Rayman Legends: Rayman’s wild wide wacky world
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Once upon a time, in an age far beyond what most would struggle to comprehend (2011) Rayman Origins would get realised, that was in a time when Ubisoft was still a decent publisher and not just pumping out the same open world live- service- grind-loot box-fests with all the personality of a wet sandpit. Rayman Origins would be met with critical acclaim and the squeal; Rayman Legends would get released two years later to even more critical acclaim and is now considered to be one of the best platformers out there. Is it really worthy of such a grand title? Yes, yes it is. Ubisoft is completely unrecognizable in this beautiful work of art.
One century after the events of Rayman Origins Rayman and his friends are awakened from their happy sleep when nightmares return to the Bubble Dreamer and the Evil Wizard from the last game has somehow split into five Dark Teensies (evil versions of the little blue people you spent all of previous game rescuing). These Dark Teensies then kidnap the rest of the Teensies because the Dark Teensies are evil. It is then up to Rayman and the rest of his friends to rescue the Teensies again and deal with the Evil Wizard once and for all. There is not much of a plot and the game is better because of it. Beauty in simplicity is the best phase when describing this game’s plot. We are given a solid reason as to why we are playing the game and that is it. The story and characters all have a joyous air about them. Everyone is happy to be in this game, they are all having a blast and by osmosis the player is too (at least for me). I swear every time I loaded up the game big smile grows on my face, everyone is just so likeable.
To say that the game has tons of content would be a little bit of an understatement. Along with the 120 original levels and 40 remastered origins levels we also have daily challenges and a multiplayer football (cannot talk about that as I do not have PS+) and unlockable costumes for Rayman and friends. None of it feels half assed and is very enjoyable and fun. The main levels themselves are almost flawless, mostly linear with hidden areas and puzzles that rescue Teensies, the more Teensies you rescue the more levels you can unlock. This simple yet clever design choice makes exploring each level fun but necessary to continuing the game, you also can collect Lums (yellow fairies with very silly faces) that unlock trophies and reward you with more items. Again you are encouraged to explore the levels which are, in of themselves interesting to explore. Rayman himself controls brilliantly, his jumps and punches are on point and feel great to handle. The highlight for me regarding level design is the music levels. At the end of each world a bonus level unlocks where you have outrun something while music plays. Not only does your platforming influence the music by adding beats, it is like a dance in the way the platforming adds to the music. The precision of enemy placement is perfect and the platforms were wonderfully placed. The only bit of flawed level design is towards the end of the game where one boss room has a very easy to use death drop that feels cheap and artificially made to be difficult. A short lived but a terribly out of place flaw in what is otherwise perfect level design.
Much like Rayman Origins the amount of Lums you get at the end of the level results in how high your score will be, depending on how many you get you can get a lucky card, which can give you anything from an extra Teenie to another Origins level, this might seem like a loot box but with some nice differences. You cannot buy any lucky card with real money or get them through any other ways asides from doing well. The game not only rewards you for doing well but gives you more content for being good at the game, a strange but wonderful rarity in modern AAA games that needs to be encouraged. The Origin level remasters are little more than an a visual upgrade and it is debatable as to whether it is needed as the Rayman Origins has aged very well visually, it is an interesting compare and contrast with Origins and Legends level design as Rayman Origins has less secret eras and very obvious Teenie placement but the levels themselves are still extremely fun to navigate.
The graphics and art style have aged perfectly; it looks as crisp and beautiful as it was then as it is now. Every level both in Legends and Origins brim with personality and atmosphere and are extremely memorable. The music itself is stellar and all contribute to the swashbuckling fun of Rayman Legends.
I cannot say if the PC port is good as I played this on Console; however the PS4 version has no bugs, glitches or any performance issues of any kind. Frame rate is stable at 60 FPS. Considering that this is Ubisoft, it is kind of a miracle.
I must confess I have not fully completed Rayman legends yet, while the story is finished there is a lot of optional content that is still there and I do intend to do it. I want to keep playing and spending time in the strange world of Rayman. I love this game; this game makes me incredibly happy. The very few flaws that are there are not that much of a downside. Rayman Legends is now one of my favourite platformers. The Hall of Fame has a new entry.