Rayman Origins review

I’ve never been a fan of the 3D Rayman games. Although the armless hero does appeal to some, for me he’s always been Ubisoft’s attempt at making its own version of Mario or Sonic with only some degree of success. Rayman Origins has changed my opinion because not only is it a slick 2D platformer, it’s also one of the most gorgeous looking and sounding games on HD consoles. So what’s the story about? Well, to be honest, it’s hard to tell thanks to there being no speech during the opening sequence but it’s something to do with four kings needing to be rescued, some fairies that need to be freed and Rayman waking up the whole forest with his snoring. Regardless of what’s going on, you soon set off on your journey and run and bounce through the levels collecting yellow Lums, pink Electoons and then revisiting those levels to do time trials and earn yet more Electoons.

You can play as Rayman, Globox or any of the kings and although they look different, they all have the same powers which get unlocked as you progress through the game. To begin with you can only run and jump but as you go you get the ability to run up walls, hover, turn small and also hit things. You can also play the game with up to three friends in drop in drop out mode which adds to the fun or confusion depending on your point of view. As you can see it all looks fantastic and the music is a mix of tribal beats, jazz and other funky grooves which gets added to with new notes as you collect stuff. Each area is also finished off with a shoot ‘em up section which, although simple, does a better job than some other recent attempts in games such as Shadows of the Damned and Alice Madness Returns.

If you wish you can just race through the levels but you will have to return to find hidden areas and to collect everything to give you full marks and all the items you’ll need to progress which of course adds to the amount of time you’ll spend on the game. It’s fair to say that this is one of the most fun, slick platform games out on consoles at the moment and shouldn’t be discounted just because you think Rayman himself is a little bit naff. It gets an almost perfect 9 out of 10.

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