Graphics are not the end all and be all of games. Although they can be beautiful-looking and impressive on a technical level, at the end of the day, graphics can’t save a subpar game.
A solid game with amazing graphics, however, can transport the player and create an unparalleled sense of atmosphere.
Such is the case with Ori and the Blind Forrest from Moon Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, for PC and the Xbox One. It’s a free-roaming side scrolling game that borrows, gameplay-wise, from games such as “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” and “Super Metroid.” There is a goal, but the game allows the player to explore its world at your own pace. Often, there are impediments to progression that can only be passed if the player has found a certain item or weapon. This non-linear approach to game design is nothing new.
The plot of the game is simple and mainly told without dialogue through the actions of the characters on screen.
The graphics look beautiful; the titular forest looks lush and green. The games look like it was rendered in watercolor paint. They show a level of detail and care that is truly a sight to behold.
All-in-all, “Ori and the Blind Forrest”, is a solid game that actually elevated somewhat by its visuals. That makes it rare indeed.