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Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a triple-A 2D Metroidvania

Having played a good handful of hours with Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Moon Studio’s follow-up to 2015’s sumptuous Metroidvania, it’s clear that a lot has changed. It’s larger, deeper and somehow even more sumptuous, but one thing’s exactly the same. It’s still a video game that has the power to have me in tears within the opening five minutes.

Ori and the Blind Forest pulled that trick first time around the fate of Naru, a character so lovingly realised it was impossible not to be reminded of a loved one. This time it’s all about Ku, the owl that hatches at the climax of Blind Forest and who it soon becomes clear has a disability – one that her new adopted family rally around to assist with.

It’s an entirely wordless opening infused with so much warmth, humanity and that heart-soaring feeling that comes when seeing people come together in the face of adversity. I can’t imagine being more moved by a video game this year, and on the strength of its opening alone Will of the Wisps is going to be every bit as wonderful as its predecessor.

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