Is there still room for a big-budget side-scrolling action platformer in today's console generation?
Ubisoft certainly thinks so — and Rayman Origins does a lot to further their argument. You control the limbless Rayman and a few of his animal friends as they navigate crazy dreamworlds in order to defeat the menacing darktoons. You will jump, swim and fly on giant mosquitoes to travel its levels, avoiding goblins, killer plants and sentient rockets.
The game is beautiful, rendered in 2D water colour art and looks like the best classic Disney animation. It is bright and sharp and unique in the best ways — and looks like no other game in the market today. The level design is fabulous and makes the most of the game’s art style to create lush worlds rich with detail — and allow for a manic, almost Sonic-like experience.
It isn’t just level design and 2D art which Rayman takes from the classic platformers — it is really difficult as well. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the best route across a level and then a couple of attempts to actually do it without any mistakes. Thankfully, the checkpoints are generous and individual levels are short, so you have a feel of constant progress.
Rayman offers 15-20 hours of gameplay in the first runthrough, and the levels offer great replay value as you hunt out all the coins and hidden treasure chests. Controls are tight and the sound design is excellent. The game is single player, and offers local co-op so you and friends can team
up and experience the insanity together.
The game is tough to recommend to a general audience — although it is beautiful, it has been made keeping the old school platforming audience in mind. If you love platformers or look back fondly on memories of playing Sonic and Super Mario late into the night — this is for you.
Worth it: Yes
Final Rating: 3.5/ 5