After 25 years, Ubisoft reinvents classics

Platformer fans rejoice, because there’s a brand new, high-definition Rayman game in the works. And that’s just the beginning.

Ubisoft, which does not traditionally go to the expense of having a decked-out pre-E3 media event, used this as an opportunity to celebrate its legacy as a 25-year-old video game publisher, which started as a humble company founded by a couple brothers in France.

The company’s very first creation was an unlikely superhero with no arms or legs named Rayman. Today, that same character was the first thing shown at Ubisoft’s briefing.

Rayman Origins takes all of the fast-paced platforming, puzzle-solving action fans have come to know and love, and brings it to the world of powerful HD graphics and all new gameplay, with support for up to four-player cooperative gaming.

Rayman himself has taken a back seat in recent years, with his spin-off franchise, the crude, toilet-dwelling Rabbids getting most of the attention as of late. So it’s nice to see him make a return to gaming.

It’s not just Rayman that’s getting a refresh. Driver, which first gained notoriety as a blocky, simplistic racing title back in the day, is poised to take over the latest consoles in Driver: San Francisco.

There is more than just remakes of decades-old franchises, though. Ubisoft also revealed a new installment to its high-octane adventure series, Farcry 3. But today’s conference was mostly about Ubisoft’s rare 25-year mark in the gaming market.

Ubisoft may not be a part of most gamers’ everyday vocabulary, but it does have a strong hold on the industry, and its E3 lineup in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary looks pretty decent.