Back in the mid-nineties, Ubisoft created a hero with no arms and no legs who would eventually become one of their most recognized characters. Rayman provided gamers with an new platforming experience which would spawn a number of sequels. Rayman Origins is an attempt to recapture the style of the original game while introducing multiplayer co-op to help bring everyone together.
At E3 this year the demo of Rayman Origins featured tight controls, fun gameplay, and some interesting ways to interact with your fellow players.
When the game starts up, Rayman is alone, but anyone who wants to join can jump in at any time during the course of gameplay, hopping into the role of Rayman’s best friend Globox or one of the two wizards, the Teensies. Similarly there’s no restriction on leaving the game, giving gamers the freedom to come and go as they please without affecting the game’s progress.
While the game is still designed to be completed with one player, there are some secrets and paths which are meant for multiple players. For example, if a ledge is too high to reach, they can stand on top of each other to get within jumping distance.
Individual players in multiplayer don’t have lives and instead of dying when damaged by an environmental hazard or enemy they enter a bubble state. The only way out of the bubble state is to be attacked by an ally. When all players on screen enter this bubble state, only then does the group collectively die.
Much like the original game, in Rayman Origins gamers are tasked with rescuing Electoons, but instead of collecting Tings, Rayman collects Lums. When playing cooperatively, Lum collection has been turned into a sort of minigame with each player’s total Lum count tallied at the end of the level.
Now, if you’re overly competitive, and you absolutely have to have the most Lums at the end of the level, Ubisoft has thought of you too. You can punch and kick your friends in game to slow them down or prevent them from getting to that one Lum you need to take the lead. Of course, you can also do it just because you feel like Steve needs a smack.
The levels we tried out at E3 featured a lush forest and a carnivorous plant. The latter is just one of many different bosses in the game, which also include a giant pink monster with hundreds of eyes and a possessed mountainous golem. During the level the plant stalked us relentlessly, forcing us to move on or be eaten.
The levels themselves are gorgeous and every bit of art in the game is hand drawn. With 12 environments and 60 levels, there will be plenty of places to explore while gamers piece together Rayman’s origins.
Are you looking forward to slapping your friends around in Rayman Origins?
Rayman Origins will be bringing its beautifully animated world to PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and 3DS on November 15, 2011.