E3 2011: Rayman Origins Hands-On Preview

By Lauren Alessandra on June 21, 2011, 8:11PM EDT

One of the best things about Rayman Origins' presentation at E3 2011, was that it made so many gamers laugh. With all the intensity and drama coming from shooters like Far Cry or Ghost Recon, the simplistic design of Rayman Origins was a nice change of pace. Originally lined up to be a multiplatform downloadable title, Rayman Origins has evolved to a retail title with tons more content to play through.

As its title suggests, Rayman Origins will take place way back when in the Glade of Dreams. It will focus on how Rayman and his sidekick Globox become the heroes of the future titles. Havoc ensues in the Glade of Dreams, when the world's creator, Bubble Dreamer, becomes cursed by endless nightmares. By having these nightmares, Bubble Dreamer transforms the good Electoons into frightening Darktoons destroying the Glade of Dreams. It's up to Rayman and his friends to stop the nightmares and save the world.

Players can do this by either saving the world single handedly or with friends via multiplayer mode. The main difference between the two is that in multiplayer, you'll have a bit more luck staying alive since if you die, you turn into a bubble. Pop the bubble and you can respawn. However, if all of the players become stuck within bubbles, it's game over.

Having friends work beside you is a very rewarding experience within Rayman Origins as if you work together effectively, getting secret items should be a piece of cake. The characters friends have to choose from are Rayman, Globox and two teensies. It's fun from a competitive perspective as players have opportunities to steal collectibles from each other, making the score count at the end all the more exciting. But if you really feel like it, you could just as well spend hours slapping each other as it really doesn't get old.

There are 12 different environments to work through as well as 60 levels. On top of that, there are additional layers in each of these levels allowing players to spend more time collecting hidden items. Rayman Origins will also be the first game to use UbiArt Framework which is a development tool allowing artists to easily transfer their artwork to a game without having to worry about the technical aspects.

Music and sound will also play a primary part in the environment of Rayman Origins. In case you missed the preview at Ubisoft's press conference, there was one part where a bunch of ice blocks attached to each other fell from the top of the screen. As Rayman and Globox jump onto the blocks, the Tetris theme seamlessly fades into the background score and the blocks form more noticably into Tetris shapes. There's another part in the jungle level whereby passing a small group of insects, you can hear them singing, but as you continue forward, their voices fade.

The level design alone seems like it'll offer a great deal to players of many genres; whether your more of a linear gamer or perhaps an explorer.

Keep a look out for Rayman Origins this holiday season on the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo 3DS.

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