Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle, platformer
Developer: Moon Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One, PC

Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Design, Concept, Atmosphere
Bad: Story might be slow for some
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It has already been 5 years since Ori and the Blind Forest was released. This Microsoft exclusive title was very impressive, but it also had several rage-inducing moments. Nonetheless, the visuals were simply amazing, the vague story was likable and the overall gameplay was exquisite. The game could easily be called a masterpiece, and while it seemed like this would be a one-shot wonder, we were simply stoked when the word was spread about a sequel. We once again find ourselves controlling the spirit-like rabbit, who has found himself a new family, as well as a new ‘sibling’, which has to do with the previous game.

Story

At the end of the previous game, the corrupted guardian kicked the bucket and the world was once again calm and safe. The ending of the game also provided Ori with the gift of the previous guardian, namely one of her eggs. This egg has now hatched and spawned a little owl. Sadly, this owl has a jagged wing, rendering it unable to fly. Nonetheless, Ori still has one of the giant feathers of the original guardian, and decides to give it to the hatchling, to make a makeshift wing. This plan works, but ends up becoming a disaster when a storm destroys the self-made wing, causing the hatchling and Ori to tumble down below. The duo gets separated, forcing Ori to once again go out on an adventure and find his lost companion.

The story flows as it did in the previous game, namely, you get bits and pieces during key events, and sometimes an NPC will give you some side-info. The overall approach, safe for the lengthy intro, is quite simplistic, but it works and creates a proper drive for you to press on.

Graphics

Graphically, Will of the Wisps is a delight to look at. The 2D visuals don’t feel ‘flat’ at all, and every surrounding feels lush and adequately filled with life, making sure the world is vibrant and impressive to behold. You’ll see some of the same assets pop up now and then, especially during caverns that have a lack of variation, but overall, many love and attention have been put into this game. We didn’t notice any stutters or frame drops during our playthrough, on both PC and Xbox One.

Sound

The sound design is also well taken care of. The game has a fairly calm soundtrack, but it can kick in at the right moments to get the blood pumping. The soundtrack itself is orchestral, rather than simplistic. There’s some voice acting present, but it’s done in a non-existing language, which graces what is going on. The different characters, as well as the narrator, sound believable, which is nice for a game that focuses a lot on its atmosphere and style of narration.

When playing the game on PC you’ll notice audio stutters when the camera view changes during cutscenes or story segments. Also, the loading times seem to be lengthier on the PC version, showing the game has not been fully optimized just yet.

Gameplay

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an action puzzle platformer with a Metroidvania set up. This means that you’ll often have to retrace your steps to access new areas with your newly acquired powers. This is similar to the first game, where you roam around from one area to another, all while collecting clues on what to do next, but also acquire new skills and powers to actually make progress.

In Will of the Wisps, you’ll start out fairly defenseless. You can only jump and swing a torch around, if you have one. Other than that, you’ll have to avoid nearly all enemies, as they can hurt you, but not the other way around. After a while, you’ll start unlocking skills such as a blade attack, a passive ability to scale walls, a double jump and so on. These extra skills allow you to reach places you couldn’t access before, gradually opening each area of the game.

Like the original game, you’ll have this sequel beat in around 10 to 15 hours, depending on how much you want to collect everything the game has to offer. While this may not seem that lengthy, dragging out a game such as this would actually spoil the fun, or would make many gamers quit halfway through as the game can be difficult at times, even on the lowest difficulty setting.

Conclusion

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a great sequel of an already magnificent game. The game does feel a bit different than its predecessor but respects a lot of the source material. While the game is, like the first one, rather short, you’ll have to retrace your steps more than often to access new areas, making it lengthier than it seems. If you enjoyed the first part, this one will also send you on an amazing adventure that is enjoyable from start to finish.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Ori and the Will of the Wisps - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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