Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review

"Another Calling"


March 10, 2020 at 4:01am
By Jason Stettner

The adventure continues as Ori and his pals from the first game take care of a young owlet. That poor creature has some problems with flight, that is until Ori comes up with a simple solution. It’s during an opening flight that the two crash downwards onto a new landmass and become separated.

From that point; you’ll need to find the owlet, while also saving the land from the corruption that has spread here. It’s an evolution of the original game, pushing the boundaries of the hand drawn art design and also innovating upon elements that made the first so enticing. The story is well done, with some beautiful scenes that hit hard and feel like they’re out of a Disney movie. The narrative is well structured, and provides some dynamic situations.

That being said, I was not able to finish the game due to a glitch preventing me from getting necessary abilities to progress. I was essentially a boss battle away from facing the last challenge as I had worked my way towards the final door as well. That’s disappointing for sure. (Update: not a glitch, there was an odd back tracking area mixed with incorrect information provided. Embarrassing error in this situation, apologies for the inconvenience as I tried my best to coordinate information from the developers and PR prior to the game’s release which was over the weekend prior to launch.) That aside, there are other activities to take part in. There are side missions, and special Spirit Trials which are unique speed run challenges within the game.


This is a rather hardcore platformer, and it will definitely provide a challenge. I found this to be easier than the first game, yet harder during the more difficult portions. It’s an interesting balance, with the one Mora boss fight being rather ridiculous in my opinion. This is a very clever title in terms of its level design, and how it provides a system where you’re evolving as you play.

They give you the abilities you’re likely familiar with quicker, and then build upon those in interesting new ways. I also liked how this was more dynamic in extra abilities you could obtain. These shards could be chosen, and then upgraded to provide various benefits. You could also swap on the fly between what sort of powers Ori had available to use. The game is gorgeous, seriously the hand drawn visuals shine through and this is a quality example of a game being purely art.

The areas are distinct, full of depth and they feel lively. There are interesting enemies along the way, and constantly changing situations to challenge you. The game does suffer from performance issues, even with the day one update applied. They’re not the worst, but you will notice them and wonder why they’re present as it doesn’t seem like that demanding of an experience. It’s a shame that it didn’t have the polish I expect considering the development time behind this sequel.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Ori and the Will of the Wisps would be a masterpiece of an experience; one that you could describe as a perfect example of a game as art, held back by some technical issues. It’s still a beautiful game to play, and one that I feel will be smoothed out over time.

It takes great strides forward in regards to enhancing the gameplay of the original in new exciting, and creative ways. The challenge was fair, only being slightly brutal at times. It’s a remarkable story featuring a charming group of characters while centering around one poor little owlet. The enhanced light RPG mechanics worked well here, and it felt like I could customize how I interacted with the world just a little more.

The layout of the world was excellent, the dynamics of exploration were very well done. I did at times sort of wonder where I was headed, but it just took some small coordination to get back on track. This is definitely a worthwhile experience, and one that improves upon the original in many ways.

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Microsoft

Rating Overall: 8.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner