Gaming Target was recently invited to check out an Xbox One game that a lot of people are looking forward to, Ori and the Blind Forest. For those who aren’t familiar with Ori and the Blind Forest it can be simply categorized as a “Metroidvania” type of game. In fact the development team has said that Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past were used as inspirations during the development cycle. Much like other “Metroidvania” type games there is a bunch of exploration here with some backtracking as you find items in the world and gain abilities. There are puzzles to be solved such as finding two pieces of an item to open a door so you can proceed and things of that nature.
When I sat down to spend my brief amount of time with this game I was excited to finally experience it as I do tend to enjoy these types of games. The art style is absolutely beautiful and I was happy to see that the game controlled really well. People will be happy to hear that you can pretty much save at any point in the game. You simply hold down the “B” button at any time to create your soul link and save. Ori also features some light RPG elements by being able to upgrade your character with different abilities and utilizing a skill tree to try and reach where you want to go. Once you have earned the ability to upgrade you create a soul link once again and quickly push the “B” button (as opposed to holding it down like I said earlier for saving purposes).
When you pause the game you are able to see a bunch of different items. There are stats you can look at such as how much time you have played, what percentage of the game you have completed and much more. You can also see what world events have taken place as well as look at your skill tree and try to plan your path accordingly depending on what abilities you want to unlock first.
As you are playing Ori you will come across a “spirit light”. You need to find these to gain ability points which will in turn allow you to upgrade. There are also energy shards strewn around the environment that will restore power to Ori’s energy cells which is important because you will need that to perform various actions, such as saving.
There are a lot of different abilities to unlock in the game and I obviously didn’t have the time to experiment with all of them but some of the ones I did get to play around with include:
Ultra Soul Link - This restores two energy cells
Energy Efficiency - Energy pickups reward 50% more energy
Ultra Stomp - Increases damage radius and greatens damage by Stomp
Life Markers - Makes Life Cells show up on the map
Rekindle - Allows reusing Soul Links and shortens the cooldown timer
These are just a few of the abilities in the game and I definitely look forward to trying them out all when the game is finally released.
For those who don’t know much about Ori and the Blind Forest, it is going to be a “coming of age” story. A long time ago Ori fell into the forest and was adopted by a bear like creature who raised Ori. Events transpire and Ori is left to explore the forest on his own. When you start out you are very weak and can only really jump. Even in the short amount of time I got to play this game I did enjoy the progression system though beginning as a weak character and unlocking different abilities which allowed me to clear obstacles that were previously blocking my path.
Ori and the Blind Forest takes place on one large map and is currently set to run at 1080p, 60 frames per second with no loading time as you explore. I can say that during my time with the game I didn’t witness any loading time at all as I went from place to place within the forest.
Ori and the Blind Forest is a very interesting game and one I have been looking forward to playing for quite a while. Now that I have spent a little bit of time with it I am excited to get the finished product and really sink my teeth into the experience. Ori and the Blind Forest will be available on Xbox One and PC beginning on March 11, 2015 for the price of $19.99. Check out some new footage that the development recently released and tell us what you think. Are you excited for Ori and the Blind Forest?
Stay tuned for our other preview coverage over the next couple of days.