Rayman Legends is the sequel to 2011’s Rayman Origins. A lot has changed, and then a lot hasn’t. During a time of peace, Rayman and his friends have been slumbering for a century when they are interrupted to save the world of nightmares once again. It’s up to Rayman, Globox, the Teensies, and a new character, the daring female warrior Barbara. Other than that…there’s not much to the story. It’s got charm and humor strewn throughout the adventure, but it has as much of a plot as Origins: none.
Fortunately that isn’t detrimental to the stellar platforming the last game was praised for. There is a new mechanic in the form of Rayman’s friend Murfy. Murfy, at the touch of a button, can hit switches, distract enemies, and do various other tasks to help the team out. It’s a small touch that improves the mechanics and overall puzzles of the game. The characters, and their pallet swapped forms, don’t play differently, but it does help the chaos when playing 2-4 player co-op. Speaking of which, the chaotic nature of the game is the only real smudge for Legends. While the levels are fun and offer variety, the difficulty can get in the way of enjoyment. Plus there’s no online co-op, which would have helped lower the challenge of some stages.
The gameplay is great and all, but it wouldn’t mean anything without a great design. And boy is this world beautiful. One moment players can be hopping through a Mexican themed level filled with food, and the next underwater using stealth mechanics. There are six main worlds, plus challenges, mini games, and redone levels from Rayman Origins to explore. To say Legends was bursting with content would be an understatement. The music is also refined, offering more tunes as well as the best stages in the game, which are themed around music hits like Eye of the Tiger.
Rayman Legends is a masterpiece of art and design that’s unfortunately held back by its inability to cater to everyone. It can be frustrating, but that’s only a small complaint for an overall fantastic game. Legends can even show a certain pair of plumbers just how innovation and excellent platforming is done.