This is a difficult review to write. Not because I don't have a strong opinion about Rayman Legends. It's just hard to squeeze out a coherent viewpoint when my head has been pumped full of joyous babbling. Rayman Legends has been built out of love, and it's not ashamed to rip bits of that love off and hurl them, laughing, into your face. It's a precise, measured and brilliant experience, dressed up in nonsense and whimsy. There is very little about Rayman Legends that falls short of uplifting perfection.
The animation is beautiful and surprising. Your face breaks into an involuntary smile when you see Globox sliding down a wall from his top lip. The music is wonderful, returning to the gurgling themes of Rayman Origins and adding a slew of medieval and spy thriller-themed tracks. The levels are designed so densely, and with such an eye for detail, that you can stop at any time just to enjoy looking at them.
Every level is perfectable on your first run, with secrets that are concealed cleverly, but never unfairly. Just like Origins, the game gets tough, but never in a way that blocks progress, and the quick retries and regular checkpoints makes retrying even the toughest sequences a pleasure. You'll get infuriated, sure, but never at the game - only at your own stupid fingers.
Ubisoft has been extremely generous - the five new worlds unlock quickly, letting you take on the levels in any way you fancy. As you play, you'll also unlock remixed levels from Rayman Origins. This is more than just a bonus - it almost doubles the size of the game. There are weekly challenges, time trials to beat, lum-laying monsters to collect, and Kung Foot, a simple, single-screen game of football that's much more fun than you'd expect.
Reigning in the gush for a minute, it is noticeable that this is a game that was initially designed for the Wii U's gamepad. With no SmartGlass support, Murphy the hovering frog is forced to help out in much less flexible ways, with a touch of the B button. This only becomes a problem when four players all want him to do something, as he's only able to be in one place at any one time. But enough complaints: this is the most polished and satisfying platformer on Xbox 360. It's another masterpiece from Montpellier.
Rayman Legends is out in Europe on 30th August and in North America on 3rd September.
It's taken Origins and somehow made it better
- Perfect 2D platforming
- Visually and aurally beautiful
- Generous with the levels
- Oh god it's just so good
- Four-player co-op is a bit intense