or tedium.
You will never do, see or perform the same trick twice, and it's this unrelenting demand of originality that makes this game such a pure joy to play. It was nigh on impossible to put down over its expansive 120 level campaign as I was always wondering what could possibly come next and top the last level I played.
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