Rayman Origins

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Beautiful HD cartoon graphics
  • Inventive level design
  • Anarchic style and fantastic soundtrack

Cons

  • Sporadic difficulty spikes
  • Be warned: it's excessively cheerful

Key Features

  • Review Price: £39.90

Version tested: PS3

There are times when the world of games feels like a dark

and gloomy place; a world where everything has to be dark, gritty, grey and

realistic, where even fantasy and sci-fi have to come with real-world messages

about the brutality of man to man (or elf) or the corruption of those in power.

There’s some brilliant, thrilling stuff out there, but doesn’t it sometimes all

get you down? Don’t you remember a time of blue skies, cartoon heroes and the

simple pleasures of jumping on your foes, not taking headshots through a set of

iron sights?

Rayman Origins

Of course, Nintendo hasn’t forgotten how to do this stuff,

and there are times when Sega threatens to return to its past glories. Rayman

Origins, however, is a dream game for those of us who remember the good old

days. After years where the character has been lying in the doldrums, he’s been

resurrected by his original creator, Michel Ancel. The result is pure

platforming joy on a shiny silver disc.

Rayman Origins

In time-honoured platforming fashion, there is a story of

some sort, but a story so thin that we’re not sure we could reconstruct it if

we tried. All you need to know is that Rayman has a series of worlds to get

through, each comprising of multiple levels, and each level comprising of

several areas that involve running, jumping, sliding and occasionally swimming

from left to right. Rayman starts off with a basic jump and bounce attack, but

as each level goes on he rescues a rather saucy nymph, who then confers on our

limbless hero (he has a head, hands and feet, but no arms, neck or legs) extra

powers. Before you know it he’s punching, ground-pounding, gliding, shrinking,

diving and running up walls like a super-charged Sonic.

Rayman Origins

All very business as usual, you might think, and hardly the

sort of thing grown adults should get excited about. Haven’t we got terrorists

to shoot in the face? Nor will it necessarily impress you when we mention that

the levels run the full gamut of platform game clichés. Here’s the jungle, here’s

the desert, here’s the ice world, the fiery bit and a spot of swimming. Isn’t

this all a bit 1992?

Rayman Origins

Well, yes, but in a good way – and Rayman Origins has four

major factors in its favour. Firstly, the graphics. Imagine travelling back in

time to play Sonic the Hedgehog, then imagine imagining what Sonic the Hedgehog

might look like in nearly 20 years time on hardware four to five generations on.  Rayman looks like that, but even better, not

just because its running in glorious HD (and 1080p if you have a PS3), but

because the whole look and feel is infused with Ancel’s peculiarly gallic brand

of cartoon lunacy. Rayman Origins is beautiful to look at, packed with stunning

animation, and full of exuberant detail. If it’s not the best-looking 2D game

ever made, it’s very, very close.

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