The Crew Isn’t Free Yet So Grab Rayman Origins Now

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.

Yes, Ubisoft may have released a special trailer to announce that The Crew is now free, but no, it isn’t yet. Wouldn’t be an Ubisoft game if a launch went smoothly, would it. No, you’ll need to wait until September 14th for that.

Anyway! Rayman Origins! Isn’t it great? It’s a good-times video game, and it’s free until September 14th. Head on over here and sign in with Uplay to get it for keepsies.

Yes, you do need Uplay to play it but good grief, this is 2016 – even laptops have terabytes of hard drive space, and I’ve already got… let’s see… 183 other online accounts with passwords saved in a password manager. It seems a small price to pay for a game as pleasant as Rayman Origins.

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  1. Yachmenev says:

    I loathe uPlay, but the reason I might not grab Rayman Origins is that there’s just too many games being thrown your way, to the point where it’s starting to feel like a problem. :P

    I don’t like the feeling of piling up unplayed games, even for free.

    How’s that for a modern society problem. :)

    • MajorLag says:

      I hear you. I’ve not played about 2/3rds of my Steam library, and most of my GoG library (mostly they were free deals anyway), and I did pick up Rayman Origins, I think, but only because I already had a uPlay account for some reason.

      I often have to talk myself out of wasting money on games I’ll never actually play, or at least won’t get around to playing until retirement, which gets a little farther away every time I buy a game I won’t play.

    • thegooseking says:

      Yep, I have about 100 games I haven’t played (including a couple that I got for free off Origin).

      Mostly, to be honest, it’s games where I got a game and its sequel in a sale, and never finished the first one, so never tried the sequel. But since I’m loving The Witcher 3 despite never finishing the first two, it might be worth taking another look at them. (I mean, they won’t be as good as The Witcher 3, but still.)

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      JiminyJickers says:

      I don’t get it. Uplay is giving away free games, mostly ones I don’t want. But it is giving away a pretty good one, but I won’t grab it because of some weird principle.

      Not directed at you in particular mate, but I see this attitude a lot and it completely confused me. If it was exclusively available on Steam (no Uplay) would you grab it then? Or is your reluctance just focussed on one game client?

      • Yachmenev says:

        If you’re talking to me, then it’s not about the client, but rather a reluctance to add to the number of unplayed games in general, even when it’s free.

  2. RQH says:

    The first 80-90% of the game is a delight, full of color, playfulness, and discovery.

    Be ye warned, though, the last couple of stages forego that for precision platforming challenges and a definite difficulty spike compared to the rest of the game’s main stages. If it weren’t for that, it would be a perfect game. As it is, it’s merely excellent.

    And it’s not even that those precision stages aren’t fun, necessarily. It’s that they are a very different game design sensibility from the rest of the non-optional levels. In most of the levels, there is a base difficulty that is set relatively low, but the player has lots of options to provide additional challenge. Do they try to find & complete all the secret challenge rooms; do they try to maximize their collectibles; do they attempt a speed run; or do they merely try to get to the end? In final levels, this variability disappears; there is the challenge the designer has prescribed and that’s it. No way to make it easier (or harder) on yourself. As a player, you have to change your mentality from “I wonder what this does?” “I wonder how I get up there?” to “Now what does the designer expect me to do here?”

    I enjoy mastering things in games sometimes, but it threw me for a loop, since that wasn’t the type of game I had been playing when I started.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Yeah, this, basically. It’s a wonderful game, but it gets absolutely murderously tough towards the final stages (I never finished the damned thing) and Legends 1) is much better 2) has the best stages from Origins as bonuses anyway. I don’t regret buying either, mind you, and Origins is still an awesome freebie. Some of the comments here would make baby Jesus cry.

