News Article

First Impressions: Rayman Legends

Posted by Corbie Dillard

An absolute jaw-dropper

Ubisoft's Rayman Origins was praised for its amazing 2D visuals, lush environments and solid platforming. So when word leaked out that Ubisoft was working on a possible sequel, fans of the limbless one sat up and took notice.

After finding out the game would be shown at E3 on Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console, the thought of seeing another 2D Rayman title on a system with significant graphical horsepower, and one of the most unique controllers we've ever seen, quickly made it one of our most highly-anticipated titles of the show. And one short peek of Rayman Legends running on an HDTV was all it took to see that Rayman Legends might very well be one of the most beautiful games we've seen so far.

After heading upstairs to Nintendo's VIP area of its booth, the first game we asked to see was Rayman Legends. While we expected to be handed the unique Wii U GamePad controller, we were a bit surprised to find out that the main game itself was to be played using the new Wii U Pro Controller instead, leaving the Wii U GamePad for the second player to complete simple tasks that would help the other player complete the level.

The levels and controls are extremely similar in design and execution to those of Rayman Origins. Most of the same moves have been carried over and it didn't take any time at all for us to begin blazing our way through the lush landscapes that were offered up. Of course it wasn't long until we came to a section where we were going to need some help, and that's where the second player with the Wii U GamePad came into play.

Player 2 takes control of Murphy and, using the controller's gyro and touchscreen controls, begins manipulating certain sections and items on-screen to make it possible for Player 1 to navigate their way through hazards. This ranges from simple tasks such as stunning enemies and cutting ropes needed to swing on, to more intricate challenges like rotating wheel-style platforms in circular motions by tilting the Wii U controller: this is in order for Rayman to avoid deadly spikes and reach ledges that would normally be out of reach. Despite this sounding a bit complicated, the puzzles that this demo introduced really made the game quite fun for both players.

As enjoyable and unique as the play-style is in Rayman Legends, nothing can compare to the absolutely gorgeous visuals displayed not only on the HDTV screen, but also the vibrant Wii U GamePad touchscreen. The multiple layered scrolling and lighting effects only add to the already staggering graphical presentation, and you'll find yourself getting caught up in the scenery around you as you make your way through the adventure. It might be a launch title, but it certainly doesn't look like one in any way, shape or form.

In our view, there's absolutely no way to come away from Rayman Legends on Wii U without being completely blown away by the game from top to bottom. Not only are you getting a continuation of the highly-regarded Rayman Origins title, but you're getting some extremely original gameplay twists that are all made possible by the Wii U GamePad. Toss in an audio/visual production that rivals anything we've ever seen in 2D video gaming, and you've got a Wii U title that will likely find its way into a significant number of early-adopter's collections when the system launches this holiday season.

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User Comments (48)

CanisWolfred

#1

CanisWolfred said:

"...and you've got a Wii U title that will likely find its way into a significant number of early-adopter's collections when the system launches this holiday season."

At least we can only hope so. Don't let this fail again, people!

Ryno

#2

Ryno said:

I would not want to play as player 2. Do you need that second player to help navigate through the levels? It sounds cool overall though and if Corbie is impressed then it is definitely worth looking into.

Knuckles

#3

Knuckles said:

So this is a multiplayer game only? Can you play on the tablet to take control of Rayman and Murphy?

Cia

#4

Cia said:

I very much doubt that it's multiplayer only. Why wouldn't you be able to play it alone with the game pad?

Silvervisiona

#5

Silvervisiona said:

Well that was a glowing preview. I'd say it's added to my excitement, but I'm already max pumped for this game!

ThomasBW84Admin

#6

ThomasBW84 said:

@Faron I saw an interview where Ubisoft said that they took specific co-op levels to E3 to show off the concept, but it promises that there's a substantial campaign that works as single-player only.

Rawk_Hawk

#7

Rawk_Hawk said:

I never played or payed much attention to Rayman until I played Origins. Now I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Mollutje

#8

Mollutje said:

@ThomasBW84 When you say single-player only, I really hope you simply mean levels you're able to beat on your own, but that allow multiplayer as well (like the levels in rayman origins). SO.. making multiplayer optional in the campaign, but mandatory in the bonus levels?

FiveDigitLP

#10

FiveDigitLP said:

@Mollutje
Perhaps it is like some other games I've played ('Splosion Man comes to mind) where they have completely separate campaigns for single player and multiplayer with specific design decisions made to benefit the playstyle of one over the other.

NintyMan

#12

NintyMan said:

Good impressions. This game does look remarkably beautiful, and I'm pleased to see that the Gamepad controls deliver.

HawkeyeWii

#13

HawkeyeWii said:

I've got to say, this is the first game that I have ever heard of with 5 local multiplayer. It looks amazing so far, can't wait for this game!

Luffymcduck

#14

Luffymcduck said:

@HawkeyeWii
Funny, Bomberman 93 did that years ago.:) There might be some older games that support local 5 player multiplay.

WiiU and Rayman Legends on Day 1 would be a nice combo.

rjejr

#15

rjejr said:

At the risk of breaking several taboos, how does it look compared to Rayman: Origins on the PS3? I'm not bad mouthing the Wii U, just curios if they've managed to improve it any.

Oh, and this should sell better than Origins. What else are people going to play on those 5 million Wii U? OK, what's the plural of Wii U? Wii U? Wii Use? Wii us? Wii i?

19Robb92

#17

19Robb92 said:

Character design is still awful. No buy from me. But the environmental art is absolutely lovely as usual.

ueI

#18

ueI said:

Does the game actually allow for the same kind of multiplayer as origins? 2-4 player characters that run through the levels together?

