One of the big reasons why Rayman Origins and Legends are so enjoyable is because of the gorgeous engine powering both games bringing the vibrant and lush environments to life. Known as the UbiArt Framework, it almost like designers are taking concept art and bringing it to life in the game. It’s a beautiful system that is brilliantly shown off in both Rayman games. I’ve always wondered what it could look like outside of the Rayman universe and hoped that one day it would. Well, we finally got an answer and boy does it look good.
At the annual Ubisoft Digital Days event, a number of new downloadable games were revealed including Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD, a mobile game called Assassin’s Creed Pirates, and Tom Clancy’s EndWar making a return as a browser game. The two head turners however were Child of Light and Valiant Hearts, both of which were utilizing the UbiArt Framework and both of which look visually stunning.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War comes from a small team over at Ubisoft Montpellier so you know off that bat that they know what they’re doing with this engine. Valiant Hearts tells the story of five soldiers of different nationalities all connected during World War I. This puzzle/adventure game will have a comic book style look and while having an emotional and mature story, will also try to break that seriousness with a bit of humor. Each character will play up their stereotype and a dog will interact with each character providing guidance with the puzzles. What I find so refreshing about this game is that the story and it’s characters are based on real World War I letters including one from a developer’s grandmother. It’s an interesting concept and the game looks to tug at your heart strings as well. The debut trailer can be viewed here.
Child of Light on the other hand comes from a small team of Far Cry 3 developers led by creative director Patrick Plourde. Unlike the mature shooter Far Cry 3, Child of Light is a RPG/platformer that looks like it has been brushed by an artist utilizing watercolor. As a young princess named Aurora, you’re investigating what happened to the kingdom of Lemuria as all of it’s inhabitants have been turned into crows. Child of Light looked at Final Fantasy for inspiration as it’s battle system is closely related to Final Fantasy’s Active Time Battle combat system. It’s debut trailer can be seen right here.
Both games are aiming for a 2014 release date and for both current, next gen, and PC platforms. I personally hope this is the first wave of games that begin to take on the very impressive UbiArt Framework. I can’t wait to see what’s around the bend.