      • Banks says:

        That is the point. You have plenty of stages of easy and calm platforming, and as an extra you have those hard levels if you fancy some challenge. I loved the game, although in a second playtrough I found it too easy, too padded and too centered in collecting garbage. Rayman legends was a bit better in that regard, despite abusing qte-like speedrunning.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          It isn’t the point at all. In order to “beat” the game, you have to beat the ridiculously tough levels as well. I’d still recommend it – it’s a lovely, lovely game, there’s a ton of content even if you don’t see the story through to the end and the plot is hardly that important – but if you ragequit over the ludicrous difficulty curve then you’re plainly leaving things Not Finished. Obviously it’s not something you can objectively prove, but still… they just get too hard, IMO; it’s one of the cruelest difficulty spikes I’ve ever come across.

    • Emeraude says:

      It’s that they are a very different game design sensibility from the rest of the non-optional levels. […] As a player, you have to change your mentality from “I wonder what this does?” “I wonder how I get up there?” to “Now what does the designer expect me to do here?”

      As someone that actually welcomed the land of dead after a game that I thoughts was way too easy (going 100% collection from start), I don’t know that I agree, but I do find the point interesting.

      I wonder how much of it is a matter of fluency in platformer design – I don’t know that I ever could leave the “Now what does the designer expect me to do here?” mind state nowadays, I can’t not play that way on a subconscious level.

      Would need to replay the game to make sure, I don’t trust my memories here, but I do remember the land of dead being a logical conclusion to the game.

      • RQH says:

        I’d have been fine if it was just the Land of the Livid Dead that was a difficulty spike, in this case. Bonus stages for the “true” ending? Sure, make them difficult. Optional collectibles (like the teeth?) Fine. But even to get the “casual” ending (credits roll) you have to play a game that is very different than the one you start out playing, and depending on the player, that will entirely sap the joy out of the experience.

        • Emeraude says:

          I’m finding that small misunderstanding interesting in itself, because to me the game never reaches any moment I would really call difficult before land of the living dead. Never occurred to me you could have been speaking of something else.

  3. mepto says:

    Please stop defending online DRM. Especially as a pc gaming website, you should really have learned to know better than to support useless interference by companies when dealing with software you bought. If it weren’t for that laisse-them-faire attitude of “well everybody has internet now”, online DRM would never have succeeded and you could still copypaste and install your games like in good old times.

    Also, maybe instead of giving in and having a happy fun time, realize what they’re trying to do here: Lure people into the DRM server-binding scheme that is uplay/origin/steam. Resist and just say no thanks.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      For the second time I turn down this game because of uPlay. This time because the “create account” option just bugs out. Even for free, I aint got time for that.

      • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

        You’re either lying or don’t care enough about the game to google it at least once. It’s available on GoG and has been since its release.

        • Emeraude says:

          The first retail edition was also DRM free. Don’t know if it still holds true, but one can probably track down a copy if willing.

    • KenTWOu says:

      AFAIK Rayman Origins doesn’t have DRM. You need Uplay client only to download and install the game. At least when I click the game executable it just starts, and I can move the game folder wherever I want.

      • jrodman says:

        I certainly got a copy of origins drm-free at some point in the past. I was sort of sad to see this deal is with uplay though. Vendor-specific DRM seems even worse to me than steam-drm.

        As fundamentally wrong as drm is, at least Valve is making an attempt to not be awful. If you have online DRM from one vendor that’s trying, you might not get screwed. If every game vendor starts making their own drm, you will DEFINITELY get screwed.

        • KenTWOu says:

          Why are you saying this to me? As I’ve already said, Uplay version of Rayman Otigins doesn’t have vendor-specific DRM. Uplay client just helps you to download the game and install it. You don’t need Uplay to play it. So address you anti-DRM point to someone else.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      “If it weren’t for that laisse-them-faire attitude of “well everybody has internet now”, online DRM would never have succeeded”

      That’s like saying if trousers weren’t invented then everyone would be naked from the waist down.

  4. Ooops says:

    I’ll alwyas love RPS. But I’ll always be puzzled by their willingness to welcome any form of DRM with open arms.

    • Ooops says:


      In Alice’s own words, “Good grief, this is 2016”, can we get an edit button? ;-)

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I think I’ve grown really bored of posting about neat free games only to receive comments riled up that I’ve dared to post about something which uses DRM.

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        magogjack says:

        Especially when its no more then a different version of steam….

