Rayman Legends shocked everyone at E3, with its fun and innovative gameplay, it’s appealing art style and its genuinely innocent yet detailed environment and characters. It’s safe to say, when we got our hands on it at Gamescom, we had the same reaction.
Whilst my co-op partner played as Rayman, I had to play as his sidekick– a small frog-like fairy which could fly around the level. Rayman’s job was to traverse the map and avoiding obstacles whereas I would have to help him in order to succeed. Using the touchscreen on the WiiU controller, I had to tap on enemies to kill them, cut ropes to make bridges and passageways for Rayman and turn gears to help Rayman reach his goal.
It worked surprisingly well, and never did I feel the second player’s role was tacked-on or forced, everything flowed perfectly. Even throughout the demo, the experience would remain fresh for both players. Rayman would have different enemies and obstacles whereas I would have to use the touchscreen in different ways to help. Even when there were no enemies on screen, I could collect stars, make flowers bloom or just fly around the screen. And throughout the whole demo, never once did I touch a button. All of it is done with the WiiU’s touchscreen. From just tapping to slinging rocks, from cutting to turning the demo kept both of us entertained and left us with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
The demo we had was an extended version of what was shown at E3, but despite that my favourite moment was from the level which was shown at E3: the music level. In that part, Rayman is sliding down a cliff with an upbeat/country sort of song playing in the background. The best part is that all the obstacles are timed with the music, so you will jump, slide, and grind your way through in sync. It was just plain fun, which is what games are all about.
More importantly, since I had to hold the WiiU with my left hand and use the stylus to touch the screen with my right, my wrist was remarkably unstrained. The WiiU’s controller is light and fits well with your hand, making for a comfortable experience even with extended play. I’m really excited to see what else the developers can throw our way when the game launches sometime in winter 2012.