PLATFORM: PC, SWITCH (REVIEWED), XBOX ONE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
When Ori and The Blind Forest got a surprise launch on the Switch last September, the game felt a natural fit on the platform. Twelve months later, it's happened again with the surprise launch of the sequel.
Ori and the Will of The Wisps continues the story, this time focusing on Ori's friendship with a baby owl. As ever the story is full of emotion, enhanced by the excellent score and stunning visuals that don't quite pop too well in handheld mode but look stunning on the TV.
The gameplay, like the original, is an open world, exploration platformer. This time though, although the main quest is still just as linear, there are plenty of optional side quests on offer. The platforming still flows well, linking together multiple skills to clear large distances at speed. The combat is slightly improved over the original, giving Ori a melee attack rather than auto aiming orbs, however it's still an area where the series is lacking over similar title in its genre such as Hollow Knight.
Ori's certainly one of the most beautiful platformers, especially once you get out of the dark areas, and there is a lot of detail in both the foreground and the background. This can be slightly problematic though, as sometimes background objects look like platforms you can jump on, leading you to plunge to your doom.
The game runs OK on the Switch but is not without its issues. Occasionally the menu screen can take a while to load, and in a few areas the camera just doesn't pan quickly enough. We also encountered a couple of bugs where Ori got stuck in the scenery and we had to reload an older save, as well as a complete crash that sent us back to the Switch home screen. Hopefully the developers will patch these, but the issues are infrequent enough for them to only dampen the experience slightly.
Like any good sequel, Ori and the Will of Wisps builds upon the solid foundations of the original and improves on it in every way. What it lacks in new ideas, it makes up for in expanding existing ones. A few technical difficulties do not stop this being one of the better games in an overcrowded genre.