'Ori and the Blind Forest' Takes Players On A Beautiful Adventure

March 16, 2015

They say that, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but sometimes something is just so attractive that it's hard to not appreciate it universally. Different studios have been trying to capture the minds and hearts of gamers by creating "beautiful" virtual worlds across the medium of video games for years, and some releases have had more success than others. The latest console generation brings a whole new wave of technology, and new studios to use it to bring their creative visions to life. Moon Studios' Ori and the Blind Forest is one such example; a game that it blends an outstanding aesthetic presentation with solid core gaming to produce a unique creation that appeals both to the eyes as well as the thumbs.

Developer: Moon Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Moon Studios may be a new name, but the small studio was founded by former AAA game developers. Ori and the Blind Forest is their second project, and first one to make its way to consoles, bringing with it the major support of Microsoft Studios. Through Ori Moon have demonstrated that they have what it takes to capture the eye of a major publisher, and create a fascinating game, so hopefully this is just the beginning for them.

Ori is a guardian spirit that has lost his way from the Spirit Tree that gave him life. He was adopted by Naru, who raised him until the forest started to die, and so did she. Setting out on his own in an attempt to survive, Ori meets up with another spirit, Sein, who joins the journey, and serves as one part guide, and one part weapon. As Ori ventures out to discover what happened to the woods, his role in it, and eventually to save them, players are treated to a beautiful, 2D, Metroidvania-style platformer. Both little spirits can upgrade their abilities by collecting orbs from defeated enemies, as well discovering power-ups throughout the woods that help them reach new areas of the forest. The game's platforming and combat elements have a very classic feel to them, and when blended with a wonderfully advanced art style, everything that's old feels new again.

Indie developer Moon Studios partnered with Microsoft to bring Ori and the Blind Forest to the masses, and, in turn, the game will only be appearing on their platforms. You'll need an Xbox One, a Windows PC, or an Xbox 360 (later this year), to explore Ori's ornate world.

Ori's adventure is a pretty amazing journey. The mix of the beautiful world, Metroidvania exploration, and light RPG elements make Ori and the Blind Forest a really compelling game in the vein of modern day-classics like Muramasa and Rayman Legends. In short, the gameplay is fun, the world beautiful, and there's a whole lot to explore. You'll definitely get your money's worth and make a new little spirit friend if you choose to seek out all of the secrets of the Blind Forest as Ori tries to piece the world back together.