Thursday, March 26, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 270 - Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Today's game for Eric Vs. 365 is Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It's good, but ... The problem with following up a brilliant and near-perfect game is that, no matter how good it is, it probably won't have the same impact as the first one. It will probably be technically better, and perhaps more polished, but the awe and wonder and magic of entering that world for the very first time is lost forever. I'm not talking about every game series, or every sequel, either. I'm talking about those once-in-a-generation experiences that are truly special and basically impossible to replicate. Read more and watch gameplay below.

I consider Ori and the Blind Forest to be one of the best games ever and certainly the best 2-3 games of the current Xbox One / PS4 generation. It is amazing. It is near perfect. It is extremely memorable. It is emotional. It is gorgeous looking. It has great music. It had a huge impact on me back in 2015. Because of all of this, any sequel was probably doomed to be less impressive to me just because I built the first one up in my mind so much that it would be impossible to top. 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a great game in its own right, too, but feels somehow lesser than Ori and the Blind Forest. The visuals are better and the gameplay advancements - normal checkpoint saves! - are welcome, though I don't really enjoy the shift towards more combat. I don't feel like the music is as good. And I also don't think the emotional moments have nearly the impact of those from the first game. I think that, overall, Will of the Wisps isn't terribly memorable, and that's my problem with it. The first game had great sequences that really stuck with you and the awesome music and great story. Will of the Wisps is just kind of more of the same, but nothing really stands out in my mind. 

Don't misunderstand. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is great and nearly perfect on its own merits, but it isn't a huge generational leap like Ori and the Blind Forest. It reminds me of BioShock 2. BioShock 2 is absolutely 100% a better game than BioShock 1, but because it was largely a re-tread of stuff we'd already seen, it made zero impact. Going back to Rapture and doing mostly the same stuff didn't have the same awe and wonder compared to the first time. Well, running around in Ori's world again and doing mostly the same stuff just doesn't wow me like it did in 2015. 

Ori and the Blind Forest is an easy 10/10. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is at least a 9/10.