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A beacon of hope

Ori and the Will of the Wisps has extremely big shoes to fill, it succeeds Ori & the Blind Forest; a game that perfected the art of combining a heartrending narrative and difficult gameplay. Succeeding one of the best games of its time is no easy task (ask The Last of Us II). even more so when it was a game that surpassed genres and players' age groups to leave all of us captivated, teary-eyed and then elated with the journey it offered.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps has extremely big shoes to fill, it succeeds Ori & the Blind Forest; a game that perfected the art of combining a heartrending narrative and difficult gameplay. Succeeding one of the best games of its time is no easy task (ask The Last of Us II). even more so when it was a game that surpassed genres and players' age groups to leave all of us captivated, teary-eyed and then elated with the journey it offered.

Will of the Wisps has the ambition to be all that and more. In times as gloomy as this, its delayed launch on March 11 seems almost like the work of fate.

It is impossible to write this review without letting the gloom and uncertainty of things around us tainting my experience with the game. This game is, without a doubt, the most beautiful and compelling experience of 2020, a game that is better than its predecessor and as good as masterpieces like Bastion, Gris and Brothers. Examining such a game is difficult, especially when at times you just want to pause all in-game action and lose yourself in the music. Admire the chroma-filled golden skies with rays of light suffusing everything they touch with a warmth and a melancholic glow at the same time. It almost seems like the game urging you to move forward but also take time out to smell the roses (for what the developers have achieved here).

Will of the Wisps is no joyride, however; this is a difficult game and a lot more complex than its predecessor. The story continues with Ori finding a young owlet Ku with battered wings and then finding a magical wing that helps the owlet fly and off they go to explore the world. Their joyous flight is cut short when they are caught in a storm and are separated. Ori must rescue the fledgling that can't fly.

Gameplay wise, there are a lot of additions here, combat makes its way into the foray as Ori has a spirit sword and it is quite powerful to wield. You feel the controller vibrate with power as you strike each blow and watch Ori transform into a fierce protector and a gentle friend at the same time. Combat is quite hard as you keep losing orbs of health if you don't time things right.

As you progress, the complexity of the enemies you face is gruelling as well there are a variety of them, some that can attack mid-air, some from the underground and some that run at you with break-neck speed. In a side-by-side scroller handling these is quite a challenge.

Make sure to try Will of the Wisps, a great way to lose yourself for a while. On a PC if you don't have the Xbox One (let's be honest most of us don't). This one is going to be quite something on the Series X though!

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