Though it was announced at E3 over a week ago, Ori‘s sequel may be one of the more important games coming to Xbox in 2019.
Ori and the Blind Forest is a stunning game, likely to hold up for years (and possibly gaming generations) to come. The gameplay has classic foundations, and the plot is engaging and heartfelt, worthy enough to stand on its own. But it’s the art direction itself that is perhaps the bigger story. The hand-painted feel of the game, built on high contrast and saturated colors, lighting and shadow, makes every scene a piece of artwork.
Will of the Wisps takes that same aesthetic and ratchets it up several notches. Where Blind Forest released early in the Xbox One’s lifespan, WotW capitalizes on the explosive growth of 4K video and HDR, and the Xbox One X’s powerful output to manage both. Eyes on, pixels are gone, replaced by brush strokes and glowing orbs, relying on depth of layers instead of rendering tricks.
Quite frankly, it looks and feels like the original vision for what Ori was meant to be all along, finally realized with the latest tech.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps will launch exclusively across Microsoft’s platforms in 2019, but the XBox One X might really be the only way to experience it in full.