The conclusions of the 2015 puzzle platform Ori and Blind Forest are very firm. When it comes to money in the game standings, everything is fine in the game world, this is not a disruptor. Of course, this poses a problem for the sequel.
Ori developer Moon Studios wants another Ori adventure, but the studio also doesn't want to reverse the conclusion of the original game. The result is a lot of thinking and iteration at the top of development-finding a way out of the narrative and even system design corners, and the end of this successful first game has pushed developers into a dilemma. This certainly sounds like a difficult process, but it also seems to have created some gems. Wisps' will is arguably the most difficult to resolve, and this is probably its best new feature.
"With Wisps's will, we're really working hard," explained Daniel Smith, senior producer of Wisps's will for Ori and Xbox Game Studios. We didn't really try to make version 1.5 or similar, but we tried to make such a large and authentic sequel. "
Ori has completed the "version 1.5" work in the final version of the first game, which expands, tweaks, and improves the experience for Xbox One and PC players, and then provides a better experience for players on the Nintendo Switch. Wisps' last will return to the first two platforms where Xbox is first, but its ambitions make it possible to return to the more traditional "exclusive" platform version.
"Part of the design challenge is to create many new things while taking advantage of the many moments and features that people really like in the blind forest, and make these new things smooth enough to fit tightly with what we propose," Smith continued.
By the way, much progress has been made. The story is still told in the same fascinating, restrained way, for example, with little text and no identifiable phonological works-just inexplicable animal and language and ancient language. The award-winning elements of the original game are intact; the beautiful music and striking visual style created by Gareth Coker uses light in a charming and beautiful way to achieve the best results. Other than that the game is bigger, this hasn't changed much-the entire map of the blind forest can be placed on a part of the "Pokemon Will". In four hours of hands-on operation, I hardly felt that I even started using it.
Of course, this brings us to the big change I mentioned earlier-this is the fighting power of the game. In the case that the first game was mainly a puzzle game, a platform game, and an exploration-driven game, the combat power was almost a small gain, and the "Wizard's Will" battle was even more important. It's an interesting wrinkle considering that Ori's main attack method has been removed from the picture at the end of the game. Smith explained that Moon Studios' development team didn't want to go the easy way of undoing the ending, so rethink the combat system from scratch.
This change is no small earthquake for the series. Now, Battle is just as advanced as Anything, and as complex and complex as an exploration game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Smith sees the game as two Ori games Litmus test.
"The continuity problems we encountered and the desire to make a difference in battle later helped each other eventually," Smith said. "We have a lot of early prototypes, such as-if Ori is wielding melee weapons, or Ori uses a different spell. What about abilities and what actually needs precise targeting? That just took a lot of time, let's try it, and let us give it to those who didn't create it.
"You know, how do you feel about this? No, they don't like that. Let's hurry up on this idea. Let's improve it … Really, I think we have developed a new combat system, which not only Improved combat participation in the game, and-very importantly-still feels fluid. Ori is as agile and ninja as the original game, but you have all these new options to fight the enemy. "
Therefore, Ori may be a creature's sweet and glowing little ghost, but it can wield sword-like or hammer-like weapons, and they are different in battle. One of the earliest upgrades to get is a bow and arrow, which can be used to fight and solve puzzles-then there are two jumps, blink-like dashes, etc. Many of these forces also affect traversal, which is still an important pillar of Ori, but many of these functions are closely related to new types of combat. Fast arrows may stun the attacked enemy. The dash can keep you away from attacking enemies, or close the gap so that you can lower the hammer-in fact, this is the weapon you are equipped with.
"I think we really like their combination," Smith said.
The result is a satisfying battle, which is amazing for a game about cute little animals. Ori is no longer a child with big eyes, but more like a real hero. At its best, the battle is similar to the best moments of 2D Castlevania-trembling back and forth, dodging attacks, and then decisively attacking the enemy. Most importantly, it's fun.
If you prefer the platform and story of the original Ori, and don't like twitch combat, then don't worry-the team has considered it. So it also thinks of those who love fighting but suffer on precision platforms. There were many difficult settings this time-something was missing from the first release of the original game-but there were also shards, special abilities that could be found in the world, and Ori's ability settings could be changed. Sharding is almost like the core mod of the game, and has multiple effects to meet the needs of different players.
"The sharding system really plays a pivotal role in how you customize and adjust your difficult experience," Smith said. "Many skilled players, or maybe speed runners, we know these players will choose to bring them Come with more offensive shards, and may suffer more damage. Inexperienced players will be more inclined to use shards to enhance defense or provide more help in navigation or traversal. "
Shards have a wide range of functions, from damage or defense gains or debuffs, to extra jumps (for those less comfortable platform operations), to personal favorite "sticky" fragments that allow you to "stick" to surfaces To jump for a while, making accurate wall jumps much easier. This is very useful for beginners or those who may be obsessed with specific aspects of the game, but of course it also has a great meaning for speed running and optimization, which is itself a major attraction of this type of game.
But honestly, who would have thought? The biggest addition to Xbox's cute puzzle game platform sequel is a huge expansion in combat power-now equal to the best combat power of its kind. good stuff. Ori and Wisps of Wisps will be released for Xbox One and PC in a few weeks on March 11th-as Microsoft's first-party title, it will be the Xbox One X Enhanced, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere titles.