CorbsAdmin

#19

Corbs said:

It blows Rayman Origins on PS3 away visually. End of story. LOL :D

LEGEND_MARIOID

#20

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

TBH, I am looking forward to this a little moreso than Pikmin 3 and NSMB U. Not taking anything away from those bohemoths of course.

Cyrso

#21

Cyrso said:

I think it's a bit regrettable that the player who has the gametablet, can't control another character than Murphy. But I heard that the things with the gametablet are just concepts and early in development, so I think it will turn out great.

And it's probably going to have a single-player mode, so even without the gametablet it will be awesome anyways.

Without a doubt, this is my most anticipated Wii U game.

CorbsAdmin

#22

Corbs said:

There will be a single-player campaign. They were just showing this particular mode off to highlight the Wii U controller and what could be done with it. And the game should be fully controllable with the Wii U GamePad in single-player mode, but I have to say, that Pro Controller felt quite great with this game. :D

Koos

#24

Koos said:

articles keep saying how gorgeous the gamepad scree is. Splendid.

HappyHappy

#25

HappyHappy said:

What I really want to know is how does this game works on single player because right now it sounds like you need a second player in order to play the game.

CorbsAdmin

#26

Corbs said:

This game will likely play out just as Origins did gameplay-wise. Those other levels feel built especially FOR two players.

sinalefa

#27

sinalefa said:

I just hope there is multiplayer support (as in not having to use the gamepad), and I think there is as people are talking about 5 player (similar to New Mario U) capabilities.

I have Origins for Wii, I even skipped the PS3 version since I wanted the multiplayer over the HD resolution ( I don't have an HDTV anyway) and my friends have Wii. This game shines with several people playing at the same time.

Kage_88

#28

Kage_88 said:

Frickin' Day 1 buy for me.

If this comes out at launch along with Mario, Pikmin, ZombiU, Batman and Aliens...then the 3DS launch will just be a bad memory :)

WolfRamHeart

#31

WolfRamHeart said:

Great impressions Corbs. This game is one of the main reasons that I am strongly considering picking up a Wii U at launch. It sounds fantastic and I'm glad to hear that you were impressed by it. So, you think that this game is visually better than Origins was on PS3? Sounds good but do you think that the graphics are a huge step up from the current generation of consoles? I know graphics aren't everything but I would like an idea of just how powerful the Wii U really is.

CorbsAdmin

#33

Corbs said:

The graphics are a pretty big step up. Maybe not what we might have expected, but still a pretty big leap up from PS3 and Xbox 360. I'm satisfied with it. :D

WolfRamHeart

#34

WolfRamHeart said:

@Corbs: Yeah, I was kind of worried that the Wii U would end up being just on par with the PS3 and Xbox 360 when it came to graphics. I don't expect it to be a beast when it comes to horsepower but I'm glad to hear that it's got enough power to truly be considered next-gen and that is good enough for me. I'm confident that Nintendo will make sure that their own games take full advantage of what the Wii U system is capable of and hopefully it will be enough to entice more third-party game developers to bring their titles to the Wii U.

BenAV

#35

BenAV said:

I'm still not so hyped for this game.
Origins just didn't do it for me, and considering this will mostly be more of the same I expect it to be the same result.
It's still worth buying, just not for full price.

master344

#36

master344 said:

I really don't see why people are so hyped about this. Sure it has great graphics but thats all it has thats good. honestly raymen origins was boring and repetitive and this game seems to be pretty much the same thing. It gives me a headache after just 20 minutes of gameplay. I don't think this game is worth the wait.

CorbsAdmin

#37

Corbs said:

I agree Wolf. It will be so great to see Nintendo games in HD. And there were some good Wii U games on show at E3. So I'm happy and excited about the system now. :D

WaveWarlock

#40

WaveWarlock said:

Still need to get Origins, and I'll definitly be snaging this one for sure. :D
Looks absolutely gorgeous! I'm a big fan of the 2D original Rayman so this will no doubt tickly my fabulous fancy.lol But before that, i really need to play Origins!

ShellyDeKiller

#41

ShellyDeKiller said:

A moment in time that made me smile was when UbiSoft revealed that Rayman Origins was actually a secret success at retail, no thanks to their lackluster advertising and release schedule. I sincerely believe that Rayman Origins will be remembered as one of the greatest videogames of all time, and the thought of a sequel looking THIS good can only fill me with joy. In fact, it's so good, I'm probably getting a Wii U at launch, despite being a little disappointed by the E3 conference and showings.

rjejr

#43

rjejr said:

@sinalefa - "I have Origins for Wii, I even skipped the PS3 version since I wanted the multiplayer"
um, PS3 Origins has multiplayer. It was actually harder than I like on 1 player so we played the entire game 3 player, well accept the final boss when we were yelling at each other a bit too much. Though if I didn't have an HDTV I would have gotten the Wii version, as I woudln't have a PS3 then either.
Thanks for all the feedback Corbie. I think this will be my first ever 5 player offline game. Glad to know my 4 Wiimotes will be put to good use, and I'm SO ready to put SD behind me.

Henmii

#44

Henmii said:

Yes, it looks awesome! While at first I didn't go through the roof when playing Rayman origins for the first time, at the end I had to admit I had played a very cool platformer with many cool ideas and some really tricky levels! I hope we find the same amount of challenge in this sequel!

"and you've got a Wii U title that will likely find its way into a significant number of early-adopter's collections when the system launches this holiday season"

If this site is any indication not many people do want it badly. But maybe most people aren't aware, since this was not shown properly at the Nintendo conference!

K964

#45

K964 said:

I was going to let Origins 3DS tide me over until this but... gr... Anyway looks (and sounds) great!

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