At E3 earlier this year the Digital Trends writing staff found itself seated in a hot, noisy, ornate theater for Ubisoft’s big presentation. This would be our third keynote of the show up to that point, and though we’d seen a few interesting titles, we weren’t really expecting much from Ubisoft. As the company’s various sizzle reels and live demonstrations rolled by we were momentarily impressed by Far Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed III and the then-newly-revealed ZombiU, but by far the most intriguing game we saw that afternoon would have to be Rayman Legends. Between the game’s gorgeous, colorful aesthetic and its novel approach to platform game design, Rayman Legends quickly became one of our favorite titles of the show, and despite having witnessed brand new footage of imminent, blockbuster releases for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, we left that theater buzzing about a quirky, 2D run n’ jump adventure.
Thus, when the Wii U launched without Rayman Legends in tow, we were understandably disappointed. ZombiU gave us a solid way to enjoy our new Wii U consoles, but we were really hoping to experience the musical, joyful world of Rayman on launch day. While it wasn’t quite ready for its debut on November 18, Ubisoft has finally announced a release date for Rayman Legends: February 26, 2013. Helpfully, Ubisoft also announced that come December 13, the Wii U eShop will play host to a demo for Rayman Legends, so those of you who didn’t see Rayman Legends at E3 (or just desperately want to play it for yourselves) will have a chance to experience the game before deciding whether or not to drop $60 on the title.
But what of those prospective players who know nothing of this game? What of those who are too timid to even try the demo before they have some concept swirling in their heads of what Rayman Legends is all about? We direct those desperate few to Ubisoft’s official description for the game:
The classic cast of Rayman, Globox and the Teensies return and are joined by new characters Murphy and Barbara as they embark on a fantasy adventure through a series of legendary worlds with new environments and enemies. Developed exclusively for Wii U, Rayman Legends expands beyond the traditional platforming experience by utilizing the Wii U GamePad in an array of innovative ways to interact with the game. Players can use the Touch Screen on the GamePad to take out enemies, cut ropes to clear a path and move rotating platforms with the gyroscope technology. Rayman Legends features a fresh gameplay adventure to enjoy alone or with friends, and a plethora of creatively themed levels including several musical maps intricately set to popular and original music, a gorgeous underwater haven and a flourishing beanstalk environment.
Sounds neat, right? Trust us when we say that you can’t get a good feel for Rayman Legends without at least seeing it in action. Obviously you’ll get a much clearer idea of how the game functions by playing it, but we’ve yet to meet anyone who has seen Rayman Legends in motion who doesn’t immediately have an intense urge to play the game for themselves. Thus, we also direct you to this footage of the game. If all of this doesn’t get you properly amped, you may want to consider a new hobby. Fly fishing maybe, or Chinese Checkers perhaps.