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Posted September 26, 2014 by Zeth in EGX
 
 

Ori and the Blind Forest Hands-On Preview

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Ori and the Blind Forest was a blind-side in the E3 conference for Microsoft. Capitalizing on their new “We can do indie too(tm)” incentive Ori and the Blind Forest is the first title to come from Moon Studios.

Moon are made up of several members from around the globe with the team working on the game for around 4 years now. With Ori and the Blind Forest the team at Moon were drawing inspiration from classics such as Rayman and Metroid to craft a compelling platform exploration title.

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The story goes that Ori fell to the forest many years ago. Taken in by a creature in the forest Ori grows up in the forest with his new mother. When she is taken away by the entity Kuro, Ori must search the forest to find her once again.

In the game you take control of Ori, a small guardian spirit that almost resembles a white faun. Ori is spritely and cavorts freely around the beautifully created landscape. Easy to control with precision, Ori can traverse the varied landscapes with ease. From making long jump to dashing around at great pace Ori just feels right.

Exploring the forest you soon come across a small blue orb. This orb, called Sein, joins forces with Ori giving the little spirit the ability to attack enemies and certain obstacles like thorn bushes blocking access to parts of the level.

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As you search the world you locate orbs of energy, some will give you upgrades, some health etc. There are also items such as keystones hidden around areas which Ori must locate. Thes keystones will then give Ori access to new areas.   Presumably as the game progresses you will be able to return to previous areas that have not been accessible and use Ori’s new abilities on them.

One of the things Ori gains the ability to create is Soul Links. These links are basically save points but the player can choose as and when to use these saves. The energy will build back up before a new save can be laid down. Be careful however as the resources needed to charge the save ability back up are not in abundant supply so you need to be sparing with your use.

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The game looks gorgeous with the spritely Ori just the right amounts of mystical, vulnerable and engaging to play. Some small hitches here and there in the demo build put a few crinkles in the frame rate but nothing that won’t be ironed out before release with luck.

Unfortunately there was no sound on the demonstration machine we used so I’m unable to really comment on the soundscape at work in the game. Hopefully this will be up to the same par as the other aesthetics. Even without the sound you could completely buy in to Ori’s world.

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Moon Studios appear to have created something very special in Ori and the Blind Forest but only time will tell (and the release c ode!) if they manage to bring the package together.  You know when a preview is good when they almost have to pry the controller from you vice like grip come the end.  Ori and the Blind Forest will be hitting the Xbox One and PC in “Q4” 2014. With luck they mean prior to the end of the year but this vague date can sometimes mean Jan – March the year after. There is also an Xbox 360 edition in the works for release sometime in 2015.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.