The Legendary Game of 2020 – Ori and the Will of the Wisps
March 11th, 2020
Jaw-dropping artwork and smooth animations
A bunch of more abilities
Actual melee and ranged weapons
Equippable skills (think Hollow Knight's charms)
Actual boss fights
NPCs and sidequests
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a worthy sequel to the already outstanding Ori and the Blind Forest, and it’s a home run. Our favorite gaming experience of 2022 mixes the best of storytelling with fun action-platforming.
Ori, the little spirit, is no stranger to danger, but when the owlet Ku is in danger due to a fateful flight, it will take more than bravery to reunite a family, mend a damaged land, and learn Ori’s true destiny. The highly anticipated sequel comes from the developers of the critically acclaimed action-platformer Ori and the Blind Forest. Embark on a brand-new journey in a large universe full of fresh companions and opponents brought to life with breathtaking, hand-painted artwork. Ori and the Will of the Wisps, set to a fully orchestrated original score, continuing Moon Studios’ heritage of carefully designed platforming action and deeply emotive storytelling.
As you progress and gain more powers (even more than in the original game), Ori’s motions become more monkey-like, allowing you to explore more of the area. Every nook and crevice of the map transforms into a lovely playground with hidden nuggets/collectibles. The varied concepts may easily be coupled with one another because of the responsive controls, resulting in rapid, nimble, and fluid movement – which is ideal for the exciting escape sequences and thrilling boss confrontations.
The excellent script and direction of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, together with the stunning imagery and wonderful soundtrack, create an experience that feels like a storybook coming to life. We wouldn’t want to spoil the tale for you, so do yourself a favor and purchase the game. We’re not ashamed to admit that we cried like a baby several times. This game has auto-save; the AI saves the game for you, and thank goodness they got rid of the manual save mechanism from the original game.
Ori doesn’t have the auto-lock on spirit fire attack anymore, which we didn’t like. Instead, you can use the X, Y, B (Square, Triangle, and Circle on PlayStation) buttons to acquire and enhance a variety of skills (including combat and ranged assaults). Combat options were lacking in the original, thus this personalization boost is really welcome. We couldn’t get enough of the huge hammer and Shock Smash upgrade, to be honest.
Ori may now use Spirit Shards in the same way that he could with charms in Hollow Knight (equipable items that provide upgrades to you or your abilities). The personalization choices in Ori and the Will of the Wisps, once again, allow for a more self-tailored experience. We had two sets of Spirit Shards that were suitable for our playstyle: one for exploration and the other for battle.
Any warpstone or collectible you come across is automatically displayed on the map without the need for a map upgrade (as was the case in the original). The map also makes it very clear where the goal is, which regions you’ve explored and which you haven’t, and it even shows your most recent movement as a dotted line, making it extremely tough to become lost or bewildered. Additionally, you can now teleport to any warpstone from any place, considerably reducing the need for retracing and aiding the game’s pace.
There were several excellent side quests featured in this game, but one, in particular, stood out to us: “hand to hand.” It’s basically a trade sequence quest in which you help the following NPC by giving them the item that the previous NPC provided you. Helping the numerous species in Ori and the Will of the Wisps made us feel like we were contributing to the forest’s survival.
After you meet important NPCs in the outdoors, such as vendors, they will relocate to the main center in Wellspring Glades. NPCs will migrate to this safe haven because the region is ravaged by corruption and tyrannized by the terrible Shriek, unwittingly establishing a varied society. You can also upgrade the main hub by offering resources such as Gorlek ore and mystery seeds obtained on your adventure to Grom (builder) and Tuley (gardener) to convert it into a bustling village. Investing in the community felt good, and it motivated us to find all the collectibles and assist all NPCs.
This argument may likely appeal to you if collecting everything is your cup of tea (as it is ours as well). You can either buy or get map improvements that mark the position of all missing collectibles, making them much easier to find. Furthermore, if you need to farm for more currency, Spirit Shards can be used to speed up the process; for example, by combining Consume (Enemies have 70% more Life and deal 70% more damage, but drop double currency) with Turmoil (Enemies have 70% more Life and deal 70% more damage, but drop double currency) (Enemies respawn faster). The game immediately pauses if your controller disconnects, which is a nice touch by Moon Studios.
We had so much fun playing Ori and the Will of the Wisps that the end was bittersweet. We were sad because, as much as we enjoyed the game, we knew it would be a long time before another game could sweep us away in the same manner. Most of us, we’re sure, have at least one game that we wish we could erase from our minds and play again – Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of them. If you liked Ori and the Blind Forest, this is a must-have sequel, and it comes highly recommended to everyone else.