Rayman Legends PS4 Review: Gorgeous
Rayman Legends is a great game. Probably one of the best platformers I've seen in quite a while. But this was all already established when the game first released on last-gen systems last year.
Rayman Legends was already a pretty game back then, offering a 1080p, 60 frames per second experience. With results like that, you wouldn't think there'd be much for Ubisoft to improve upon with a re-release on PS4 and Xbox One; but, you'd be wrong. With the power of next-gen (well, now current-gen) consoles, Ubisoft has been able to display the game's textures without any compression. The results are immediately noticeable as sharper visuals allow for even more detail while highlighting the gorgeous hand-drawn style of the game.
Core gameplay mechanics remain intact, so if you enjoyed the last-gen version of the game then you'll be right at home with the PS4 version. There's no noticeable differences in the platforming or story, so I won't waste your time rehashing the basic gameplay elements (you can read about that in our original review).
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version do have a few nifty additions, however. On the PlayStation 4, Ubisoft has added a Camera Mode. As the name suggests, this mode allows you to take a picture of whatever is on screen by simply tapping the DualShock 4's touchpad. Once you do so, you can zoom in and out and pan to adjust the frame by swiping and pinching the touchpad. Once you find the perfect shot you can share your screenshot with your friends. Camera Mode is hardly a game-seller, but it's a nice addition to emphasizes Sony's focus on the social aspect of gaming. Rayman Legends is a gorgeous game and adding the ability to capture and appreciate its art is a welcomed feature.
In addition to Camera Mode, Rayman Legends uses the touchpad to scratch lucky tickets. Similar to how it worked with the Wii U GamePad, you simply scratch back and forth on your touchpad to reveal your prize. This feature feels like more of a stretch, almost as if Ubisoft was struggling to think of other ways to incorporate the touchpad.
The Xbox One also has some exclusive additions, though I didn't personally try them. I only played the PS4 version, so I can't comment too much on the Xbox One additions; however, you will find 10 exclusive challenges that you have to complete in a limited amount of time.
Both versions of the game also include new exclusive playable characters that can be unlocked in the Heroes Gallery. On PlayStation 4, you can unlock Assassins Ray who is inspired by Edward Kenway from Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. Xbox One users get three characters: Splinter Ray (inspired by Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher) and Ray Vass and Far Glob (inspired by Far Cry 3's villain). Players of both versions can also unlock Funky Ray with Uplay points as well as Champion Ray by actively participating in the Rayman Legends community. Unlocking Assassin Ray is fairly simple on the PS4 and, while it offers no actual gameplay advantage, it's a fun skin.
Here's what Assassin Ray looks like (captured with PS4's Camera Mode)
I'd have to say though, the most noticeable difference with the PS4 (and presumably Xbox One) versions is the absence of loading times when entering and exiting a level. Now, when you jump inside of a painting the level will immediately start. This is easily the most appreciated feature, especially for kids who may not have the patience to sit through loading times.
Really though, only one question needs to be answered: is Rayman Legends worth getting on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Honestly, that depends. If you haven't played the game at all then yes, absolutely get it. On PlayStation 4, you'll experience wonderful gameplay with visually stunning art. If you've already played it on Xbox 360, Wii U, or PS3 then there probably aren't enough additions to warrant a repurchase. But what's best about this re-release is that all versions of the game are priced the same so you don't have to choose between the PS3 and PS4 -- obviously go with the newer version.