Rayman Legends has had a somewhat rough ride coming to PC. At first, the game was announced as a WiiU exclusive. Sadly, the reception for Nintendo’s “next-gen” console was mild at best, and Ubisoft soon sent out a memo saying that Legends will be coming to X360 and PS3 as well. While this would certainly drop the game’s sales on WiiU, it wasn’t really that much of a problem. The main issue was that the game’s release date was pushed back for half a year so as to “polish the game on all platforms”. This was what caused an outcry from the fans.
You might have noticed that there hasn’t been any mention of PC version yet. Well, we PC gamers were expecting to get a late console port at best. One day, about a month before the release, the PC version was actually announced, and caught us by surprise. Not only did Ubisoft release a brilliant game across all available platforms, but they did it all at the same date. Proper good job, mates!
Yes, it is every bit as fun as it seems.
The new Rayman games might as well be the prototypical platformers to which all others are compared. The controls are tight, levels are great and there’s a galore of collectibles. One thing at a time, though. We can happily conclude that UbiArt engine is a masterpiece. Every level backdrop, every character and every item was drawn by hand and only afterwards implemented into the game. This way, there are no graphical glitches and the optimization rocks the boat. Seriously, this game is perfectly playable even on older laptops. A huge plus for a number of could-be players. Graphics do differ from the previous installation. The overall feel is more “dreamy” and some pretty nice filters are used at moments. Most notable addition in the graphical department is the inclusion of some 3D characters and level pieces. Bosses are the most obvious example of this new feature.
Another feature worth praising is the multi-layerness (I know it’s not a word, shut up) of the levels. There’s always something happening in the background and it’s very interesting to look at. Beautiful, too. It’s really easy to fall in love with the graphical style of this game. The greatest visual treat for me, though, are the animations. Rayman and his pals are prowling around the levels using cartoony parkour moves. It feels almost hypnotising to see your character jump and run around perfectly aligned with the level layout.
It goes without saying that the “stealth” levels are amazing.
One thing most players who played Origins will notice is the fact that moving around in Legends feels more “floaty” and “balooney” than it did before. And it really is a tad bit wierd if you quickly shifted from the previous game to this one. The feeling is lost after playing for some time, thankfully. Controls are well tought out and the game can be played nicely even on a keyboard. The problems arise when there’s multiple people playing on a single keyboard. The game doesn’t seem to always register more than a couple of buttons pressed simultaneously. This can provide frustrations and we recommend getting a good gamepad if you’re playing hotseat on PC.
There are some more frustrations in the game. For example, the Murphy levels. These work wonderfully on WiiU, where one player can control this character on the touchscreen. See, Murphy cuts ropes, drops ledges and eats away at levels to create tunnels. The first two can work on a keyboard, since a simple keypress is enough to precisely trigger them. The eating part… not so much. On PC, Murphy basically floats around in a circular pattern and you have to hold the button at the right time and place for him to dig/eat your way out. It’s way too easy to mess up your path since there’s no real way to control Murphy, other than the overly simplistic toggle button.
Player agression gets kicked up a notch while playing Kung Foot.
It’s easy to forget about those issues when the rest of the game is this good. One thing Rayman Origins was missing is some real PvP multiplayer action. In Legends, this is partially achieved via Kung Foot tournaments. We believe you can figure everything out from the upper screenshot. Unfortunately, there’s no online multiplayer other than playing the Challenge levels. Hotseat is there, of course, and we cannot recommend it enough. There’s just so much fun to be had while playing this with your spouse, girlfriend, friends or family. The most critical feature here is slapping their faces out. We would vote for this feature to be included in every single Rayman game that’s ever to be released since now.
It should be noted that there’s also a metagame of sorts waiting for you. A plethora of characters, pets (yeah!) and additional levels is just waiting to be unlocked. You will certainly be pleased to know that 40 of the best Rayman Origins levels creeped into Legends. With a decent amount of tweaking and “awesomeizing”.
The conclusion? This game is a must on any platform you can get it on. If you own a WiiU, buy it for the WiiU since that’s the best version. But you won’t be sorry if you pick it up on PC, either. A hearty recommendation.
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This article was first posted on September 12, 2013