Rayman Legends Features

Next-Gen Face-Off: Rayman Legends

Digital FoundryNext-Gen Face-Off: Rayman Legends

Xbox One, PlayStation 4 - or Wii U?

Featuring beautifully drawn 2D visuals and imaginative gameplay, Rayman Legends stands out as one of the best games released last year, showing that the humble 2D platformer still has much to offer amongst a sea of blockbuster first-person shooters and open world action titles. It's also one of the few games to deliver native 1080p visuals running at a smooth 60fps - an impressive feat rarely seen on the previous generation of consoles, and something which both the PS4 and Xbox One are struggling to achieve in an era where pushing prettier pixels on screen is still considered to be more important than targeting high frame-rates.

Ubisoft's decision to port Rayman Legends to the PS4 and Xbox One is a somewhat curious choice then, given that the title already delivers a solid 1080p60 experience on last-gen systems - with the existing art looking suitably crisp and clear, there's little to suggest a need for graphical overhaul. Instead, the decision to bring the game over to the next-gen consoles seems to have more to do with maximising the title's potential audience and revenue stream, as opposed to delivering a dramatic leap forward in visual quality. That said, Ubisoft is promising a few refinements with the next-gen versions of Rayman Legends, including faster loading times and the use of uncompressed textures across the game's 3D models. But are the changes worth upgrading for, and has anything been done to take advantage of the PS4 and Xbox One's unique features in the form of the Dual Shock 4's touchpad and Kinect's audio and motion sensing abilities?

First impressions reveal that the basic rendering set-up doesn't appear to have changed from the last-gen versions of the game, with Rayman Legends adopting a native 1080p framebuffer on both PS4 and Xbox One without any anti-aliasing on its 3D elements. While the lack of edge smoothing comes across as something of a missed opportunity considering the extra rendering bandwidth and available RAM compared to the 360, PS3, and Wii U, jaggies are never an issue due to the way the predominantly sprite-based artwork is displayed alongside various effects - such as depth of field and bloom.

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FeatureWhat the delay has done for Rayman Legends

How Ubisoft Montpellier used the extra six months to build a better game.

The sun has already set as we take our seats. It's been another baking hot day in Montpellier, home to Michel Ancel's Ubisoft studio, and there's a nervy tension amongst the crowd as the man on stage picks up a controller. "Guys," he says, staring at two people in front of me, "you're up first".

Wii U: Hunting for the star of the launch line-up

FeatureWii U: Hunting for the star of the launch line-up

Asymmetry and a focus on local multiplayer suggest great promise for Nintendo's new box of tricks.

Console launches can be tense affairs, can't they? First there's the worry about getting home from a midnight opening without being mugged by the bigger kids. Then there's the fear that the arrival of expensive new hardware will magically coincide with your rent going up and your wife walking out, landing you on the streets with an old paper bag for a house and no electrical sockets to plug your brand new Fairchild Channel F into.

More importantly, though, there's the software line-up. You've probably got a limited amount of money to spend - if you don't, incidentally, have I ever mentioned that I'm a bone marrow donor and I love receiving gifts? - and you want to make sure you end up with Twilight Princess rather than Red Steel. Nintendo showed off quite a few of its launch titles in Frankfurt earlier this week, and with Red Steel still fresh in my mind, I wandered around trying to spot potential winners - and also eating some of those weird menthol boiled sweets I can only ever find in Germany. Tangy!

Let's put aside the ports and the cross-platform stuff for the sake of this piece. The likes of Darksiders 2 and Mass Effect 3 look great, but the true star of any launch is going to be something console-specific, right? When Nintendo's involved, you can bet the true gems will probably be self-published, too, and sure enough there are two titles you should keep an eye on.

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FeatureHow Powerful is the Wii U Really?

And why, for many developers, it doesn't matter.

How powerful is the Wii U really? Is it less powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360? Is it as powerful? More powerful? And how will it compare to the next generation? What quality of graphics will we see from Wii U games?