Rayman Origins – Multiplayer
On the 21st of September 2011 Ubisoft hosted the UBINIGHTS event in Melbourne. This is where they showcase the latest blockbuster titles that will be available by the end of the year. The entire OzBoxLive team was invited to get a hands-on preview of several titles. Here are our thoughts on the multiplayer aspect of the new Rayman Origins.
Mark Libman – “I’ve never played any Rayman game before in my life and surprisingly really enjoyed my time with Origins. The characters and world look very cartoony and give it a fantastic 3D feel thanks to a Cell Shading style and depth. I was also surprised to learn that it is not an XBLA game but a full retail title. If you are a fan of the franchise or enjoy traditional and challenging sidescrollers then you will love this. It has a lot of familiar gameplay from the 90s and supports 4-Player drop in/drop out gameplay. Not sure how much fun you would have by yourself though as playing with 4 people is a blast. Gotta love the bubbles.”
Mark ten Buuren – “To put it simply: this game was a blast. The four player drop in-and-out co-op is a fantastic feature, letting someone grab the controller and join the game midway through a level. That feature is something that any good sidescrolling game should have, in my opinion. If one of the players happens to get killed they turn into a bubble and can float around – having a player pop the bubble returns you to normal. At least one player needs to stay alive otherwise you all go back to the previous check point (as we found out all too often!!). This game is the origin story of Rayman, so it is set before all of the other games and features characters that appear in some of the other games. The whole game had a kind of “cartoony” feel to it, which I thought was pretty cool and very fitting. Overall this game would make a great party game.”
David Lynch – “Only having played bits of Rayman 2 on the N64(the first one in a 3D world), this was still a new experience for me. The game itself is hard to describe, as it’s a platformer with panache. The closest thing to it would be the New Super Mario Bros game released on the Wii. Having up to 4 people jumping around, getting in each other’s way and the chaos that comes with players having to “attack” others that have “died” to free them from a bubble prison makes the gameplay frantic, chaotic and… immensely fun. The drop in-drop out co-op is integrated really well, and the game looks and plays superbly – its simplicity and easy to pick up nature are its greatest strength.
A pleasant surprise, and a game the kiddies (and their parents) will probably love.”
Callan Winfield – “Rayman is back! I have very fond memories of an early Rayman game, it was even the inspiration behind my final character design back in college. As I’ve said before, I’m a multiplayer buff, who has time for campaigns? So my thoughts then on this latest Rayman installment? I love it… a lot. The opt in any time for the 4 Xbox players is perfect for shared houses or families where people just want to join in for 10 minutes or so, and Rayman is the kind of game I can see being played across several days by various people as they just get caught up in it. The game is full of charm. For example, after being told to look closer I was delighted by all the little animations that all the creatures have, and nothing beats friendly fire in a co-op platformer. Lovely bright colours, clever gameplay and a brilliant respawn system – I’m buying this game.”
Guy Grealy – “Ok so I’m going to have to do my best to limit myself for this one, because hands down Rayman: Origins wins “Game of the Night” for me. Although the game is simple, there isn’t one thing that stood out above the rest that made me love it so much – everything about this game just screams fun!! The characters, the story, the art… it just wants to leap off the screen and slap you in the face with a good time!! At the core the game is a platformer, and it is a strong one. You have all the essential tools for this genre; jump, left and right, and Ubisoft have been kind enough to throw a whole bunch of other goodies in. You’ll be punching, kicking, gliding and swinging your way through levels with up to 3 friends, and that’s barely scratching the surface. While at first glance it’s possible to pass Rayman: Origins off as a kiddy game, there’s more than enough challenge, humour and complexity in here for the mature crowd.
If I had to liken this game to another out on the market, it would be the New Super Mario Bros. If you’ve had the chance to attempt to get to the end of a level with 3 of your best mates ‘helping’ each other along, you’ll understand why I’m so excited for this game. If you haven’t, then you’re in for a treat. I had a chance to play this game 3 ways: alone, with strangers, and with friends. Playing alone was great, the platforming is challenging and more than enough to keep me occupied for an afternoon. Playing with strangers was admittedly the most productive way, with people too afraid to step on toes and always happy to lend a helping hand. Playing with friends was, to be honest, the way the game is meant to be played. Not only is there hidden areas only accessible by teamwork, but everything about the game screams one thing: fun. And what’s more fun than trying to survive a level with 3 people who love nothing more than watching you die in the most horrible way possible?
As I said before, it may look like this game is made for kids. The art style actually made me think this was an XBLA title, but when you get into it I can’t say that I feel like this was a game made for kids. The characters just convey so much charm and… well, character, and there is a lot of latent humour that I feel would be missed by a younger audience. That said, I still believe younger gamers will love playing, and that its one of those rare gems that can be truly enjoyed by all ages.
Rayman: Origins wins Game of the Night hands down for me. It was just too much fun, and I can’t wait to play the whole game. I can’t wait.”