Ori & The Blind For­est

TekSavvy Insider - - Contents -

Clearly set­ting out its stall to be re­garded as one of the best look­ing plat­form­ers of all time, Ori and the Blind For­est is an aes­thetic mas­ter­class from de­vel­oper Moon Stu­dios. It’s a ca­coph­ony of colours and con­trast, with su­perb light­ing ef­fects adding beau­ti­ful ac­cents through­out the ex­pe­ri­ence, but there’s an aw­ful lot more to this game than just good looks and ba­sic plat­form­ing.

In­stead, this is a game that’s as chal­leng­ing as it is gor­geous, but thanks to a won­der­fully bal­anced dif­fi­culty curve, it rarely throws too much at play­ers too soon, al­low­ing them to grad­u­ally get into the swing of things as the game’s charm­ing over­ar­ch­ing sto­ry­line plays out. Things start off rou­tinely enough, with ba­sic jump­ing tak­ing the early fo­cus be­fore Ori be­gins to un­lock new abil­i­ties, each of which help solve prob­lems or tackle enemies in new ways, and it’s all very well man­aged, with ex­plo­ration en­cour­aged ( although, sadly, there’s no re­vis­it­ing to search for hid­den items once the game has been com­pleted) and plenty of things to dis­cover through­out. With a pow­ered up Ori now able to take on the game’s enemies head to head, the game takes on a sec­ond lease of life, and edges into Metroid­va­nia ter­ri­tory, ar­guably as well as any game we’ve seen in the past few years, with plenty of back­track­ing through ear­lier stages on the way to new lo­ca­tions. Po­ten­tially the most di­vi­sive fea­ture of Ori and the Blind For­est is its dun­geon es­cape se­quences. Com­ing at the end of each of the game’s three dun­geons, un­sur­pris­ingly enough, play­ers will be forced to race per­ilously through in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­ments on their way to safety, all with­out check­points or the abil­ity to save mid- level. There’s plenty of frus­tra­tion lurk­ing in th­ese sec­tions, but the sense of ac­com­plish­ment when mus­cle mem­ory prevails and you emerge un­scathed on the other side is noth­ing short of in­cred­i­ble. With a good 8- 10 hours of game­play here, as well as plenty of Achieve­ments to chal­lenge play­ers to up their game ( com­plet­ing the en­tire game with­out dy­ing is borderline im­pos­si­ble, so fair dues to any­one who man­ages that one), Ori and the Blind For­est is right up there with the very best dig­i­tal only ti­tles in re­cent mem­ory, and it’s one that ev­ery Xbox One owner should be adding to their col­lec­tion sooner rather than later.

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