Rayman: Origins - PS3 Review
I'll admit I have been a big fan of Rayman ever since I played the very first game on PSOne way back in 1995. Sure it didn't have the speed of Sonic or the finesse of Mario but Ubisoft's title was a bright, lively and humorous platform game that was a complete joy to play. The second game, on Dreamcast and PS2 among others, moved the franchise to a 3D style game, and while good it wasn't quite as entertaining. There have been several more releases on various platforms over the years, but Rayman: Origins returns the series to it's 2D roots, and we had extremely high expectations.
|Rayman completes the level successfully.|
Rayman: Origins sees the Glade of Dreams overrun by nefarious Darktoons. As a result the Fairy Council hastily invokes Rayman to save the day. To help him, Rayman teams up with his best friend, Globox, and two crafty wizards, the Teensies. Together, the world's most hilarious team of heroes will need to restore peace to the Glade or watch as their beloved home vanishes like a bad dream.
Admittedly the storyline is pretty light, but with over 60 levels to journey through Rayman: Origins is a lengthy enough game (and you can select to play as either Rayman, Globox or either of and two Teensies). I'm so glad that Ubisoft changed this from a smaller downloadable game to a full-blown retail release allowing the game to provide plenty of room to breathe and build up Rayman's abilities. Indeed as you progress through the game Rayman learns new abilities including the ability to run fast, jump and glide, punch enemies, run up walls, and reduce in size to fit through small gaps. It's often advantageous to replay levels after these new abilities are learnt to discover new areas.
|Now this is one massive boss.|
As you progress through the levels you will collect yellow Lums which, if enough are collected, can aide in level completion and game progress with an Electoon. The majority of the levels also have hidden areas to discover and explore with many resulting in an Electoon being freed and going towards level completion. When you collect enough Electoons you will be able to unlock some additional challenges.
|A 4-player game of Rayman: Origins - very fun.|
There are some stages which offer a break from the relentless platforming including some side-scrolling shooter sections (which really make you wonder what happened to that genre which was such a staple during the 16-bit era) in which Rayman rides a mosquito which can fire small pellets at enemies, or suck in larger ones and spit them out for more damage. Another change in genre are the chase sections which sees you in a frantic race across levels, which are often tricky, or crumbling, platforms to catch a Treasure Chest.
One of the most impressive aspects of this game is the support for 4-players in a drop-in co-op mode. It's tremendous fun to play this game with an additional player or two however the 4-player mode does get pretty hectic. After completing levels a Time Trial mode is unlocked so you can compete for the best times.
|Rayman goes for a swim in this latest game.|
There's not too much you can fault about this game. Indeed, it’s one of the most enjoyable games we've played in quite some time. If we have to nitpick I would have loved a bit of variety in Rayman's level completion celebration move, perhaps some online co-op gameplay - even if the player count dropped to 2 or 3 players, and a couple less "leap of faith" moments. The latter can certainly harm the gameplay in many titles, but not significantly here as the placement of all areas are logical and perfectly placed.
Rayman: Origins is the first game to use Ubisoft's new "UbiArt" Framework engine which allows hand-drawn artwork to come to life at a phenomenally gorgeous 1080p resolution on the PS3, and runs at a rock-solid 60fps. It must be said that while the game looks fantastic in static form, when you see the fluidity of this game in motion with Rayman jumping, gliding, and swinging around the level that you can see the magic. Enemies are well designed with a great range of attack patterns to be learnt while the levels are wonderfully vibrant be they firey and lava filled, icy blue, or lush green jungles to name a few.
|Rayman sinks his boot into Globox.|
Sadly 2D games are something of a dying art form, but much like hand drawn and 2D animated feature films have their place, so does this game, and it's fair to day that almost no games are as artistically stunning as this game so congratulations to Ubisoft Montpellier for this title.
Much like the visuals the audio in this game simply exudes joy. It's such a light, lively and entertaining experience with a gorgeous soundtrack composed by Christophe Héral. Not only does it sound wonderful, but the music will stay in your mind long after you have turned the game off. Fortunately the games sound effects are also very entertaining.
|Rayman Origins artistically gorgeous.|
Oh... My... God... I desperately hoped that Rayman Origins would be good, but this isn't good, its superb. Stunningly beautiful, enchanting, and among the best side-scrolling platform games we've ever played. Do yourselves, and the entire games industry a favour, and add this game to your collection now. Undoubtedly the best game in the series, Rayman: Origins is an essential purchase.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||The 2D hand-drawn artwork is simply gorgeous and the 1080p visuals are super-slick.||94%|
|SOUND||Gorgeous, lively, upbeat music and sound effects are such a joy.||90%|
|GAMEPLAY||It's rare to find such a polished platform game with plenty of variety and great level design.||96%|
|VALUE||Around 60 levels, multiplayer and a tonne of replayability.||93%|
|OVERALL||Rayman: Origins is one of the most enjoyable games we have played on the PS3. Unless you despise platform games there is no reason to ignore this superb release.||92%|