Ori and the Will of the Wisps released today and whether you're tackling the series for the first time or returning after playing the hell out of its predecessor, it's always good to get a couple of tips to help you get as much out of the experience as possible. That being the case, here are seven things to think about while exploring the colourful world of Niwen.
1. Take it easy and enjoy yourself - As always, when it comes to new and long-awaited games, you want to dive headfirst and absorb as much as you can in as short a time as possible. Where are all the secrets? What is beyond the next crest? And when do you actually come up against those monstrous bosses seen in all trailers? Although we absolutely understand the eager feeling, we would like to point out that Ori's latest adventure, just like its predecessor, is largely about emotions and mood, and that wonderful cosiness is at its best when you let your senses breathe. There is plenty to see and take in, but don't forget to stop and admire the backdrops along the way, talk to all the cute characters that cross your path, and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere. Smelling the flowers is important too.
2. Do not hit your head against the wall - During your journey, you will encounter passages where the road ahead is difficult to reach. A platform is perhaps just beyond reach or various environmental hazards prevent you from exploring the terrain safely. For those who are familiar with the Metroidvania genre, this usually means that you have to acquire a new ability and this approach fits very well with Ori and the Will of the Wisps as well. Therefore, do not spend eternity trying to get to that impossible jump or bang your head against a brick wall as you try to find a solution to a problem that you're simply not equipped to deal with yet. The developers are pretty good at showing where you can and can't go, and if you feel that the road is ending then test your luck elsewhere before coming back later.
3. Explore, explore, explore! - Exploration is a big part of Ori and the Will of the Wisp and there is an openness in the game world that invites one to visit all corners of the massive map. This is something you should try to do as much as you can as there are tons of useful secrets to discover hidden across the colourful terrain. Large collections of Spirit Shards (currency) can be found just about everywhere, and even other supplies such as Gorlek Ore (used to upgrade your "base") are scattered behind obscure walls, ready to be found by the curious. Probably the most important thing to find, however, are fragments of life and energy cells as these allow you to perform more special attacks and take more punches. Also, do not be afraid to pick up the map from time to time as you can get small hint indications where the secrets are hidden, as long as you get close enough, that is.
4. Kill all the enemies you see, gather all the light you can - The combat system is probably one of the best additions in Ori and the Will of the Wisps and at first you will surely want to jump on every little beetle and slime-shooting snail you see. Try to maintain that attitude throughout the adventure as it pays to collect the goodies the defeated enemies give away. You use these to acquire new abilities and update the ones you already have, so when the moment comes when you feel that a more powerful distance attack would have been better or the possibility of absorbing more damage would have helped in a boss fight, it's time to cough up the money and tackle the problems with an upgraded arsenal.
5. Invest wisely - What should you invest in when it comes to movement and abilities? Of course, this is very subjective, but at least we thought we'd share our favourites. For example, the sledgehammer is a good one to acquire as soon as the opportunity arises as it gives a completely different dimension to your attacks. Being able to exchange quick sword attacks and agile bow bursts with a powerful melee attack makes a big difference, and just the feeling of swinging a massive weapon as the tiny and cute Ori is very satisfying overall. Also, work on getting over the triple jump as fast as you can, even if that move comes with a fairly juicy price tag for someone who's just starting to play. You see, the extra freedom it allows in terms of the platforming is, in our opinion, worth it, and we also think you should invest in abilities that allow enemies to release more currency. This investment means that future battles will produce better returns, which in the long run will allow you to buy more abilities faster.
6. Master all Combat Shrines - A new thing compared to Ori and the Blind Forest is that nowadays there is something called Combat Shrines placed throughout the game world. In short, these are like small horde battles where waves of enemies attack and where you have to stand up to the challenge. You should look to conquer these every time you find them as they will allow you to use more abilities at the same time. For example, if you want to have the opportunity to triple jump, grab walls, take more punches, have more life, and do extra damage to certain enemy types, it might be wise to have as many open as possible, and you only get them by defeating the Combat Shrines.
7. Don't panic with the side quests - Garden enthusiasts, adventurous birds and innocent lemurs. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is packed with fun characters and most people want to give you a side assignment to do. Don't panic, though, and start looking feverishly for the items they are looking for, and don't stress yourself out for not finding that long-legged bird's compass or those flower-seeds the mouse constantly mutters about. The rewards of solving a side quest usually don't provide anything of direct value, and you will also find the majority of all loose threads by just exploring the map and dragging the story forward. Again, take it easy, and enjoy.
Maybe you have some of your own tips to share, and what do you think of Ori and the Will of the Wisps so far?