Move over, Sam Fisher – Ubisoft has a new set of characters vying for the title of top spy. Rayman Legends introduces sneak-em-up mechanics to its adventure-platform gameplay, and we tested it out as part of a hands-on demo of six diverse game levels. Though Rayman and his pals start off with all of their standard abilities (sprinting, hovering, etc.), each world introduces a new mechanic. The water world, for example, is all about sneaking around. You’ll even see some of Rayman’s enemies wearing Fisher’s iconic goggles in a little nod to the original master of stealth. Here are the highlights of what I played.
20,000 Lums Under the Sea
If the title didn’t give it away… this is the water world, in which I played four levels. I started out with “The Deadly Lights” on Wii U, controlling Murphy as the other players progressed through the level. Using the Wii U’s screen, I sent Murphy off to complete various tasks like cutting a rope to drop a platform or blocking lights so Rayman & Co. don’t get spotted (they’re not called “Deadly Lights” for nothing). These lights are present in all the stealth-based levels. They act like security cameras, patrolling areas until they spot you and zap you. You’ll have to be patient enough to learn their patterns, but once you do so, you can get into the rhythm of the game just like in other Rayman levels.
“A Madman’s Creation” is the boss level in 20,000 Lums Under the Sea, and let me just say, I was terrible at it. Marvelously so. Rayman Legends doesn’t hold your hand. In fact, when you die (and oh boy, did I die) it slaps you in the face. (Well, your co-op partner does anyway.) If you’re playing solo you’ll be sent back to your last checkpoint upon your demise. Having a partner means you can get a quick smack and come back to life, which you’ll likely need when taking on the level’s giant mechanical dragon. Armed with the ability to literally throw a punch, my partner and I raced our way through the level, hiding behind platforms and hovering in midair to avoid the dragon’s attacks. When the dragon opened his mouth we swooped in to perform our distance punch attacks and gradually wore him down. It’s a mad and madcap as it sounds, and despite dying numerous times, I couldn’t wait to get smaked in the kisser yet again, and jump back into the action!
Real truth: I played the “Mariachi Madness” level at least 20 times. It’s not very long – only about a minute and a half in length (if you never mess up) – and it is fast-paced. You are required to sprint through the entire musical level, jumping and attacking in time with the music, which just so happens to be a very Rayman-ified mariachi version of “Eye of the Tiger.” (The song has been stuck in my head for days now… and I’m okay with that.) The music, rhythm and candy-coated color palette make “Mariachi Madness” one of the most addictive levels in any game I’ve ever played. Don’t believe me? Check out the level’s walkthrough.
Teensies in Trouble
Murphy takes center stage again in the “Once Upon a Time” level. Play as the little flying frog to clear the way for your partners (or the computer if you’re playing on your own). Move platforms, pull goodies out of the ground and tickle larger enemies to make your friends’ job easier. Be sure to lead your partners toward the many Teensies hidden throughout the level. If you’re playing on the Vita, you’ll even be able to tilt the system in order to rotate platforms. For those not playing with a touchscreen, controlling Murphy will be a bit different. Rather than playing as him you will tap either Circle or B (depending on your console of choice) to send him to carry out your will.