“Ori and the Blind Forest” is easily one of the most stylistically gorgeous games we’ve seen on Xbox One so far.
A traditional platformer that evokes memories of classics like “Metroid” and “Castlevania,” “Ori” puts players in control of a Guardian Spirit, which animates beautifully and jumps gracefully like a proboscis monkey in the treetops of Borneo.
Our demo at E3 contained no dialogue-heavy cut scenes, instead using music, simple animation, and a couple really tragic whimpers to convey a lot of emotion. This is going to be one of those games that might make you cry; we can feel that much already.
As you traverse the large, mazelike levels, you earn experience that grants you new skills, which then unlock new areas to explore. That classic platformer style is very present here, but in a way that feels like a love letter and a remix, rather than a clone or rip-off. There’s combat against aggressive forest creatures and cave dwellers, and some puzzles in the form of moving rocks to reach higher levels. It all felt very familiar, and at the same time like nothing we’ve played before.
In our demo time we were impressed by how tight and precise the controls were, a must for any good platformer. But the art style is what shines, literally. The main character actually glows, and lights up the environment around himself. Everything about “Ori and the Blind Forest” looks and sounds wonderful, a glow of light in the dark and gritty world of modern gaming, and it sticks in our minds still.
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