Also on: Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, PS Vita
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Medium: Blu-ray Disc/Digital
A year ago we were told that Rayman Legends was being put on hold thanks to poor Wii U numbers. Ubisoft decided to shoot for a multiplatform release that would be driven by holiday sales, and now just a few days shy of last year's announced delay, Rayman Legends is seeing its second release on the PS4 and Xbox One.
We checked it out on Sony's console, and thought you may have some questions about that, so let's try to answer them.
As gorgeous as Rayman looks on the Wii U and fellow platforms, there's logic behind assuming that more powerful hardware lead to a prettier product. At least, the advertised uncompressed textures on 3D models in the PS4/Xbox One versions suggest that we're in for a treat– although one which is frustratingly difficult to discern when I ran an A/B comparison between it and the Wii U edition. In fact, Digital Foundry has gone ahead and cleared it up for everyone that we don't need glasses, but in fact it's nearly impossible to improve Rayman's visuals even on new hardware. With no perceivable difference in fidelity, there's no reason to worry about having an inferior PS3 copy.
Inferior isn't just a sarcastic jab, either. Unlike the majority of ports that Rayman Legends has seen, the PS4 version is closest to emulating the inventive touch controls that were showcased on the Wii U, by use of the Dualshock 4's touch pad. It's not much, but if it's the thought that counts, then players will enjoy using the touchpad to physically scratch off cards along with functionality as a camera which can be zoomed for taking screenshots. Considering that the game is ostensibly a work of art, there's at least a small treat of appreciating it similar to the luxury of smelling the roses in any racing game's photo mode.
There's also the bonus of remote play, which arguably means that you're getting a free game to play on your Vita, as with any PS4 release. Surprisingly, the ability to scratch off cards is present by use of the Vita's touch screen, further cementing the handheld's competency to play console games.
These small touches not being present on the Xbox One version, of course, are the better arguments to side with Sony– unless the 10 extra challenges the Xbox One gets sound more valuable to you. Additional character costumes from Assassin's Creed are present on the PS4 version, with Far Cry 3 and Splinter Cell stuff on Microsoft's console. Outside of these additions, there's not much else going on that we hadn't seen in the PS3/Xbox 360 variances of Rayman Legends.
The definitive edition of this game is always going to be at home on the Wii U – like it or not – and while the compromises made to pretend it was never triaged for platforms beyond that aren't dealbreakers, they're present on any and all consoles that don't have the word "Nintendo" on them. If you don't mind Murphy's slightly handicapped functionality on ports of Rayman Legends, then the only deciding factors are what bonus costumes you care about, and whether you do or don't have a PS4.