TODAY: Check out our thoughts on Ori and the Will of the Wisps, along with some tips to help get you started with the game, and the best place to buy it at the right price
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review
Moon Studios - Xbox One
Moon Studios’ sequel to their action-platformer, Ori and the Blind Forest, continues to raise the bar throughout its fifteen-hour duration, excelling in combat, story and art direction. Ori and the Will of the Wisps carefully weaves the heartfelt story of a tiny spirit and its owlet friend into an emotional journey that whisks you through the deepest reaches of a mysterious forest. Teeming with puzzles, hidden areas and side quests, there’s plenty to do to keep you playing - and you’ll certainly want to.
Starting off without any abilities, you’re placed in the middle of a large map and left to explore. Interacting with the creatures that reside in the grassy nooks of Inkwater Marsh, you begin to learn more about your mystical surroundings. Acquiring abilities from glowing trees, and locating Spirit Shards in the world, Ori’s arsenal evolves. As you navigate each new area (and later backtrack in true Metroidvania fashion) you develop your combat style, balancing your health and energy to face enemies head-on and defeat bosses. While the combat is challenging to adjust to at first, mastering it feels incredibly rewarding.
Visually, this game is one of the best looking platformers I have ever played. Thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere system, I could seamlessly transfer my save from PC to Xbox. Half of my playthrough was completed on my PC, with the other half taking place using an Xbox One X. The PC version of the game runs perfectly without any issues whatsoever. I played the game at 120hz on an ultrawide monitor, both of which were no problem for Ori. On the Xbox One X however, I suffered from a number of performance issues like the frame rate suddenly dropping in a few demanding areas. Though this was annoying at times, I would still recommend playing the game if you only have an Xbox.
Verdict: Ori and the Will of the Wisps wasn’t on my radar thanks to the other major releases on the horizon, but I’m so impressed by it that I just want to tell everyone about it. Every boss fight has been meticulously crafted to make for exhilarating sequences that put your knowledge of your abilities, and quick reactions, to the test. Backtracking feels worthwhile as Moon Studios utilise space well, introducing new mechanics that later open up areas that were previously out of reach. Ori’s story will no doubt tug at your heartstrings, too. Whether you’re a loyal fan of Ori and the Blind Forest, or have never ventured into this world before, pick up Ori and the Will of the Wisps now. You won’t regret it.
+ Combat feels rewarding to master
+ Rich world with interesting mechanics that make backtracking feel worthwhile
+ The HDR support is jaw-dropping on Xbox One X
- Frame-rate drops in certain areas (Xbox version only)
- Some of the achievements seem impossible to acquire
Getting Started Tips Guide
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Tips
Whether you are just starting your Ori and the Will of the Wisps playthrough or you are currently playing the game and you want some tips to help you along your way, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve written a guide with five of the most helpful tips players should use when attempting to get through this surprisingly tricky game.
Grab Spirit Smash early on
Within the first hour of the game, you will be given a list of discounted abilities to purchase from Opher. You will always want to pick Spirit Smash as your first ability as it provides the most utility from almost any ability in the game. The Spirit Smash is unique as it doesn’t require any energy from Ori and it is useful both in and outside of combat. As this ability is essentially a giant hammer, you can use it to smash enemies along the floor and even break their shields/armour. Outside of combat, you can use the Spirit Hammer to break specific platforms and to gain some extra height when attempting to reach high areas.
Learn to hot swap abilities
You can assign three abilities to the face buttons, but by the end of the game, you should have access to twelve that you can use at any time. We recommend keeping your primary attack button on X, stick with Spirit Arc on Y and have B as your hot swap button. As we mentioned earlier, Spirit Smash is incredibly useful, however, there are times where you will need to regenerate your health. Limiting the B button as your hot swap button makes switching out abilities on the fly much easier in the long run.
Save your money until you find this Spirit Shard
You can purchase Spirit Shards from an NPC (Twillen) who gives you access to passive power-ups – the most useful power-up of the bunch is the Triple Jump Spirit Shard. Coming in at a whopping 2200 Spirit Light, this is by far one of the most important things you can spend your money on as it will allow you to access almost every hidden location in the game. There are three Spirit Shards that we would consider to be essential in Ori: Magnet, Sticky and Triple Jump. The first two are acquired very early on, but Triple Jump will take you a while to save up for. Trust us, it is worth every penny.
Take as much time as you need fighting enemies
Some of the enemies in this game can be pretty cruel (we are looking at you, spiders!) but if you take your time and carefully plan your attack, you should have no problems. We found that attacking with the Spirit Edge in bursts of three is better than mashing because most enemies are ready to hit you by your fourth attack. You’ll want to get good at the combat because the rewards for completing Combat Trials are Shard Slot Upgrades, and these are incredibly useful to collect as the right combination of Spirit Shards can make you practically unstoppable.
Remember to check the map for warp zones
You can fast travel at any point in Ori as long as you have unlocked the specific warp zones. There aren’t too many of these locations in the game, but you’ll want to utilise these whenever possible. At first, we thought you had to be at a warp zone in order to travel from place to place, but if you simply highlight a warp zone on the map and hold A, it will take you there immediately. The blacksmith will make you a warp zone for only one Gorlek Ore, so you should try to buy this as soon as possible as fast traveling saves a lot of time overall.
How long will it take to complete?
It took me around eleven hours to finish the game, having collected all abilities and roughly half of the available Spirit Shards. Completionists could easily sink considerably more time into collecting everything and acquiring some of the more challenging achievements.
Best Place to Buy Ori and the Will of the Wisps
As Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an Xbox Game Studios title, it arrives on Xbox Game Pass at launch. Xbox Game Pass is by far the cheapest way to play the game coming in at only £1 for the first month if you are a new customer. If you desperately want to pick up a physical copy of the game, you can purchase it from The Game Collection for only £22.95. PC players can buy the game on Steam, but it will set you back the full RRP of £24.99.
Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Christian Vaz and Jamie Davey.