I’ve played my fair amount of games with emotional moments. But I don’t recall ever experiencing those kinds of moments so early on in games. But right from the off, Ori and the blind forest from Moon Studios gets you right in the feels. I won’t go in to any specific details about it, but I will say that within the first 10 minutes of playing I think the game gave me goose bumps ten times.
So what’s it about? (No spoilers)
You play as Ori, a white guardian spirit. Long ago, Ori fell into the forest and was adopted by a bear-like creature named Naru who raises Ori as her child. A cataclysmic event all but destroys the forest, forcing Ori to take on the quest to try to restore it to original state an ‘bring it back to life’ with the aid of Sein, who is a spirit guide of sorts.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I don’t really want to say to much more as I don’t want to give anything away.
So what’s it like?
Firstly, you can’t help but notice how amazing it looks, the game is full of vibrant colours and fantastic looking scenery and artwork.
Secondly, the soundtrack. I’m a very firm believer that a great soundtrack can really elevate a game to a completely different level. From the moment I saw the first ever trailer Ori and the Blind Forest I had a good feeling about it, and I was not wrong. The soundtrack written by Gareth Coker is stunning, it’s extremely moving and perfectly matches each scenario within the game. It’s everything I would expect from a soundtrack in a game like this.
But, the most important part has to be the gameplay, and don’t worry, it excels at this too. I’m only a couple of hours in so far so I haven’t exactly been able to try out all the mechanics properly. But, from what I’ve played so far, the gameplay is super smooth, very responsive and easy to pick up.
Dashing around in the forest is great fun in itself, mainly because it just looks so good. But it helps the movement flows very well, none of it feels clunky. Jumping from one obstacle to another and then jumping up a wall works like a dream, and if it wasn’t for those pesky enemies I feel like I could quite happily enjoy myself just running around.
There are some light RPG elements to the game, you can pick up what are basically experience points from killing enemies and once you have enough it will give you a point to spend on unlocking an ability. These can range from unlocking better attacks, to showing collectables on the map, and a load more.
A lot of reviews have talked about the difficulty of the game at times. Now, I know that I’m not that far in to it, so I guess it will become harder as I get further in to the game. But so far, it’s not presenting me with too many problems. Sure I’ve died a few times, but that’s mainly because I’ve been impatient on certain sections, or jumped to the wrong place at the wrong time. The most frustrating thing about this has been that I might not have saved it for a while, so it can drop you back a fair way. But if you’re sensible about it, and save pretty regularly then you’ll be fine. Although you can’t just save willy nilly, you have to gather up soul link ‘points’ and then you can use them to ‘create’ a save point, so far though, being able to save has been pretty easy as the points you can gather have been nice and frequent.
I could blab on about this more, but to be honest with you, all I will continue to say is how good the game has been so far. So basically, just go and buy it. You won’t regret it. It’s out on Xbox One and on Steam right now for around £15, and is coming to Xbox 360 at some point.