One of the more surprising reveals from last year’s Ubisoft press conference at E3 was the announcement of a brand new Rayman game, titled Rayman Origins. Origins would be a return to form for the series, taking Rayman out of the minigame realm and reestablishing his platforming roots. Unfortunately, shortly after some fancy 1080p screenshots and a gameplay trailer, the trail went cold.
The first of this episodic series was set to be released by the end of 2010, but December came and went without a word of the limbless creature. Ubisoft’s Michel Ancel was once again in charge and working with a very small team for the episodes, which would be a reasonable explanation for the extended development time. Now, almost a full year after the original announcement, we finally have some new details to pore over until the game’s inevitable release.
The first and most interesting tidbit is that the idea for Rayman Origins was hatched when the team decided to take a break from the still mysterious sequel, Beyond Good & Evil 2. This might explain why we have yet to hear any news about the project since we were told to “keep the faith” over two months ago. Clearly this break has gone into overtime, but the good news is that Rayman Origins has evolved into a full retail release since its announcement, providing Rayman fans with the first true sequel since Hoodlum’s Revenge for the Gameboy Advance back in 2005.
Here is the rest of the news in easy-to-digest bulleted format, straight from the mouth of Ancel himself:
- He noted that few people finished the original Rayman due to its difficulty. They hope to change that by making this one more accessible while still offering a challenge.
- They’re trying to design the game to fit various platforming styles. So people that enjoy collecting will have plenty to collect but it’s also being designed for those that like to do speedruns.
- The Lums you collect will act as currency for new power ups, health and ‘I Dare You’ challenges.
- ‘I Dare You’ challenges are where you wager on whether you can complete a complex, acrobatic chain.
- The game now supports 4 player local (they don’t say anything about online) co-op.
- “The levels are designed with both single-playing and multiplayer in mind, so no one is at a loss if a player tackles the game alone or in a group.
- In order to keep the game accessible all characters will have the same abilities.
The Rayman series has never been known for its abundance of content, at least not until the Raving Rabbids took precedence over the titular characters. Rayman 2: The Great Escape was originally one of the standout 3D platforming titles for the Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 and has lived on throughout countless console generations, including Nintendo’s most recent handheld. Its predecessor was equally enticing, providing fantastic and original 2D platforming goodness. It is a surprise and a pleasure to see that the continuation of the series will be returning to the 2D format with so much added on. The team obviously still has a lot of love for the floppy-eared freak.
Are you excited to see the continuation of Rayman’s story in Rayman Origins? Would you rather the team be working on the long overdue Beyond Good & Evil sequel?
Rayman Origins is dues out the holiday season for the PS3 and Xbox 360.