Rayman Legends – Stealthy Hands-On Preview

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.

Rayman Legends Hands-On Preview

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!

Rayman Legends Hands-On Preview

Mariachi Madness

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.

Rayman Legends Hands-On Preview

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.

Rayman Legends

Rayman® Legends

Release date — September 3, 2013
Developer — Ubisoft Montpellier
Michel Ancel, celebrated creator of Rayman®, Beyond Good & Evil®, and Rabbids®, is bringing his innovative creativity to next-gen consoles. The Glade of Dreams is in trouble once again! During a 100-year nap, the nightmares multiplied and spread, creating new monsters even more terrifying than before! These creatures are the stuff of legend: dragons, giant toads, sea monsters, and even evil luchadores. With the help of Murfy, Rayman and Globox awake and must now help fight these nightmares and save the Teensies!

ESRB Rating: EVERYONE 10+ with Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence
The Author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under former UbiBlog editor Gary Steinman. Now she's a lone wolf, prowling around her corner of the office and slowly descending into madness. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis