After years of waiting, iconic hero Rayman is returning to the world of video games, in the upcoming Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope: Rayman in the Phantom Show DLC expansion pack. It launches for
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope launched to critical acclaim in late October 2022, but wasn’t a notable sales success. In early 2023, Ubisoft expressed disappointment and surprise with the game’s performance, citing tough economic conditions as a core reason. Later, the company claimed it was ‘not worried’ about the initial performance of Sparks of Hope, as it has the potential to become a strong seller over time.
With the launch of Rayman in the Phantom Show, there is hope the title gets renewed attention – particularly from nostalgic fans who may have a strong connection with the Rayman franchise.
The inclusion of the character is notable for many reasons – but largely, as the titular Rabbids actually spun out of the Rayman franchise.
Rayman Raving Rabbids, launched in 2006, introduced the Rabbids to audiences, and they quickly gained a global reputation for their silly antics and endearing designs. While they quickly lost their novelty as they overtook Rayman in popularity, the original Mario + Rabbids refreshed their appeal, with newer characters like Rabbid Mario and Rabbid Peach quickly becoming fan-favourites.
It’s the popularity of these Rabbids that has ultimately inspired the return of Rayman, who has been fairly absent since the release of Rayman Legends in 2013. Rayman in the Phantom Show is a chance for redemption in many ways – a chance for Ubisoft to reckon with the continued popularity of the character, and a chance for new audiences to see exactly why he’s one of the most iconic gaming heroes of the 2000s.
Rayman will play a key part in the upcoming DLC, which sees the Mario and Rabbids crew wander into a mysterious new dimension ruled by The Phantom – a ghostly being who requires help to boost the rating of his Opera network.
While the return of Rayman is couched within the wider Mario + Rabbids universe, rather than in the form of a new adventure, his revival is still appreciated. As a soft-launch for potential sequels, or a revisitation of his history with Ubisoft, the upcoming Mario + Rabbids DLC should be a warm celebration of an important legacy.
Beyond his introduction, the major story-based expansion provides yet another reason to check out Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, one of the best (and most underrated) games of 2022. There’s not long to wait before this DLC arrives – keep an eye out for the pack’s release on 30 August 2023. It will be available for everyone who purchases the game’s Season Pass, and as a standalone pack.