Last year’s Rayman Origins was one of the most surprising and refreshing titles I’ve played in a very, very long time. It was a perfect platformer; simultaneously the best platformer of its entire console generation and one of the best platformers of any console generation to date. Part of its success was its return to classic 2D platforming roots, but a larger part of its success, in my opinion, was its newly designed UbiArt Framework engine. UbiArt gave Rayman Origins an intoxicatingly beautiful presentation that will hopefully be improved on in its successor, Rayman Legends.
Earlier this year, a marketing company working for Ubisoft polled individuals about a potential Rayman Origins 2. Much of what was seen in that market research shows its face, or its influence at the very least, in what we saw today of Rayman Legends. As it was only displayed for the Wii U, the first assumption is that it will be a Wii U exclusive title. I have mixed feelings on this, but mostly, I’m very upset with Ubisoft for doing the unthinkable: making me interested in the Wii U. I didn’t want to want the Wii U, you jerks. Now, I have no choice but to pick one up at launch for Rayman Legends. THANKS A LOT.
Rayman Legends introduces a new playable character, Murphy, who is a dedicated character for the player using the Wiipad. Murphy uses a combination of gesture/touch commands and button presses, but seems to lean more heavily on the Wiipad’s touch screen and accelerometer than its joysticks and buttons. Up to five players can play at once in asynchronous co-op (fancy for drop-in/drop-out), including the Wiipad, using both classic Wiimotes and the newly revealed Wii U Pro Controller (a less conveniently designed Xbox 360 controller for those who haven’t seen it).
The co-operative opportunities when using Murphy’s touch-screen gameplay and standard controller gameplay in conjunction were highlighted, but with Murphy being a dedicated Wiipad character, and certain areas of the map requiring Murphy’s intervention to proceed, it makes me wonder how playing the game solo using a controller other than the Wiipad will work. You know, in case you’d rather enjoy the platforming elements rather than float around and swipe at things.
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of Rayman Legends in the months leading up to the Wii U’s apparently early October release (early release date thanks to a little snafu on Ubisoft’s part during their Just Dance 4 presentation), and gods help me, I’m looking forward to the Wii U.