Ori and the Blind Forest tells the tale of a young orphan destined for heroics, through a visually stunning action platformer crafted by Moon Studios for Xbox One and PC. New in the Definitive Edition Packed with new and additional content: New areas, new secrets, new abilities, more story sequences, multiple difficulty modes, full backtracking support, and much more! Discover Naru's past in two brand new environments. Master two powerful new abilities - Dash and Light Burst. Find new secret areas and explore Nibel faster by teleporting between Spirit Wells.
The forest of Nibel is dying. After a powerful storm sets a series of devastating events in motion, an unlikely hero must journey to find his courage and confront a dark nemesis to save his home. Ori and the Blind Forest tells the tale of a young orphan destined for heroics, through a visually stunning action-platformer crafted by Moon Studios for Xbox One and PC. Featuring hand-painted artwork, meticulously animated character performance, and a fully orchestrated score, Ori and the Blind Forest explores a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.
The game was announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 (E3) on 11 June 2017 with a teaser trailer. The trailer depicts new lands, and Ori with a young owl. Gareth Coker, who performed during the E3 unveiling, was similarly announced to return to compose the score. Moon Studios lead developers Gennadiy Korol and Thomas Mahler commented that the team is "crazy iterative" when developing the game. For example, the E3 2017 teaser trailer went through 2,000 iterations during polishing. As for setting the standard and vision of the game, Mahler said that "Will of the Wisps should be to Blind Forest what Super Mario Bros. 3 was to the original Super Mario Bros On 7 August 2017, AM2R developer Milton Guasti was announced to have joined the Ori team as a level designer. Moon Studios released a video in October 2017 that showcased the design program used to develop cinematics of the game. The program reportedly allowed animators to make changes while in progress and thus allows for a more flexible and streamlined process. A second trailer was revealed at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 on June 10 2018, depicting new NPCs, bosses, movement and combat abilities, and revealing its 2019 release date.
Players assume control of Ori, a white guardian spirit. To progress in the game, players are tasked to move between platforms and solve puzzles. Similarly to The Blind Forest, Will of the Wisps is expected to feature a system called "soul links", which allows players to save at will, and an upgrade system that gives players the ability to strengthen Ori's skills. The game world unfolds to the player in the fashion of a Metroidvania, with new abilities allowing the player to access previously inaccessible areas. Some of the foundational gameplay elements were inspired by the Rayman and Metroid franchises. The game story is centered on a new adventure to discover the world beyond the forest of Nibel, uncover the truths of the lost ones, and unearth Ori's true destiny.
Ori and the Blind Forest received generally favourable reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic, with praise particularly directed to the game's story, visuals, gameplay, music, exploration, and environmental design. Metacritic gave the Microsoft Windows version 88/100 based on 12 reviews, and the Xbox One version 88/100 based on 73 reviews. Writing for Game Informer, Andrew Reiner gave the game a 9.5/10, praising its accessible yet challenging gameplay, well-designed controls, strong storytelling, surprising plot twists, rewarding exploration, orchestrated music, breathtaking and mesmerizing environmental design, as well as the wonderfully scripted challenges, which require players to utilize creative thinking. However, he stated that the combat system in the game is not as refined as the platforming. He named the game "one of the best games of the year" and claimed that "There isn't a bad moment in Ori and the Blind Forest". Chris Carter from Destructoid also gave the game a 9.5/10, praising its well-executed and light narrative, satisfying upgrades as well as the visuals, which he compared to the Rayman series, but he stated that "[Ori] easily surpasses them in quality." He also praised the game for allowing players to set their own checkpoints anytime. He summarized the review by saying that "It succeeds in being both a great introduction to the genre and a rewarding experience for the hardcore audience" and called the game "a new classic [as a metroidvania]"