Rayman Origins is an eye-popping 2D platformer with a wonderful art design and solid gameplay.
Back in the era when 2D platforming was all the rage, a limbless character named Rayman was born. He bounced, hovered and punched is way across many wired and wonderful environments. It was side-scrolling at it's finest. Since then, Rayman has changed dramatically. Turning from 2D to a whole new perspective, third person. Then the Raving Rabbids had taken over and Rayman seemed to have disappeared. But now, Rayman is finally back and developer Ubisoft have decided to go back to it's roots.
The first thing you will notice about Rayman Origins is the art style. The game is a visual masterpiece. It's not only the best looking Rayman game, but the best looking 2D platformer for this generation. The vivid colours and detailed environments burst out of the screen. It's hard not to stop and admire the view, but most of your time is spent dashing through the levels. The sound is also at at top notch. With whacky sounds and catchy background music that is a delight to listen too.
The plot is very simple. It begins with Rayman and his friends taking a musical nap in the Glade of Dreams. Deep underground, an undead grandma is disturbed by the sound and sends out her army of creatures to investigate. All war breaks lose and the Glade of Dreams is now swarming with not so friendly creatures. Rayman and his friends must travel across different environments, defeating the foes, and restore peace back to the Glade of Dreams.
Rayman Origins is like most side-scrollers. You will toddle along the screen from left to right, fighting foes, dodging obstacles, and so on. It's got everything you would want from a 2D adventure. Like the original, your main goal in each level is to rescue Electoons. These little characters are locked up in cages and scattered around each level. There's around five in total, and a certain amount is needed to advance the story. You will also come across smiley yellow orbs called Lums. Collecting enough of these will also create an Electoon, which is added up at the end of each level. Collectibles like Electoons can be very hard to find. They are well hidden, and it requires more than one playthrough if your willing to find them all.
As you progress further in, Rayman will unlock new abilities. From running up walls, flying, swimming and more. It mixes up the gameplay nicely and never feels too repetitive. All of Rayman's abilities are fun to use, but they can be tricky to master. Rayman can only handle two hits, and environment become more dangerous later on. You are fronted with moving obstacles, and it requires precise timing and coordination. Most of the levels are designed for a quick dash from start to finish. It's not really a game for stopping to admire the view, but you do occasionally get the chance.
I found attempting something over and over never became tiresome. This was because of it's tight and responsive controls. Every action Rayman takes feels prompt. If it be jumping across obstacles, flying in the air, or simply running up a wall. You always feel in full control and that's what makes the game so engaging and enjoyable.
Overall, Rayman Origins is a solid 2D platformer. With around 80 levels, collectibles and discoveries, Rayman Origins is packed with enough content to keep you returning for more. It's nice to see Rayman return, and what a return it is.
Review by Gareth Smith