LOS ANGELES – Oh man, did you see the Rayman Legends demo that Ubisoft showed off? Did you see the music level, where the platforming went perfectly with the music and ended with Rayman just rocking the hell out? We got to play that demo, the whole thing. Consider our minds blown.
The very first thing we noticed is the awesome hand-drawn artwork of the Ubi Art framework. It looked (and played) just like Rayman Origins, only with new levels and art. As if a sequel for one of the best platformers in years wasn’t enough, Ubisoft and their Montpellier team added in a cool feature unique to the Wii U and its touchscreen controller; just like Rayman Origins, up to four players can get in on the platforming action but, this time, a fifth player can pick up the tablet and control Murphy, providing support for the other players. In the demo that we played, Murphy had three main roles: interacting with the stage by moving obstacles, cutting ropes, etc.; touching the Lums and turning them red so they provide double points; and tilting the Wii U’s tablet to tilt platforms and entire rooms. We will say that playing as Rayman (using the Pro controller) was a lot more fun than playing as Murphy but this feature could be incredibly helpful when playing with friends of family that aren’t good at platforming but still would like to help.
The other interesting thing that the tablet screen provided was a different view of the action. In the demo, there were a series of platforms with symbols above them; some were safe while others would unleash deadly spikes when Rayman jumped onto them. The player on the TV saw only shapes while the player on the tablet saw a different set of symbols to indicate safety or danger. Players had to communicate to make it through the area. If this kind of thing is expanded upon, there could be some very interesting scenarios ahead.
Oh, and the music based stage that Ubisoft showed off? It’s just as amazing to play as it is to watch. Unfortunately, one of the game’s developers told us that this level was created specifically for the E3 demo and may not make it into the final game. Here’s hoping that isn’t the case.