E3: Rayman Origins Preview

E3: Rayman Origins Preview

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Rayman finally gets his origin story.

Though he was often overshadowed by Mario, Sonic, and Crash, Rayman was one of the platforming heroes of the 1990s. Before he buddied up with those wacky Rabbids, Rayman was starring in his own games, which were challenging and unique. Then came the mini-game compilations, which the limbless former protagonist was eventually edged out of completely; it seemed like Rayman's glory days were over until Rayman Origins was announced at E3 2010. Due out this holiday season, the retail title is very reminiscent of the original Rayman; for me, it's a game I've been waiting for years to play, and I finally got a chance to do that on the E3 show floor today.

While the original Rayman was a single-player adventure, Rayman Origins features cooperative play with up to four players. I first played through a jungle level full of vegetation and organic platforms with an Ubisoft employee, taking the role of Rayman's sidekick Globox. After slapping each other around a bit (all in good fun), we made our way through the side-scrolling level. With no health system, only a single collectable heart stands between you and death in Origins; however, when playing co-op, players can help each other out and bring their teammates back from the dead, not unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

There are other benefits to playing cooperatively as well, like being able to hoist your teammate and give him a boost to reach higher platforms. Of course, you can also get in each other's way, whether on purpose or accidentally; without meaning to, I slapped Rayman right off a cliff on one occasion. Despite moments like these, the jump-in/jump-out co-op seems to work seamlessly, and I think it's a great addition to the series.

For fans of the Rayman series, there are some familiar elements: the way Rayman winds up before delivering a punch; the photograph checkpoints; and the goal of rescuing helpless creatures from cages throughout each level. It also seems like the challenge is back as well; in the second level I played, a desert-themed stage, we found ourselves repeating the same section several times before getting it right. The gameplay is tight and each area offers something different, but it's definitely not going to be a breeze to play through.

Adding to the great gameplay is the fact that the game looks fantastic. The art style gives the game a goofy, cartoony look that suits it well, but still manages to be beautiful. It doesn't look like an enhanced version of an earlier Rayman game; it looks brand new and original, like a breath of fresh air for the series.

It's been a long time, but it looks like Rayman is on the verge of returning to his original glory. With over 60 levels, there should be plenty of content, and four-player co-op will hopefully add even more variety and replayability to the game. I'm curious about what the game will play like with four people slapping each other around onscreen, but I don't have to wait too long to find out, since Rayman Origins is scheduled to ship this holiday season on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS.

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See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

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A new Rayman?! Which is featuring Rayman?!
Huzza!

I love Rayman 1 and 2. Especially 2 though.
Everything after that was so bad. :(

And a Co-Op function might even make this extra nice :)

Rayman Origins: He'll beat the pants off the competition!
Welcome to the Escapist LeBoeuf :D

This is already a definite pre-order for me.
I hope Band Land is in. :D

A Bearded Wolf:
This is already a definite pre-order for me.
I hope Band Land is in. :D

HELL NO! NO MORE BAND LAND! NO MORE SAX! It took me years, YEARS to repress the memories of angst and pain Band Land gave me, in all of these years I have never gotten past the second part of Band Land.

OT: yay! I hope it isn't as childhood raping challenging as the first one was...

Hmmmm....it's a bit too far of a step back for me, i never liked 2D Rayman.
Rayman 2 however; what a game!

Release the game already! I want much muuuuch.

ciancon:
Hmmmm....it's a bit too far of a step back for me, i never liked 2D Rayman.
Rayman 2 however; what a game!

That was one of the games that really introduced me to gaming.
Can't wait to see how Origins turns out!

If there is no Mr Dark I'm not buying.

killamanhunter:

A Bearded Wolf:
This is already a definite pre-order for me.
I hope Band Land is in. :D

HELL NO! NO MORE BAND LAND! NO MORE SAX! It took me years, YEARS to repress the memories of angst and pain Band Land gave me, in all of these years I have never gotten past the second part of Band Land.

OT: yay! I hope it isn't as childhood raping challenging as the first one was...

Yes i do hope Band Land is back. With the music note shooting saxes and the symbol boss that took 3 three years to figure out how to kill.

*Sighs* Thoughs were the days.

soulfire130:

killamanhunter:

A Bearded Wolf:
This is already a definite pre-order for me.
I hope Band Land is in. :D

HELL NO! NO MORE BAND LAND! NO MORE SAX! It took me years, YEARS to repress the memories of angst and pain Band Land gave me, in all of these years I have never gotten past the second part of Band Land.

