Who could have known that a man without arms or legs could have propelled a company to such a huge publisher in the gaming industry? Ubisoft is now one of the biggest gaming publishers out there with the Tom Clancy games, the epic Assassin’s Creed series, and many successful franchises like Far Cry and Watch_Dogs. It’s disappointing, knowing how well off Ubisoft is, that the guy who started it all, Rayman, has been given the boot for more generic shooting “live service” affair and the annoying Rabbids.
It has been seven years since his last game, Rayman Legends, which gathered worldwide critical acclaim and the adoration of platforming fans everywhere. As opposed to the man in overalls, Rayman’s levels were bursting with personality, creativity, and complexity, that stunned the gaming audience with impressive hand-drawn 2D visuals. Despite the multiple re-releases of the game, such as the Definitive Edition on Switch, we have not yet had a sequel on consoles or PC.
And here’s the kicker. We kinda have a new Rayman game, but it’s exclusive to Apple Arcade, and it’s *gasp* an endless runner.
This is not what fans were looking for. Another sore spot for Rayman fans are the Rabbids that took over the franchise with Rayman Raving Rabbids on the Wii. After an impressive display of 3D platforming splendor with 2 & 3, Ubisoft opted to have a mini-game collection with annoying rabbit-like creatures as its follow up. They went towards the casual side, and unfortunately, because of the series’ success, the Rabbids are arguably more iconic than the main man himself. Also, the Rabbids just had a crossover with Mario a few years ago with Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle with no sign of Rayman at all.
While excellent 3D platformers have popped up in recent years, like the Crash and Spyro collections alongside the big kahuna Super Mario Odyssey, it’s disappointing that Rayman hasn’t been able to enjoy any next-gen goodness in 3D. Imagine a new game with Michel Ancel’s imaginative art style and Ubisoft’s platforming genius. Imagine the huge worlds we could explore, collecting lums, going through tough levels, and beating a thrilling boss.
Imagine going through the river again hooked to a snake, slipping and sliding through the marshes. It would be terrific, but that dream has never been realized; Ubisoft just cares too much about the live service model to care for her poor little guy. We’ll probably see more Far Cry, Tom Clancy games, and Assassin’s Creed games for many years to come.
Michel Ancel is currently working on the massively open Beyond Good & Evil 2 at Ubisoft Montpellier, but it would be nice to see Ubisoft’s first mascot come back to prominence. Perhaps, we could even get a Rayman 2: The Great Escape N’Sane Trilogy-like remake? I’d take that. Heck, Rayman in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, akin to Banjo, would be cool enough for now….
Are you disappointed by the lack of Rayman games over the last generation? Let us know in the comments below.