It’s all good, armless fun in Xbox One’s most challenging Challenge mode Dev Ubisoft Montpellier / Pub Ubisoft / Reporter Chris Schilling
// A quick go turns into a furious hour of gritted teeth//
Has it really been a year? From the day its servers were switched on, Rayman Legends’ challenge mode became part of our routine, and we were determined to stick with it – if only to keep up our recommended daily allowance of Vitamin P (for platformer, natch). But healthy habits can die all too easily, and we’re mortified to discover our most recent run was 12 months ago. Time, then, to get back on the horse – and, at first, it seems a stubborn old nag. Was Rayman always this skittish, or are we just out of practice? We’re sure it’s a bit of both, but after a couple of embarrassing runs – the equivalent of that first breathless post-festive-season jog – we’re back in the swing of things. There’s a certain reliable rigidity to the way Rayman’s peers control, but there’s a pleasing granularity to his movement that really makes the challenge mode work: with such fine control over our hero’s momentum, every single input potentially adds or shaves off hundredths of seconds. The trail of Lums is a helpful guide – as, too, are the ghosts of online rivals you’re racing against – but finding the perfect line is, as in OlliOlli, a fine art.
Unlike Roll7’s brilliant ‘boarder, however, you’ve got more than one chance to get it right. Set a decent score, and it’s enormously gratifying to see your opponents’ times dismissed with the noisy thump of the ‘beaten’ stamp. And yet you’ve only earned a bronze trophy, and you’re reminded that others might well overtake you. So you go again, only this time the ghosts are that bit quicker, and it takes a little longer to triumph. It’s a ferociously compulsive feedback loop that turns a quick go into a furious hour of gritted teeth, muttered swears and moments of overwhelming satisfaction. So yes, like Whoopi Goldberg, we’re back in the habit – though we’re not sure it’s quite as healthy as we remembered…
Impressively, leaderboards are still regularly getting entrants in the tens of thousands.