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          I got a uPlay account because it was piled on top of some game on Steam. Unparalleled possibilities of future software obsolescence.

          And it can’t even install and launch from just the uPlay client either so it’s a twofer.

        • Ooops says:

          Well, regarding that, I’ve already suggested that games that are both on Steam and DRM-free platforms (Gog, parts of the humble store) get links to both and not just to Steam.

      • jrodman says:

        It’s one thing to be tired of people looking for flaws. It’s quite another to explicitly dismiss the concerns as if they don’t matter. Are you *really* surprised at the result you got by doing so?

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          The fight over DRM ended a decade or so ago when Steam got reliable enough for most people – its just the purists holding out now and they’re not going to change anyone’s mind by going on and on and on and on and on about it every time someone mentions a service with DRM.

          The arguments done for now. Might come up again when one of the bigger services dies and burns a bunch of people but until then ranting about DRM is about as effective as that guy on the corner shouting about the end times.

          • jrodman says:

            The context here isn’t someone mentioning a thing that happens to have DRM. The context is the site we read being dismissive about legitimate DRM concerns.

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            The context is an attempt to humorously head off the same predictably tedious comments that we’ve all seen before apparently backfiring.

          • jrodman says:

            It’s both of those things.

          • Ooops says:

            “Might come up again when one of the bigger services dies ”

            My point is that it will be too late by then.

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            Sure but until then no one cares, that ship sailed a decade or more ago.

          • hpoonis says:

            I, for one, have little or no problem with DRM in games, per se, but my biggest gripe is the ‘always online’ aspect of it all.

            My first encounter was Assassin’s Creed II and suffered a few lost server connections which stalled my initial enjoyment of the thing.

            Anything ‘online’ I usually avoid as I am not interested in gaming interaction with the game-nerd community and when a single-player offering has perma-online required my hackles rise.

        • noodlecake says:

          …It’s an article about some free games. Not everything has to be a debate about something “controversial”

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        corinoco says:

        Same. Complaining about DRM is so late 90’s. We all use operating systems, app & music stores that rely on it. Unless of course you only use pure Debian and a Nokia 5110.

        • jrodman says:

          Sorry, I’m going to have to be very boring here and object to “rely on it”. None of them need it. It’s just there, because it’s perceived by the manufacturers or those who lobby the manufacturers that limiting the ability of the user to do what they want will extract more continuing revenue. None of the things you mention require DRM from a technical nor business sense. “make use of it” perhaps.

          • hpoonis says:

            In these times, I do feel that the game client is only there to deliver advertising. I can appreciate that a diverse platform such as Steam has so many available titles that it has to be a valid choice for them but as far as uplay and origin (lower case denotes derision) are concerned they offer fuck all except longer loading times; with origin being the absolute epitome of shit delivery.

        • Ooops says:

          I don’t care about DRM in operating systems. I care about DRM in cultural products because that’s a part of the culture that can therefore disappear forever in an instant.

          I see music the same way I see games, but fortunately for me in this case, the major players (iTunes, Amazon) have ditched DRM a long time ago.

      • Ooops says:

        I’m sorry you’re taking it that way Alice. I don’t see why my expression of puzzlement has offended you so much. I haven’t said I’m outraged by RPS’s point of view, I didn’t say it was unacceptable or scandalous or mumbled vague nonsense about “ethics in game journalism”. I said I was puzzled by it.

        I was merely reacting to “Yes, you do need Uplay to play it but good grief, this is 2016”, like all those who have reservations about Uplay/DRM are objectively backwards. I’m not offended by the statement, but I don’t understand why you would dismiss those concerns in such a way.

        In my humble opinion, those who don’t care at all about DRM do not take video games seriously as a cultural medium, because they are content with the possibility of cultural works potentially disappearing (becoming unplayable) forever within an instant. I know you, and all your colleagues at RPS DO take games seriously, hence why I’m puzzled.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          Oh, internet.

