Review of Rayman Legends - the phenomenal platformer is getting even better

Author: Krystian Smoszna
Date: 2013-09-03 08:56:00
The review was based on the X360 version. Also applies to PC, PS3 versions

Ubisoft had no idea what to do with Rayman for a long time. After Michel Ancel focused on other projects in 1999, the series began to drift away from its roots. It took more than a decade for the French group to finally see and fry a painfully classic two-dimensional platformer. Released two years ago, Rayman Origins stormed the hearts of fans by storm, won high reviews, and sold well enough to give the green light to a possible follow-up. This one was originally intended only for the WiiU console, but fortunately the producers from the Seine eventually decided to support owners of other devices. And thank them for it, because Rayman Legends is undoubtedly the top leader of the genre, which for several years, mainly due to independent artists, is experiencing a real renaissance.

The new Rayman doesn't get all the aces out of his sleeve right away. A small grinding noise is already appearing at the start - fans who dismantled the previous game into prime factors are unlikely to be delighted with the clear reduction in difficulty . In the first episodes, we're doing fine. Collecting six hundred Lums and releasing ten Malagas is not a big problem - just look around and pass each level with 100% efficiency, and it was unthinkable in Origins - even in the initial land. The game is also facilitated by densely scattered checkpoints, accidental death does not force us to return to the beginning of the sequence and there is an automatic save point practically in front of every dangerous fragment. Less demanding players and children will take this approach with open arms, while hardcore players may feel disappointed. They will have no reason to go back to the completed stages again - seeing all the cups above the images symbolizing the levels, they will simply go further and quickly forget what they experienced a few minutes earlier. Anxiety at first is also the fact that Rayman Legends seems to be devoid of time, i.e. extremely demanding stages, forcing the user to complete them within the time limit specified by the authors.

The farther the game, the better. Individual locations (even within the same land) differ significantly from each other in terms of visuals, and we face increasingly difficult challenges, practically constantly surprised by fresh ideas. It is important because Rayman does not develop in Legends as much as in Origins - the product does not offer the main character any premiere abilities. What's new is visible in other aspects, e.g. in the construction of levels. Especially the episode called "20,000 miles of Podlumskie journey" leads here, which includes a capital quasi-stealth stage, forcing our mentee to avoid alarm systems hidden in the depths of the metropolis. And we will find much more of such unconventional plays here and it's really hard not to be impressed by them.

From other novelties it is impossible not to mention the helper in the form of Murfy, who appears in selected stages. With his support, we can move and rotate certain objects, paving the way to the exit. Stworek can also drill tunnels in cakes, form temporary platforms and tickle some enemies, making them easier to kill. The range of companion skills changes practically from episode to episode, thanks to which we are surprised by something interesting until the grand finale. In addition, over time, the game forces even greater cooperation between Rayman and Murfy. This is perfectly illustrated by the final episodes of the campaign, where you have to, for example, rush down to break your neck, sliding the interior design elements under your feet and in the meantime jump between one wall and the other, kicking the cunningly placed Malaki. Difficult to do, but that's why we love this series, right?

Music stages , crowning the struggles in every land, are also a plus . They are a bit like chasing the crates from Origins - we have to go through the entire level, listening to the song perfectly integrated with the events on the screen, and by the way collect Luma and save the Malaks. Flawlessness is not required here, because just like any basic level, also these contain checkpoints. However, this does not change the fact that they are a lot of fun. The enormous potential hidden in these stages can be seen only in the last episode, where we only have these types of challenges at our disposal, in addition horrendously difficult. The recording points disappear, the music changes to eight-bit, and the crazy run is complicated by occasional visual fireworks, manifested, for example, by screen snow irritating like hell. This is a challenge for real hardcore people, the stage must be learned practically by heart, and then perform it without the slightest mistake. Anyone who has tried to maximize Origins knows perfectly well what's going on.

That's right - the account. There is a general Lum counter in the game, which are thrown into one sack, regardless of what kind of struggle we take part in. The ultimate goal is to get a million yellow creatures and it must be clearly said - someone here has clearly exaggerated. For the complete completion of the campaign it is impossible to draw more than 120,000 Lumens, spreading the game on the prime factors barely allows you to get close to half this amount. After working out all the content, there is not much to do - we will either focus on tedious repetition of already played levels, or we will take part in challenges on infinitely large maps, where our achievements are compared with the results of other people. Unfortunately, these challenges are definitely not enough - two appear once a day, another two every seven days.

The visual setting of the game is an absolute masterpiece, a two-dimensional wonder. Rayman Legends is not as "cartoon" as the previous installment of the cycle, but it is difficult to consider it a disadvantage, because in motion the non-contour silhouettes of the characters look stunning. Great character animation and locations composed of several plans also arouse admiration. The extensive staff of graphic designers deserve the highest words of recognition - although this seems unbelievable, this part is even prettier than its predecessor . The audio layer also turns out to be impeccable, the gameplay is accompanied by a nice soundtrack that never - well, except maybe the musical stages mentioned earlier - does not get to the fore. Joy for the ears, joy for the eyes - do you need something more?