When it was first revealed at last year’s E3, Moon Studio’s Ori and the Blind Forest stood out to me as one of the most beautiful looking games at the show. The trailer, a heartbreaking show of loss married with beautiful orchestral layers and a painterly aesthetic to die for, sent shivers down my spine. Please be great, I repeated to myself, for it felt next to impossible that the end product could live up to that initial impression. Thankfully, it looks as if Moon Studios and publisher Microsoft have a full-fledged critical darling in Ori. While many are noting its almost punishing difficulty at times, most reviewers seem to agree that this is one of the best games released this generation. Congrats to all involved.
Twinfinite: A story that takes you through notions of love, hate, anger, discovery, regret, and forgiveness; and gameplay that is both precise, strategic, and engaging. Every single element of the game lends itself to all that surrounds it in order to make one well thought out, cohesive experience. Nothing ever feels out of place and that shows the extreme dedication the developers had while creating this truly splendid title. Ori and the Blind Forest is proof that those who want a game with a deep story and top-notch gameplay can have their cake and eat it to. (5/5)
Game Informer: Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the best games of the year, and should be a no-brainer for anyone looking for an exciting new adventure to dive into. That said, it comes with a warning: Expect to be humbled by its difficulty. Death comes quickly. Over and over, you’re going to watch an adorable little creature perish because you had a moment of indecision or your skills failed you. Again, nothing about this experience feels unfair. Some of the long scripted sequences are enormously challenging – to the point that you’ll likely repeat every swear word that you know. My wife periodically poked her head into my game room to ask if I was having a nervous meltdown, but I instead told her that I haven’t had this much fun with a game in a long time. (9.5/10)
Destructoid: From a mechanical standpoint, Ori and the Blind Forest isn’t an evolution of the genre, and you’ve seen most of what’s on offer here before. But aesthetically it’s in a league of its own, and everything it does, it does well. If you’re looking for a metroidvania, I’d consider this a new classic. (9.5/10)
Gamespot: It’s important, however, not to mistake Ori and the Blind Forest for being simply beautiful. It certainly is–but it is also unceasingly clever. It consistently surprises you with new tricks: gravitational divergences, new ways to move through its spaces, and carefully designed levels that require you to think quickly and respond. It is not as snappy as, say, a typical Mario platformer, seeking instead a broader gameplay arc stretching across a single, interconnected world. It’s a superb and thematically consistent approach that allows Ori and the Blind Forest to build joy on a bed of heartache, adding a new layer of mechanical complexity with each ray of hope. (9/10)
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