          I’m sorry you’re taking it that way Alice. I don’t see why my expression of puzzlement has offended you so much


          In my humble opinion, those who don’t care at all about DRM do not take video games seriously as a cultural medium


          Technically it would be inaccurate to say I don’t care at all, but… I rejoiced when GOG introduced their client, I barely used them at all before Galaxy, and I’ve never once bought anything from them rather than Steam because of DRM. By your metric I guess I barely give a damn about videogames as a form of cultural expression or whatever? Whatever; I’ll restrain myself before I say something I’ll regret.

          • Eight Rooks says:

            EDIT: I never buy physical copies any more – digital or nothing. I play on iOS, too, where I’ve got a library of several hundred games – I’ve had multiple premium purchases rendered non-functional (new versions of iOS, devs not updating etc.), and while I wouldn’t say that doesn’t bother me, I still keep buying them. But apparently I don’t really care about any of that, right?

            So yeah, consider me offended, as much as a comment from some guy on the internet on a subject like this can offend me.

          • Ooops says:

            I don’t understand your “Oh Internet” or your first “really?”, but what I hoped to convey (and failed, my bad. Sorry for offending you) in the second passage you quote is “do not take video games seriously as a cultural medium WORTHY OF PRESERVATION” (caps not to shoot, but to emphasise what I should have added in the first place).

            It was not bright of me to phrase it in such a way that conveyed that those who don’t have problems with DRM don’t care about the cultural value of video games.

        • Alice O'Connor says:

          I’m not celebrating DRM or, uh, fine with games vanishing. As I said, that was a reaction to people who, even in a post about a great game being ‘free’, feel a compulsion to comment that they don’t want it because they don’t like Origin/Uplay/Steam/DRM.

          Okay? Fine? So don’t download this?

          I’ve been playing games since the days of code sheets. I’m familiar with problems of copy protection and DRM, and have often written about preserving games. Doesn’t mean I’m not interested in Rayman Origins (which is also sold on GOG) being ‘free’ on Uplay.

          • Eight Rooks says:

            There, much more succinct than me. Sorry for ranting, Alice!

          • Ooops says:

            I should have mentioned that I love posts about free games, DRM or not, and that I’m thankful of the reminder to get Rayman before it’s too late.

            And I was wrong to bring the issue on a game that is available DRM free elsewhere and therefore preserved already.

            I only reacted because it seemed to me you were suggesting that DRM are nothing more than a mere password annoyance and nothing to worry about in 2016.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          “Oh, really” = if you’re the sort of person who thinks nothing of putting forward your arguments with a strawman like that, then perhaps you shouldn’t be surprised when someone takes offence at one of them, however minor that offence might be. Few, if any people express a total lack of interest in DRM, being able to dig out old videogames for the kids/for the betterment of society/for whatever in the future. It’s perfectly possible to be concerned about such things and to accept that time marches on, that it’s all going to seem very silly to future generations (see: Spotify, Apple Music et al versus “owning music? How quaint”, Netflix versus digital movies etc.), to feel reasonably certain some solution will be found for videogames which will still essentially be DRM and seem like an outrageous infringement on personal liberties to people in the present day but which will still allow for archival over a very, very long period of time (and that the vast majority of people will not care they get that rather than no DRM), and so on. Yeah, it’s kind of troubling. Yeah, more should be done re: preservation of our cultural legacy. But also… all those people who got 1984 wiped off their Kindles are ultimately nothing more than bumps in the road, however scary/ironic the headlines might have seemed at the time. We haven’t even preserved all the written words the human race ever produced and civilization hasn’t collapsed over the damage to our cultural output, so, yeah, you can be concerned about the subject and ultimately feel it’s not worth starting heated arguments/making portentous value judgements over. It can be two things, and statements like yours that seem to imply you’re insisting it can only be one are pretty easy to take offense at, however you try to rephrase them.

          • Ooops says:

            1984 was a vastly different affair that has nothing to do with preservation, as 1984 is perfectly preserved in paper form already. The wiping was a DRM issue from a consumer point of view, which I really don’t care about (I still understand those that do).

            I understand we haven’t been able to preserve everything of cultural value since the start of culture, but I’m still very sad when those that produce cultural products willingly make it difficult to preserve them.

            For the rest, I already apologised for offending you and I ‘m still sorry.

