Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Neil Flynn 28.07.2021

Review for Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Xbox Series X/S

The precedent for excellence set by its predecessor puts immediate pressure on Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Hailed as one of the best 2D Metroidvanias of all time, Ori and the Blind Forest was a joy to behold and quite literally helped Xbox diversify its first party offering to include a top-tier platforming title. Capitalising on the roaring success of Ori and the Blind Forest, Moon Studios has put itself straight to work on the sequel. Can it build on the excellently laid foundation… or does this follow up re-tread too much old ground?

From the offset, Ori and the Will of the Wisps can be described as vibrant - despite the gloomy, dark world. It's full of excellent lighting and effects that bring this title to life. The attention to detail in the environmental design is awesome, and kudos must go to Moon Studios for crafting a world with such love and care. Like its predecessor, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a Metroidvania 2D platformer: one that encourages players to explore the unforgiving world and dive right into an area where you'll genuinely you've made it there by your own exploratory nous. In actuality, the level design is so beautifully crafted that it guides the player to where they need to be, but there is much less backtracking in this sequel than there was in Ori and the Blind Forest.

The forest floor feels alive with fauna and flora, glimmering environmental objects and enemies aplenty. Each creature is unique, fighting in their own style, and once Ori begins to level up and gain new abilities they become a joy to battle. Combat is varied, fun and challenging, often utilising Ori's full arsenal of attacks and powerups to take down enemies. Even if these enemies can be somewhat frustrating to beat, it never feels like there's too much punishment for the player attempting to take them on or explore an area too soon, as there aren't any 'lives' and dying doesn't have consequences on progression.

Screenshot for Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Xbox Series X/S

Platforming in Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a sublime experience. Double jumping, dashing, gliding and swinging all feel great; add these to the abilities gained later in the game and there is a plethora of traversal options. Set pieces are delivered beautifully, with a few sequences needing to be done with speed and precision as you escape from the forest falling apart around you. Boss battles are also grandiose, as the bosses themselves are hugely menacing and take a lot of effort to beat. They feel incredibly rewarding once they have been bested, though.

The power of the Xbox Series X|S translates to better performance options for players. The possibility of 4K HDR at 120fps is available for Series X owners, and in fact there is a 6K Supersampled Rendering Mode at 60fps for those who want an ultra-sharp image. The visual prowess and performance of the latest Xbox consoles really does make this version of the experience shine. This is hands-down the preferable console version to play.

Screenshot for Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

The Xbox brand has taken great strides in diversifying its portfolio of first party offerings, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps is quite literally genre-defining. Slightly more linear in nature than its predecessor, Will of the Wisps still manages to make exploration feel fresh and traversal fluid. Stunning graphics, a wholesome and immersive soundtrack, tight controls and fun varied combat truly make Ori and the Will of the Wisps a must-own for Xbox Series X|S owners.




Xbox Game


2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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