What a breath-taking experience.
It’s a wonder up until now that I haven’t played Ori and the Blind Forest, but with Moon studios teasing the next game in the series I thought it was about time I took this beautiful platformer for a spin.
I’m starting to love action platformers lately. I think part of that is because of Ori, and rightfully so. The game has received wonderful reviews and scores that would make the best AAA title blush, but why?
Ori and the Blind Forest is simply a story of a lost child, lost from the Spirit Tree, Ori, who must muster up the strength to return the light that was stolen by Kuru, a giant owl shrouded in darkness. As Ori you must overcome many challenges whilst on your journey and as you’d expect from an action platformer, you will die… a lot. The game doesn’t make you feel good for the deaths either, it shows how many you’ve had and there’s even an achievement for completing the game without dying, safe to say that I didn’t achieve that.
The music is composed by Gareth Coker is vital to the atmosphere, it fights the claustrophobia that a 2D platformer can often fall victim of. Such an amazing amount of effort has been put into the music and you can tell, it gives you a sense of sheer hope as the melody rises and falls. The soundtrack mixes beautifully with the story and the art style of the game very well. I cannot explain just how much the music makes the game that much better, it truly makes Ori’s journey feel like it is the last hope and surely if you were to fail, the world would fade into darkness.
Combine the music with the level design and there is no question why the game is so highly rated. The level designs truly test you by carefully placing enemies, traps and hazards forcing you to consider new approaches every time. Watching Ori bounce around the carefully made environments provides such joy that you really do not want that section to end, only to be surprised by the next environment dragging you back deeper into the story being told.
The abilities in Ori provide a unique feel to the gameplay, allowing Ori to use classic abilities like double jump and wall jumping to reach areas of the map previously inaccessible. The games progression is based off gaining new abilities and motivates you to back track to search areas you couldn’t get to before. My favourite ability is Bash, which allows Ori to propel himself off enemy projectiles. This allows you to reach unexplored areas, fire projectiles into walls to reveal secrets, complete puzzles and if you want, send enemies their projectiles back. This ability is incredible and was surely the reason I couldn’t get angry at the dying. It is a pure joy being able to send projectiles flying back at enemies, leaving you smiling and feeling like a complete badass.
Ori and the blind forest was a beautiful story in which there are many twist, turns and even some tear-jerking moments. Once you’ve completed the game you can attempt to complete the game in record time or with no deaths, or if you are anything like me (A often terrible risk taker) allow yourself to experience the beautiful, breath taking story that is Ori and the Blind forest one last time.
Be sure to keep your eyes open and watch the trailers for Ori and the Will of the Wisps, coming 2019.