Xbox One Review: Ori and the Blind Forest

Is there more to this than meets the eye?

Ori and the Blind Forest is a platformer designed with Metroidvania-style backtracking, secrets and plenty of amazing moments that make it memorable. One thing that makes Ori stand out is its visuals, an animated style that is just sublime to see and is without a doubt, the best looking game of this generation.
The game has the saddest start to any game I’ve seen, it made any Disney death like in Bambi and Lion King look amateur in comparison. Ori is abandoned yet again in the forest but begins a quest to save it from dark forces, let me start by saying that even though Ori is incredibly cute to look at and the game has an anime look to it, don’t be fooled…it is an incredibly difficult game. You will die plenty of times as you work out where to go next or try and find upgrades, hidden areas and the enemies will not cut you a break, not for a second.
The thing about the game is that you can save it anywhere, as long as you have enough orbs in your collection to use. It helps for sure, but I found myself saving very, very often just so I didn’t have to repeat a tough section. Killing enemies will gain you experience orbs for upgrades to your attacks, while working through the game will net you new moves and attacks to your arsenal. It can be relentless at times, challenging you at every turn and the team knows it…why else would they be so sadistic as to add achievements like not dying once or never using a skill point? I honestly cannot see me getting 1000/1000 for it anytime soon…

There’s also a timed based achievement of 3 hours, which is crazy unless you know the game inside and out. I personally spent 3 hours just in the first few areas, so I know it’s going to be tricky without at least a video guide of some sort. The soundtrack is also incredible to listen to, matching the game’s vibrant personality throughout.

The Verdict

Don’t be fooled…Ori and the Blind Forest may look like a cutesy platformer, but it is so much more than that. It’s also incredibly challenging, but also brilliant and rewarding from beginning to end. It’s also the best looking game I’ve seen this generation and that is saying something.