(PlayStation 4)

Rayman Legends (PlayStation 4)

Game Review

Rayman Legends Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Alex Stinton

Everybody loves Rayman

After spending far too much time in the shadow of the Raving Rabbids, Rayman made a triumphant return to consoles in Rayman Origins. While critically celebrated, this bonkers platformer with its bright and colourful art style never really found the wider audience that it truly deserved. Fortunately, Ubisoft has given gamers a chance to see the error of its ways with the release of Rayman Legends, which not only serves up more of the same brilliant platforming found in its predecessor, but also manages to deliver an even better experience to boot.

Rayman and the other heroes of the Glade of Dreams have been asleep for a century. In that time, the nightmares have returned and spread across their home causing the Teensies to become imprisoned within them. Knowing just how to solve this sad situation, The Bubble Dreamer sends Murfy the Greenbottle to wake the realm’s brave protectors, who embark on a dark mission to save as many of the long snouted beings as possible.

Set across more than 120 stages, the campaign provides an enormous variety of challenges. Ranging from relentless chases where you’re run down by an angry pursuer to underwater dives that see Rayman paddling around sea mines and torpedoes, the obstacles that stand in your way are constantly changing making every level fresh, interesting, and increasingly tough. Despite its primary focus on platforming, the game never outstays its welcome, constantly whisking you off to new worlds with new ideas before you can even contemplate getting bored.

All of these areas are brought to life courtesy of a fantastic 2D art style which has plenty of little 3D flourishes to add depth to every backdrop. When this is mixed with the quirky design, it produces an aesthetic that you won’t find anywhere else, and helps to really drive home the personality of each of the worlds. Whether it’s the luchadores and skeletons of the Mexican levels or the toads and thorns that pepper the swamp-themed stages, the presentation rarely disappoints.

Adding another layer to the atmosphere is Christophe Héral’s audio, which fits each of the individual settings perfectly. There were a number of occasions where we had his music stuck in our heads, and even found ourselves whistling along to the catchy carefree tune that plays in the level select gallery.

Not content to just have the soundtrack play a background role, though, the designers have brought it to the forefront during a number of specially-themed music levels which act as the climax to each of the worlds. These are built around a re-imagined piece of music – such as a Mariachi inspired version of Eye of the Tiger – and are perfectly timed to the pace of the level with every jump, bounce, or hit corresponding to guitar solos, drum beats, or musical crescendos. These serve as an unexpected surprise, and will leave you eager to see what style of music is used next.

Kitted out with his usual moves – jump, punch, and hover – there’s really only one major change to the titular hero’s repertoire compared to his previous adventure, and that’s the addition of Murfy. At select points throughout the game, he’ll make an appearance and can be used to manipulate the environment to clear your route towards the exit. His interventions range from moving the position of platforms to tickling shield carrying enemies so that they drop their guard. Using the Greenbottle while also controlling Rayman is tricky, but it’s very rewarding, and adds an extra layer to the already stellar gameplay.

If there’s any criticism it's that it can take a little while to acclimatise to the controls. For example, the jump feels a little too floaty at first, and even at full sprint, we couldn’t help but think that the characters move a touch too slow. Fortunately, these initial irritations soon dissipate, and you’ll quickly settle into the rhythm of the game. You’ll still encounter occasions where you misjudge a jump due to the physics, but it’s only really an irritation in stages that have minimal checkpoints or tight time limits.

Your performance in each stage is gauged by not only how many Teensies that you rescue, but also how many of the floating bugs – named Lums – that you vacuum up as you race towards the exit. With gold, silver, or bronze medals available, there’s plenty of replay value if you want to earn the highest tier on every stage. Of course, it isn’t easy to get 100 per cent, as you’ll need to stray off the main path in order to grab everything, but that provides an interesting challenge for completionists to strive towards.

Collecting Lums and Teensies unlocks extra characters and additional stages respectively, so retrying areas is a requirement if you want to see everything that the game has to offer. Thankfully, as you get deeper into the campaign, you can tailor the challenge by choosing which levels to tackle, as the harder stages – such as the time limited invasions – are purely optional and won’t bar your progress through the main thread of the adventure. If you do decide to unlock every area and character, there’s a ton of content to work through, including a selection of the best levels from Rayman Origins. On top of this, there are also daily and weekly community challenges to tackle, so you can test your skills against the wider community.

