Moon Studios has repeatedly stated that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will be a lot more than just a routinely but beautiful sequel. The developer had to make sure that the second attempt took the gameplay to a whole new level and in such regard, there are a couple of aspects in particular that make Ori and the Will of the Wisps stand out when put against the original.
Speaking with GotGame in a recent interview, Daniel Smith, senior producer at Xbox Game Studios, explained that combat “was a bit of an afterburner thing” for the original, which was mainly focused on platforming and traversal. In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, combat was one of the first things the developer wanted to change to make the sequel “bigger and more expansive” for the players.
The continuity and the desire to make the game feel very fresh with combat actually helped each other. We had a lot of fun in our experiment, messing around with what it would mean for Ori to use melee weapons and use ranged skills and abilities and actually have, you know, aiming and precision involved with some of the attacks.
Smith further added that the new combat has been made as deep as possible, while being as fluid as the combat in the original installment. The process “took a lot of patience and adjustments” but Moon Studios is fairly happy with how Ori and the Will of the Wisps is currently playing.
You can upgrade all the weapons. The whole shard system is very dynamic. We know people will have favoritism in their loadouts, and I think we’re looking forward to see how the public responds to that, and shares their gameplay on YouTube.
What are the favorite weapons and loadouts, and the synergies of those things, and how they all sort of interplay. We’re just excited about how that will happen.
Besides the new combat, another improvement made to the sequel was in the form of “really big and dramatic” bosses. The original never had any large-scale boss fights. Ori and the Will of the Wisps changes that by bringing to life “larger than life creatures” for epic experiences.
In another interview from last week, CEO Thomas Mahler noted that Moon Studios never intended to create a “cash-in or boring sequel” with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The goal was actually to “add more stuff and more elements” that would further evolve gameplay and the genre in general. Microsoft, in that regard, proved to be an excellent publishing partner.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps will release on March 11, 2020, for Xbox One and PC.