Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s nigh on flawless.
The game is beautiful, enormous, and incredibly polished. The controls are tight enough they feel like an extension of your body. On top of that, this is the kind of game I’ve loved ever since I first discovered there was such a things as computer games.
Jump around. Explore. Wonder what’s just outside the screen.
For me, the platformer is the quintessential computer game, and while I’m sure that can be argued, it’s not an opinion based on logic or reasoning. It’s just the way it is – probably because that’s what I played when I grew up, and what I enjoyed the most.
Moon Studios has taken everything that’s good about platformers, polished it to a shine, and created a gaming experience I will remember for a long time. It’s hard to believe this is an indie title.
The size of the game didn’t strike me until I’d already played a few hours. I’d defeated a boss, found some cool stuff, and reached something that felt like a milestone. I was pretty sure I was closing in on the end, and I was happy with that. I felt like I’d gotten value for my money, and that I’d had a good time.
That’s when the game actually started.
That’s when the world opened up and it was shown to me that I’d completed about ten percent of the game. There was more to do – a whole lot more to do. My jaw dropped and I sat there trying to make sense of things. I nearly gave up on playing, because it was a bit overwhelming thinking about how much there was left to do.
I stuck with it, though, and I’m glad I did.
There was always something new to explore. New abilities to learn, and new mechanics to master.
The world is huge and varied, both visually and mechanically, and when I finally completed the game, after nearly twenty hours of played time, I couldn’t remember a time where anything had felt repetitive.
What I’ll whine about:
The story. There is a story, and we’re reminded about it once in a while, but due to the sheer size of the game, and the joy of exploring the world and solving the puzzles, the story gets lost. It’s not that the story is bad, there’s just so much else going on. The story is more of an excuse to go adventuring than something that motivates you to finish the game.
The controls. For the most part, the controls are super tight, but later in the game, it sometimes got a bit complicated for my old brain. Both bumper buttons are used for slingshotting through various hanging anchor points, and I kept getting them mixed up. It’s probably the best way it could be done to give the player full control over the situation, but personally I wasn’t always able to keep up.
The graphics: gorgeous.
The controls: exceptional.
The world: enormous.
The polish: splendid.
I could keep heaping praise on the game, but you probably get it now.
If you have a game pad, and even a passing interest in platformers, this is an essential title.