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Ubisoft have announced that the next game they will give away as part of their 30th birthday celebrations is mediocre racing game The Crew, so consider this a warning that you’ve only got another few days to grab the wonderful, lovely, delightful platformer Rayman Origins for free.
Back in June, Ubisoft announced that it would give away a free game every month for the rest of the year as part of its celebration of 30 years in the business. First up was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and then in July we got the stealth classic Splinter Cell. For August, Ubi is taking things in a slightly different direction.
We could not celebrate Ubisoft 30th anniversary without talking about Rayman. Created in 1995 by Michel Ancel, Rayman is one of the few platforming characters that has been created at the 32-bit era that is still alive today, Ubisoft wrote in the blurb accompanying the freebie. Rayman 1 was released on Atari Jaguar and is today the Ubisoft game that has traveled across the most different platforms.
The writeup also includes an interesting bit of trivia: Rayman was designed without arms and legs for the simple reason that arms and legs are really hard to animate. Being limbless gives Rayman more speed and dynamism, and it also enables many of his abilities, like the throwing fist and the car shoe.
Rayman Origins, the actual free game in question, is a back to the root 2D platformer that was originally released in 2011. And it's really good, too: A beautifully animated, brilliantly scored, exquisitely judged platformer, as we said in our review. You can't get much better than that.
Rayman Origins isn't actually free yet: Despite being the game-of-the-month for July, Splinter Cell reamins on the table for now. The Ubi 30 giveaway page says Rayman Origins will take its place in mid-August.
Update: There actually is a firm freebie date, not on the Ubi 30 page but on Twitter: Rayman Origins will go free on August 17.
Hot on the heels of Fallout 4’s Survival Mode, which brings exhaustion and dehydration back to the world of post-apocalyptic entertainment, Ubisoft have announced that Far Cry Primal [official site] will be getting the survivalist treatment.
The keystone of that survival mode is the change in the exploration, crafting, and difficulty of the game to make it even more realistic. After that, there are options the player can activate to go further.
Survival mode will arrive as part of a free patch on April 12th. We called this earlier in the month, of course, when we made Robert Zak play the game wearing nowt but a loincloth. More details below.
When Far Cry Primal [official site] was unveiled, I shrugged with semi-feigned disinterest, aware that the series has hit milking point, but unable to dismiss the inner teenager tugging at my inner sleeve saying But – but it’s got cavemen and tribes and woolly mammoths and – and you can ride them, and throw spears and stuff! Yes, the prehistoric era taps into a primal fantasy in me, but when that’s overlaid with an advanced radar, an owl endowed with the abilities of a military drone, and heat-vision that conveniently colour-codes every object, footprint and smell, the fantasy kind of tapers off.
By shutting off as many aids and HUD elements as possible, I intended to reclaim the fantasy.
A week later than consoles, because apparently Ubisoft have abandoned that promise already, Far Cry Primal [official site] is out on PC tomorrow. I’ve donned my wolf-skin coat, daubed random lines of paint on my face, and killed some local wildlife (sorry Mrs Primms about Fluffy) in preparation to tell you Wot I Think:>
Last week, in the wake of MGSV opening my eyes to a series I’d long disdained, I shared a quartet of games I now feel I either dismissed out of hand or unreasonably feted. Here’s the rest of that list, though I suspect if I sat down and went through every review I ever wrote over the last 15 years, I’d find quite a few more. I’m not going to do that, because making me read 15 years of my own writing is pretty much the worst thing anyone could ever do to me).
There’s a scene in the new Far Cry Primal [official site] trailer in which the player character instructs his pet owl to eat someone’s face. It’s amazing how inconsequential the lack of vehicles and rocket launchers seems now that the full extent of the animal-taming can be seen. Feed wild beasts and they can be tamed, which leads to big cat snuggling, guard bears and tiger ridin’. Given that sniping the locks off animal cages was my favourite way to take out a baseload of baddies in Far Cry 3, Primal suddenly looks very tasty indeed.