2020 is a huge year for games and Ori and the Will of the Wisps was one of my most wanted games from the first quarter. Thanks to Xbox Game Pass I was able to check this out and I am happy to say it did not disappoint. Being a sequel to one of the big surprise hits of 2015 put a lot of eyes on this game.
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The Game Review
The story of the game takes place right after the events of Ori and the Blind Forest. Ori is living with this makeshift family including the new member, Ku who is an adorable owl. Ku wants to explore and Ku and Ori end up being swept away to a decaying forest! This is where the story really starts. The main enemy you encounter has a heartbreaking backstory too!
One of the most impressive things about Ori and the Will of the Wisps and its predecessor is the way it handles storytelling. Both Ori games are sad, heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time and they are able to get this across without any voice acting. The character designs are once again gorgeous, but so is the whole game.
I am going to say that this is the best looking 2D game that I have ever experienced. Each area even though the forest is “rotting” looks gorgeous. There is an underwater section in particular that did make my jaw hit the floor. If you thought the last game looked good, this will really blow you away.
The gameplay is best described as “Metroidvania” but I feel that this has a slightly different feel than its predecessor. With Ori and the Will of the Wisps, I feel that there is not as much exploration. This may get your Spidey-Sense tingling, but I think it works out for the best. The game is more straightforward in its main story, but there are plenty of side things for you to get up to.
The fact that the core gameplay is so much fun really makes you want to do everything this game offers. Ori feels great and as you unlock all the moves (a couple of which are new) you will be platforming and fighting with style. It does take a short while to get the fighting down, but once you do, despite the fight being challenging it gives you an almost Zen-like feeling.
What will snap you out of the Zen-like feeling is the boss fights! The boss fights are against these massive bosses that take up most of the screen and everyone is a tough challenge. They are tough, but not unfair and as a result, even though you may die, you never feel cheated and when you do win you feel amazing.
A couple of other changes made that I think do make the overall experience better are the saving and the progression. The saving now has an autosave and the checkpoints in certain sections are quite frequent. The way you get new moves and unlock stuff happens at a rather frequent pace and feels more frequent than the previous game.
I have had a great time with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It more than lived up to my expectations and so far, I do prefer it to the previous game, but only just. It did have a few problems at launch, but as far as I know, these have been fixed. I played on a standard Xbox One and had no issues at all with the game. I highly, highly recommend that you check this one out. A true gem of 2020 for sure!
- The story is fantastic
- It is one of the best-looking games I have ever played
- The platforming is great
- Combat is tough but satisfying
- It is one of the best 2D games I have ever played
- It did have a rough launch
- Some might not like the scaled back exploration