In the lead up to the game’s official launch on March 11 of this year, we had the opportunity to get our hands on it early and experience some of the brand new features added to Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Afterward, we sat down with Senior Producer, Daniel Smith at Xbox Game Studios to discuss these new modes and learn a little bit more about their development and what Moon Studios expect them to add to the overall player experience.
“One of the things we did learn from the Blind Forest is that generally when people would finish the game, they would go ‘Gosh, that was amazing’ and then they would step away. So, we definitely wanted to approach a couple of new modes this time around that kept people coming back for more,” said Smith.
Spirit Trials: We’ve heard about Spirit Trials in Ori and the Will of the Wisps before and even got a hands-on demo at Gamescom 2018 but having learned a little more from the team this month, we’re confident that this competitive addition to the game is sure to get players hooked. Essentially, Spirit Trials are locations on the map that can be found throughout the world of Ori. These locations allow players to asynchronously race against their friends and other players by perfecting their traversal techniques.
Spirit Shrines: Similarly to Spirit Trials, Spirit Shrines can be found all over the map but conjure increasingly difficult waves of enemies for Ori to battle. By defeating all of the enemies and thus completing the Spirit Shrine, Ori can earn special rewards like Spirit Light to spend on new abilities and buffs. Players will also have the opportunity to switch up their load-outs and equipped abilities to best combat the types of enemies they’ll be facing at any one Spirit Shrine. For example, one Spirit Shrine might be full of aerial enemies like the speedy dive-bombing mosquitos whereas another might rally slug-like creatures that move slowly but vomit up powerful projectiles and do bursting damage when they die. For the mosquitos, it’s easiest to pound them with the hammer as soon as they’re within reach after they dive but when facing the slugs I leaped over their projectiles while launching my own and kept a safe distance when they finally died to avoid their final impact.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an Xbox Play Anywhere title that launches on Xbox One and Steam on March 11, 2020. It will also launch on Xbox Game Pass on day one for subscribers and is available to pre-install now.