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Video: Ori And The Will Of The Wisps: Fairytale Metroidvania In Preview
You typically jump over platforms, jump up vertical cliffs by wall jump and overcome thorn tendrils or poisonous water. This time Ori also shuffles along moss and can hold onto vertical walls independently (as soon as he has learned the ability). For this reason alone, the jump passages are considerably less frustrating than in the prequel. This time the little hero not only learns double, but even triple jumps.
In addition, he can pull on protrusions using gripping hooks. Ori is also allowed to dig through loose surfaces such as sand. Little by little, new skills are unlocked. However, no longer in a linear manner as in part 1. Instead, you put up to three learned special skills directly on the action buttons. At the same time, three passive skills can be equipped.
More extensive equipment is available for the constant battles against emerging opponents. With bows and arrows you can shoot at enemies from a distance or trigger switches. Again, a sword attack is used, as well as a hammer, bombs and torch. With the latter you also set flammable environments on fire. Ori again offers simple switch puzzles, but in some places you get pondering how to proceed.
Ori and The Will of the Wisps builds heavily on the Metroidvania principle: If you do not get ahead at one point, you continue somewhere else and unlock the perhaps crucial element. So you open passages with collected stones, lower the water level or break barriers. Slowly an ever bigger 2D game world opens up with many secrets and hidden bonuses. Any backtracking can be worth it as soon as you have learned new skills.
What immediately captivates you is the fairytale environment. Ori does without opulent 3D graphics, instead relies entirely on lovingly hand-drawn backdrops. The skilful coloring always creates the right mood when you move between forests, swamps and sandy climes. A look at the overview map is crucial to help you find out where to go from there.
In addition, the world appears much more alive than the lonely Nibel forest of the predecessor. Because you meet all sorts of friendly characters. They ask for help for a side quest or offer interesting skills to buy. You will also receive useful tips or map fragments. Will of the Wisps is full of little stories and cutscenes, which makes the whole adventure seem bigger and more substantial. If you want to sink into Ori's world from the release on March 11, 2020, you can pre-order Ori and the Will of the Wisps for Xbox One on Amazon.
After the audition it becomes clear: Ori and the Will of the Wisps offers more of everything, be it story, characters, skills or the size of the game world. It's also nice that the eponymous hero has more options to overcome obstacles and opponents. At the same time, the adventure scores in terms of atmosphere. Above all thanks to the wonderful, two-dimensional natural environment with its subtle and varied animations and a convincing depth effect. On top of that, the harmonious soundtrack has catchy tunes.