Perhaps due to the chaos caused by COVID-19, it feels like forever ago that I was playing Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Xbox One.
I remember it fondly – after all, I scored the game a great 8/10 – but it wasn’t without its faults. It had some troublesome technical issues at launch, as well as its fair share of bugs, and needless to say, they detracted a little from the experience. And so, its surprise launch on Nintendo Switch just over a week ago was genuinely a surprise. I mean, if the Xbox One had such a hard time running Ori and the Will of the Wisps perfectly, just what chance did the Switch have?
Well, colour me impressed: the Switch port of Ori and the Will of the Wisps is phenomenal. This is the exact same game that was released on Xbox One and PC earlier this year with most of its kinks now ironed out.
The only real compromise that has been made is that its visuals are now just a little blurrier – but not so much so that its sumptuous art is ruined. It may not look quite as nice as it does elsewhere, but Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Switch is still a sight to behold, with smooth animations and meticulously crafted environments. And best of all it still runs with a 60fps target, which it seemingly hits the majority of the time.
Picking up after the events of Ori and the Blind Forest, which also shines on Switch, Ori and the Will of the Wisps once again finds Ori in a perilous situation. After a flight with his best friend Ku ends in disaster, it’s up to Ori to fight a corruption that’s sweeping over the land, and hopefully save his friend in the process. Along the way he’ll make many new friends as well, but also stand off against some fearsome new adversaries. Thankfully, he has some new skills up his sleeve to help him achieve his goal.
As Metroidvanias go, they don’t get much better than Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Its world is large and begs to be explored, with secrets hidden in nooks and crannies. And it is filled with a wide variety of enemies, which you’ll need to devise effective strategies against to take down without coming to harm yourself. Perhaps its most thrilling moments, however, are its chases and boss fights, in which you’ll need to muster all of your skills to overcome. There is an easy mode if it all gets too much though.
Its last area is perhaps a bit of a let-down, but if you’ve played Ori and the Blind Forest and found it enjoyable, you really need to play Ori and the Will of the Wisps. And if you haven’t yet played either, seriously consider picking both up. This sequel is the better of the two, but they’re both brilliant games that are particularly enjoyable on Switch thanks to its portability. Though a word of warning: if you’re an emotional person, they’ll probably make you cry. But it’s testament to just how well put together these games are that they can instil such feelings.