OT: yay! I hope it isn't as childhood raping challenging as the first one was...

Yes i do hope Band Land is back. With the music note shooting saxes and the symbol boss that took 3 three years to figure out how to kill.

*Sighs* Thoughs were the days.

The days when games didn't baby you, tell you how to do things or make anything straightforward and easy.

Games today are for wusses...

Mackheath:
If there is no Mr Dark I'm not buying.

Mr. Dark backstory in addition to Rayman's/Globy's backstory would make me shit bricks of joy.

Rayman the original was one of my first games. This franchise is veritably oozing with nostalgia for me. I loved all three of his main adventure games so much. It was such a shame to see the poor guy brushed aside for those annoying rabbits, whose party games I honestly cared little for.

This title has gone so long w/o an update since its announcement. This is GREAT news!

(sorry double posts)

killamanhunter:

The days when games didn't baby you, tell you how to do things or make anything straightforward and easy.

Games today are for wusses...

Mr. Stone Chase scenes...

...I still hear the screams o.o

I'll sell my soul to buy Rayman 1 on live arcade. It was such an awesome game, I was mad jalous of my friend who owned that game and a playstation back then ^^

FUCK YES!!

I totally forgot about this!!!!! Thankyou so much for reminding me!!

Rayman is one of my all-time favourite game characters, and Rayman 2 holds a very special place in my heart! This new game looks incredibly beautiful, I CANNOT WAIT! :D

You mean... they're throwing out those annoying-as-fuck rabbids?

....
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Now I might have a reason to give Ubisoft my money!

This is truly some good news. Echoing all the love for Rayman 2. It was one of the first games I seriously "got into". Also the first one I got 100% for, nuts as it was sometimes. I was so happy for the DS release. Nostalgia, everywhere in this bitch. Hoodlum Havoc was a blast, too.

I never got much exposure the original, though; I'm pretty sure I only ever got to play the first couple of levels. Mine was not a Sony house. But this is some much welcome news. And a return to the old Nintendo Hard days, that'll be refreshing.

killamanhunter:

soulfire130:

killamanhunter:

HELL NO! NO MORE BAND LAND! NO MORE SAX! It took me years, YEARS to repress the memories of angst and pain Band Land gave me, in all of these years I have never gotten past the second part of Band Land.

OT: yay! I hope it isn't as childhood raping challenging as the first one was...

Yes i do hope Band Land is back. With the music note shooting saxes and the symbol boss that took 3 three years to figure out how to kill.

*Sighs* Thoughs were the days.

The days when games didn't baby you, tell you how to do things or make anything straightforward and easy.

Games today are for wusses...

I never did beat the original Rayman........fuck you Band land................fuck you!

OT: FUCK YES, RAYMAN! It's good to have you and your unforgiving platforming gameplay back, you limbless whateverthefuckyouare you.

Probably my most looked forward to game from this E3, aside from Skyrim and Uncharted. I can't wait for a new proper Rayman game, sans Rabbids.

I only have one issue: why oh why, Rayman, are you still wearing that stupid hood? Bring back the neckerchief, pronto.

As excited as I am for this I really hope this ushers Rayman back into the current era. I want a continuation of Hoodlum Havoc so badly. You can't end a game like that and not continue it!
I only played the first 20 levels or so of the first Rayman game and gave up because it was too hard for me. The first game that ever bettered me.

Please tell me you will port it to PC some day. I find it hard to believe you'd ignore one of the platforms that basically had Rayman (and not those dumb rabbits) since the beginning.

God, I loved Rayman growing up! It was such a good platformer. Here's hoping that this will be equally as awesome.

Oh, and also, as many have said, bring back Mr. Dark!

killamanhunter:

A Bearded Wolf:
This is already a definite pre-order for me.
I hope Band Land is in. :D

HELL NO! NO MORE BAND LAND! NO MORE SAX! It took me years, YEARS to repress the memories of angst and pain Band Land gave me, in all of these years I have never gotten past the second part of Band Land.

OT: yay! I hope it isn't as childhood raping challenging as the first one was...

But... but the music! :(

It's good?

HELL YEAH!

Rayman has to be my favourite mascot guy of all time. IT'S FREAKING RAYMAN!

 

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