I’ve made no secret of my love for Ori & the Blind Forest. It easily made my 10 most underappreciated games of the decade, which you can read here. I’ve been eagerly awaiting a continuation for the past 5 years. After a number of delays, Ori & the Will of the Wisps finally released. It was developed by Moon Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios exclusively for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Once again players assume control of Ori, a white guardian spirit. To progress in the game, players are tasked to move between platforms and solve puzzles. Will of the Wisps relies on auto saving rather than the manually placed soul links seen in its predecessor. Also, the sequential upgrade system of the first title has been abandoned for a shard system.
The game’s story is centred on a new adventure to discover the world beyond the forest of Nibel, uncover the truths of the lost ones, and unearth Ori’s true destiny.
Ori & the Will of the Wisps is a very special video game. However, it’s a difficult one to review. The reason is because there are only so many ways you can describe something as beautiful. The very best sequels are those that take what came before and improve upon that. This game had a tough task as the original is near perfection. Still, somehow they’ve taken it a few steps beyond. The new aspects that they introduce add even more depth to the gameplay and world as a whole. It’s mixed up just enough that it keeps things feeling fresh and not just like some rehash.
The story is very simplistic and it does hit similar notes to the original but on the whole it’s really well told. Also, I really enjoy the ways in which the characters are written within this world. Many of them are never what they seem on the surface. Some are good, some are bad and others are somewhere in between.
Much like the first game, this is a game filled with emotionally impactful moments. Certain scenes in the story are genuinely some of the most heartfelt I have ever experienced in a game. The whole experience is helped by a phenomenal soundtrack. It’s unbelievable how epic it gets at times.
I found the game quite challenging in the early stages. However, as time progressed and Ori gained more strength and abilities it became clear that this sequel is much easier than the original. This makes the game far more accessible. Don’t get me wrong, there are tough sections but it feels much more forgiving thanks to the auto save system.
Visually, the game is simply breath-taking. My storage is filled with screenshots because every frame of this game is like a work of art. In terms of the genre, it raises the bar so high I’m not sure it will ever be surpassed.
I wish I had nothing negative to comment on but that’s not the case. Unfortunately, Ori & the Will of the Wisps has a bunch of technical bugs. I experienced persistent stuttering, freezing and a couple of complete crashes. Also, certain achievements in the game are seemingly broken. This isn’t a new issue for Ori. It’s a massive shame, especially when you consider just how heavily the game was delayed.
Due to these issues, I simply cannot give it the 10 that it deserves.
This music is Godly –
I really savoured every moment with Ori & the Will of the Wisps, it was a shame for it to end. Still, the ending does deliver a stunning twist that changes everything.
Ori & the Will of the Wisps