- Page 1 Rayman Origins Review
- Page 2 Sound, Vision and Design Review
- Beautiful HD cartoon graphics
- Inventive level design
- Anarchic style and fantastic soundtrack
- Sporadic difficulty spikes
- Be warned: it's excessively cheerful
- 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
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.
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.
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?
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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