Rayman Origins Preview

Rayman returns to his roots in a wonderfully animated 2D co-op platformer called Rayman Origins. Having bowed out five years ago to allow the Raving Rabbids a chance in the spotlight, will this retail release bring the limbless French curiosity back into the public eye?

Of course, being a 2D platformer in 2011 means you can expect a few things. Beautiful hand-drawn sprites, puzzle elements, and a touch of quirkiness, which is all present in Origins. Not to say this is unwelcome or old hat, just that it seems to be the style of the moment.

One thing a lot of these puzzly-platformers don’t have though is four player co-op, and Rayman Origins takes the New Super Mario Bros. Wii route by allowing you to play the two main characters Rayman and Globox, as well as two teensies. The game also allows drop in/drop out play at the touch of a button, which is always a plus.

If you’ve played the original Rayman, you’ll immediately recognise the move set available. Jump, hover, and attack get you around the level, and you’ll need to use all three in combination to get all the collectables and solve all the puzzles. Apparently there will be 60 levels, however they go on to mention that is over 12 environments. The 12 is a better number, as each so-called level is incredibly short, and more like the different screens of an old NES game.

As well as making your way through the levels, there are secret rooms that hold cages full of electoons, the main collectable in the game. These are very small areas, usually with a slight puzzle element involved in clearing all the enemies in the area so you can open the cage. To complete each area 100%, you’ll need to find all these hidden rooms and rescue all the electoons.

While the game starts off easy enough, it does end up getting quite difficult as you progress, especially if you’re playing on your own. It does feel a little weird, having all the hallmarks of old school 2D platformers with the sensibilities of modern iterations. And it seems to work very well.

The game itself will be a retail release, coming out in the jam-packed month of November (the 25th to be exact). It also comes with a free downloadable copy of Beyond Good & Evil HD, which is sort of ironic as BG&E originally came out in a very busy release season just to be overlooked. Let’s hope lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Stay Tuned.