Moon Studios releases Ori sequel every bit as wonderful as its predecessor
In early 2015, indie developer Moon Studios introduced gamers to the world of Ori with Ori and the Blind Forest, a fantasy epic that combined breathtaking visuals with the teeth-grinding challenges of a typical platformer in the vein of Castlevania and Metroid. Needless to say, Ori and the Blind Forest was a runaway hit with gamers and a sequel was highly anticipated. Now, five years later, Moon Studios ushers gamers back in with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The wait was worth it.
Although Ori and the Will of the Wisps may feature some of the same mechanics as Ori and the Blind Forest, it builds upon the legacy of its predecessor and then some. Will of the Wisps picks up right where Blind Forest left off. Ori’s family has just welcomed a new member, the owl Ku; however, a perilous flight puts Ku in harm’s way, so Ori must once again answer the call to adventure to rescue her before it’s too late.
Where Will of the Wisps triumphs over other platformers of the same genre is its sense of scale. Each level is breathtakingly gorgeous and expertly crafted to where the player truly feels like they are being transported to another world with each biome they travel to, be it a dark and mysterious forest or a treacherous mountain range. The diversity of these levels coupled with the multitude of side-quest opportunities give the 2-D platformer an otherwise open-world feel.
Ori’s move-set is also another welcome feature of Will of the Wisps. As with Blind Forest, Ori is equipped with a slick arsenal of jumps, dives, and attacks; however, the newest feature that Will of the Wisps brings to the table is the spirit shards. Throughout the game, Ori collects what are known as spirit shards (objects that allow the player to alter Ori’s move-set and abilities).
Examples include the reckless and resilience shards, which allow Ori to do more damage and take less damage respectively, and the energy harvest shard that helps Ori recover more energy from defeated enemies. Not only do these shards allow players to increase Ori’s abilities, they also give them the chance to equip Ori with their own customized loadout, creating a more personalized gaming experience.
During these difficult times, people can use a little magic and beauty in their lives, and Moon Studios’ Ori and the Will of the Wisps delivers that in spades, a fun, albeit challenging platformer that is sure to please longtime fans of the genre and newcomers alike.