    • Emeraude says:

      Hasn’t always been true, used to be lot more resistance, if only symbolic.

      I do feel insulted by both the luddite accusation and the reduction of the anti-DRM stance to being inconvenienced by supernumerary passwords, because of course that’s the issue at hand, is it?

  5. jimbobjunior says:

    Surely you mean Rayman Oranges?

  6. Zaxwerks says:

    I got all excited… and then you mentioned uPlay… I don’t want it THAT much.

    • mepto says:

      I’m not defending online DRM here – I hate it and don’t buy into it (see post above), but assuming you ever used steam, what’s the deal? Why should every company want to give valve a cut and not start their own DRM site? Miserable user experience, you say? Well, what did steam have in the beginning? The only reason you stuck with it were games you wanted to play. Why should ubi not have a grace period to make their DRM “comfortable”? Again, don’t download, just playing the devil’s devil’s advocate.

    • Rich says:

      I personally find Origin to be far more annoying. At least uPlay remembers who I am, unlike Origin after an update.

      • hpoonis says:

        origin: I want to play a particular title, housed on origin. I click…3 minutes later I can actually do something in game. Now, for an i7, 16Gib, and games housed on solid-state gizmos, 3-minutes is a frikkin’ lifeltime!

        One could assassinate a president in that amount of time.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      If you really wanted to shove it in the face of DRM (which I suspect you don’t, since it’s fashionable to bitch about protecting your investment) you’d buy it from GoG, since it’s 1) available there and has been since release and 2) It’s inarguably the second best platformer ever made, so if you really wanted it that much you would have purchased it by now, or at least googled it.

    • Zaxwerks says:

      My buying preferences have been and I suspect will remain for some time… GOG -> Physical media/Steam (whatever is cheaper) -> Origin -> hell freezing over -> uPlay.

      I will always try and shun DRM where I can. I don’t trust that my DRM purchases will always be available to me, but Steam is now so ubiquitous and Valve in such a stable financial position that if I HAVE to purchase a DRM enabled game I will lean towards Steam (plus they have lots of sale discounts).
      I only use Origin (EA) and uPlay (Ubisoft) when a game is exclusively tied to those platforms and you can’t get them any other way. EA are constantly voted one of the worst companies for a reason (they squeeze every penny they can out of you and in some cases hobble gaming experiences to do so), and I will never forgive Ubisoft for their 2+ year ALWAYS ON DRM scheme they inflicted on everyone (at which point I stopped buying Ubisoft games and found that it didn’t restrict my choice of games at all), plus I’ve had uPlay update itself and the games I’ve wanted to play EVERY TIME I LOGGED ON and I was getting low kilobyte speeds over my 50Mb Virgin fibre internet, where as with Steam I always get the maximum… I don’t expect to press “play” for the game I bought and then have to wait 30+ minutes for the games to start EVERY SINGLE TIME. Working for an internet telecommunications company I know what it takes to build a robust server farm and network connectivity and it was abundantly clear that Ubisoft didn’t have the first clue. So I don’t trust them as a company or a service provider… and THAT is why I commented as I did.

  7. klops says:

    Are those Hemuls?

  8. CartonofMilk says:

    great…why did i have to buy the crew (on sale but still) two months ago. I could have easily waited. I’d have enjoyed the game a lot more free too probably.

  9. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Ooh, I’ve been waiting for The Crew to get cheap, and I guess it doesn’t get any cheaper than this. My favorite driving games tend to involve just cruising around exploring the map and listening to some good music (hello, Burnout Paradise!), so I’m excited to see how this one stacks up.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve had zero issues with Uplay in the past few years. I think people are still remembering the (admittedly pretty rough) early days, but it’s certainly no more annoying than Steam in its current form.

  10. Chaz says:

    I bought the Crew in a sale and I’ve still not played it yet.

  11. Avus says:

    I really don’t mind playing games using Steam/Uplay/Origin but i try to buy most games from Steam. Absolutely no problem for MP games because i need to play the game online anyway. As for single play game, as long as Steam/Uplay/Origin let me play them offline I am ok with that too…

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