Ori and the Blind Forest brings a sense of emotion that is quite rare to find amongst games. From the moment you are shown how Ori came to be whisked away by a great storm, captivation consumes your entire being. The music sweeps you up in a whirlwind of haunting instrumentals and spiritual vocals.
Platform Used For Ori and the Blind Forest Review: Dell XPS 17, Intel i7 2GHz, 8GB Ram, GeForce GT 555M 3GB
Developer: Moon Studios
Genre: Side Scroller/Platformer (Is emotional a genre?)
As you enter the game, you immediately become aware of how much love and effort has been impregnated into the story of Ori and the Blind Forest. Leaves dance around in the wind so beautifully that you almost miss the shining white light that has been caught in the gale. The clouds that make up the sky coalesce and morph in such a way that a tear could creep it’s way from the eye of the most stoic of people.
The white light flitters past a large form that has taken seat by a small tree that waves it’s branches in the wind. Curiosity grows inside the behemoth until it lifts itself off the ground and waddles down the hill after the strange white glow. The creature follows the light into an area called Swallow’s Nest.
Trees and leaves flutter in the wind as this strange blue and black form trudges it’s way through the grass and over a small rock in it’s path. The glowing white being once again appears, being led by the strong winds and eventually settles onto a small ledge. White light emanates from this newly introduced guest, temporarily blinding the blue and black beast. Picking up this bright white light, the larger form embraces it with a loving smile on it’s face.
I’m Already Tearing Up
This is the introduction to Ori and the Blind Forest that leaves you with many questions as to what you have just witnessed. And more importantly, who are these beings that seem to have become reunited.
To answer a few questions, the white light is named Ori and the blue and black creature is known as Naru. Ori is a white guardian spirit who is left to
explore the forest due to the actions of a malevolent entity known as Kuro. Naru eventually comes into the picture, guiding and assisting Ori along his journey. And then there’s Sein, the blue orb that appears above Ori’s head. As you gain experience, you can invest points into skills for both Ori and Sein that allow for a more in-depth exploration of the world. Much like the Metroid games, certain areas are off limits until you acquire such skills to venture forth into the unknown.
Throughout the world you will stumble across save points, but you can also creature “soul links” whenever you’d like, to create checkpoints. These can only be created by spending special resources that you can only collect by progressing throughout the game. But be wary as these resources don’t exist abundantly in the world and therefore should be used wisely.
As the story of Ori and the Blind Forest is an incredibly captivating and emotional one, I won’t reveal too much of what you can expect. Especially a certain scene later on involving Sein But in regards to the gameplay, you can be sure to expect plenty of puzzles, hard to reach areas and immersive skill trees.
There are three different skill trees to invest your hard earned points into. Efficiency, Utility and Combat are the three branches you can strengthen. The Combat tree allows you increase the strength of your attacks, Efficiency helps you gain extra experience, health and energy and the Utility tree grants you access to extra helpful skills like “Water Breath”.
Combat is slightly different to the conventional platformer in the sense that it relies on a lot of button pressing instead of what you’d usually expect. Ori’s main attack is a white flame that is automatically guided to the position of enemies. It can be slightly frustrating at times when the functionality leads to times where the shots aren’t coming on contact with the foe before you.
Going back to the reference to the Metroid series, Ori is just as agile as Samus ever was. Though unfortunately he never comes to close to being the killing machine that the protagonist of Metroid games throughout the years ever was. Nevertheless, if you put your mind to it, you can make Ori the best killing machine that you as the gamer can manage.
How Long Will I Be Emotional For?
One can complete Ori and the Blind Forest in around 10-12 hours depending on how good you are at puzzle solving.
Obviously if you sprint through the game and never stop to admire the beauty of the forest and world around you, you will probably be able to shoot through to the end much quicker. It can be quite a difficult game to play through, but in my opinion, that’s exactly what the developers were going for and I’m glad they did.
Ori and the Blind Forest is an incredibly awe-inspiring game that will leave you with feelings you didn’t know could be evoked by a computer game. However, unless you want to shed a tear a second time, there isn’t much in the form of replayability apart from a few extra collectables.
At times you will really feel like your a part of the world, or even Ori himself as you strive to bring peacefulness and hope to the world. There won’t be a single second where you don’t feel completely engulfed in the world of Ori and the Blind Forest. So please, do yourself a favour and purchase this astonishing example of real storytelling in a game. You won’t regret a cent of it.
5 stars – promising story to invest in