Rayman: Origins PC Review

Written by Joe Martin

April 11, 2012 | 07:08

Tags: #rayman

Companies: #ubisoft

Rayman: Origins

Rayman isn't alone in his quest either, as Origins can be played with up to three other players in a drop-in, drop-out co-op configuration. This sadly only works locally, meaning that it requires a collection of gamepads and a decent-sized screen to get the most out of on PC, but adds an appreciable increase in chaos to the game.

That's as if Rayman: Origins wasn't chaotic enough to start with, with its bizarre level design that runs from verdant forests to hellish kitchens and mad dashes through the sky on the back of giant mosquitoes. Scenes will occasionally switch planes too, as if you were diving further into a level's background, lending a whole other sense of depth to the world.

And, oh my, the graphics - Ubisoft has utterly discarded the 3D look of previous Rayman titles and has instead embraced a hand-drawn look that more perfectly captures the anarchic, animated feel of the Rayman series. It looks stunning on a technical front, proving slickly fluid and unbelievably crisp even at the highest resolutions, but creatively it's even more staggering. All manner of weird twists and bizarre animations help bring the world to life, from giant, ride-able mosquitoes to menacing, taloned hands that grab at you if you stay in water for too long.

That said, nobody need worry that the game will be too difficult, as Rayman accommodates to players of all skill levels by allowing unlimited re-runs of levels and only slight penalties to player death. This is a game that focuses more on the reward of the journey, rather than the grind of success.

The only problems that surface within Rayman: Origins in fact feel like they stem more from a narrow focus on an ideal platform, rather than the design of the game itself. Platform games are always best played on a gamepad, but it's disappointing to see Ubisoft embrace that aspect of the genre as readily as every other, as the PC version now lacks some of the customisation options we'd hope for.

There's no option to tweak graphics or performance, for example, and the game often feels clumsy when played with a keyboard.

The biggest wound however is still the lack of online co-op in the PC version of the game, which really does feel like a sizable oversight and limits the ease with which the co-operative elements of the game can be enjoyed.

Regardless of these flaws though, there's no denying that Rayman: Origins manages to be one of the most joyful and playful platforming experiences currently available. In a genre cluttered with a glut of flash games and ultra-violent parodies it can be easy to forget the principles that the genre excels in - but Rayman serves as an excellent reminder that fluidity, accuracy, artistry and accessibility matter more than gimmicks or gore.

At a penny short of £20, Rayman: Origins is definitely edging towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, but with 60 sizable levels on offer and an unmatched pedigree throughout, this is undoubtedly the best platformer we've seen in a long, long time.
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