To add even more replay value to an already bursting package, the developer has incorporated local multiplayer for up to four players. This drop in/drop out mode can be played across any of the game’s levels, and while it’s not as fully featured as the Wii U version – which supports up to five players – it still offers a great way to enjoy everything that the title has to offer with friends. It’s just a shame that online co-op is conspicuously absent.

Conclusion

Unless Nintendo decides to release a Mario or Donkey Kong title on the PlayStation 4, it’s going to take something special to unsettle Rayman Legends’ current command of the next-gen console’s platforming crown. While the controls take a little getting used to, the crazy art style and musical levels more than compensate, and are worth the price of admission alone. If you also take into account the discounted price point, massive amount of variety, and local multiplayer, then it’s impossible not to recommend this dream package to anyone with even a passing interest in the side-scrolling genre.

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Game Trailer

User Comments (16)

ZeD

#1

ZeD said:

I brought this on my Vita around Christmas in the sales & I love just having a fun plat former to turn too when I do not fancy playing my other games.
Great review and like you said, it will take a lot to knock this game down!

Krinkle_Kaptain

#2

Krinkle_Kaptain said:

Purchased it on vita and loved it, but not sure if I should get it on ps4 again. Is there cross save availability? I finished it on vita but still got some extra crap to knock out.

AlexStintonStaff

#3

AlexStinton said:

@Krinkle_Kaptain I don't believe there's cross save I'm afraid. This may be because the Vita version was missing some levels when it was originally released but who knows. That said it's so good why not play it again.

SimonAdebisi

#4

SimonAdebisi said:

I've never liked Rayman or Raymond. I don't really like platformers either but I still want to give Rayman Legends a chance on my Vita.

JaxonH

#5

JaxonH said:

Ok, I'm a HUGE platforming fan, and let me just say this is the only game I've ever played that can give Nintendo a run for it's money in the 2D platforming genre. It's not quite as good as say, the Donkey Kong Country games (nor is it nearly as difficult), but it's good, it's really, REALLY good. If I didn't already own this on Wii U, and on Vita, I'd buy it today in a heartbeat.

I still think I'd recommend this game on Vita as Sony platform of choice for Rayman (Wii U is the system is was built ground up for, so the Vita's touch screen allows natural play of Murphy Levels), but I'm sure it's still great on PS4. Besides, if you buy this on Vita, you can also grab Origins too and have both of them on one nifty system.

sdavala

#6

sdavala said:

love this game. I was lucky to play this on all PS platforms. The Vita is actually my favorite version to play it on. EXCEPT when i want to play with my two kids.

RaymanFan2

#7

RaymanFan2 said:

Sadly, nothing in here about what's changed with the PS4 version.
So I'm assuming not much.

Diddy_kong

#8

Diddy_kong said:

I picked this up around Christmas for the PS3 and love it. Great music and truly outstanding visuals. I also love the very forgiving check-point system - while the game can be pretty difficult in spots the check-points mean that it never becomes frustrating.

johnhood

#11

johnhood said:

Picked this up at the weekend and have spent more time playing it than inFAMOUS: Second Son thus far.

craigun

#12

craigun said:

Are the graphics on the PS4 version that much better then last gen systems? Is it as difficult as I've heard?

I have Rayman Origins, Rayman 2 (PS1 & Dreamcast) and Rayman 3 HD (PS3). Love them all!

AlexStintonStaff

#13

AlexStinton said:

@craigun From what I've seen elsewhere there's virtually no difference between the PS3 and PS4 versions. The graphics, while looking fantastic are not exactly taxing to even the last-gen systems.

In terms of difficulty it's not the hardest game if you stick to the main levels but start having a go at the timed invasion levels and that's a different story.

SteveoKenobi

#14

SteveoKenobi said:

Hi i am new here, love this game, great review, i am addicted to the daily challenges, i have not progressed much through the actual game yet, due to the backlog of games i have, and that got worse with the latest arrival of inFamous Second Son..

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