Ubisoft is bringing back their unhinged rabbits for another batch of mayhem and absurdity.
While shearing sheep and smacking rabbits in the head probably wasn’t quite what Nintendo had in mind when designing the Wii remote, there’s no arguing that last year’s Rayman Raving Rabbids pioneered some truly inventive new uses for a video game controller. Ubisoft Paris seems to have no great shortage of crazy ideas as they have been rushing to put together Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. Hoping to build on the variety of motion-powered animal hilarity, while also smoothing out the original’s lackluster multiplayer mode, RRR2 will bring back the funny bunnies to run amuck once again this November.
One of the main points of criticism with the original Rabbids game was the lack of multiplayer games that allowed for simultaneous competition. Players were forced to take turns competing in the large majority of the multiplayer game that seemed to sap some of the participatory fun the game was designed around. With the sequel, Ubisoft Paris has paid special attention to enhancing the multiplayer component of the game to allow players to take each other on at the same time in a whole new batch of mini-games. In one game, you will hold the Wii remote flat in the palm of your hand and move it back and forth to keep an ever increasing stack of hamburgers balanced on a tray as your Rabbid delivers the meaty victuals to diners in a restaurant. If the stack of hamburgers starts to wobble too much, you can regain your balance by holding down the A button. The penalty is that you won’t be able to move again until you release the A button. To further complicate matters, other players can bump their rabbits into one another to try and knock the opposition’s hamburgers off the platter.
In another game, players will recreate the famous boulder rolling sequence from Indiana Jones by “milking" the remote and Nunchuk back and forth to keep their rabbids running fast enough to avoid being crushed. The last bunny standing will win the challenge. Gamers growing a little tired of manners will be able to let their inner brute run wild in a game that has players shaking the remote to shake up a bottle of soda, then chugging the fizzy liquid to see who can produce the loudest burp. In a game with a more international bent (in line with the Rabbids new theme song, Daft Punk’s “Around The World"), players will take the part of a snake charmer. Players will hold the remote up to their mouths, with the IR portion facing away from the screen, then press the A, 1, and 2 buttons in time with on screen prompts to play a recorder to try and coax a reluctant snake from its pot.
The original Rabbids’ on-rails shooting sequences have been completely overhauled for the sequel to try and incorporate more of the zaniness of the game’s real-life promotional videos into actual gameplay. Like the ads, the on-rails shooter levels will now take place against taped footage of real world locations with the animated rabbids and some basic environmental objects added on top. In keeping with the game's narrative thread of the rabbids trying to take over the world, players will be able to hunt down the rascally rabbits in a whole slew of real-life settings; from Brooklyn to the streets of Paris and beyond. To capture the footage, Ubisoft Paris used a video director to take a camera crew out and film a set path through each different environment, which the development team incorporated into the game engine, adding some new cartoonish objects and plenty of hiding bunnies to shoot down. The mode will play in a similar way to the original, with players using the remote’s IR function to guide a reticule around screen and fire plungers at any and all bunnies who step into the line of fire.
For the many fans of the original, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 promises to offer a fresh new selection mini-game zaniness to plow through, both alone and with friends. It remains to be seen if the absurdist formula of the first game will hold up with a sequel arriving almost exactly one year after the original first hit shelves. If you’ve just got a craven need to smack some rabbids in the head, though, rest easy, as the game is set to release in North America on November 13. European gamers will get their hands on the rabbids a few days later on November 16, while fans in Australia can look forward to the game arriving sometime in November as well.