Ori and the Will of the Wisp developer discusses boss battles, delays, and more

What you need to know

  • Ori and the Will of Wisps is the sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest.
  • It's expected to launch in February 2020.
  • The title was pushed back to focus on polish.
  • The game features boss battles and new visuals.

A year ago — following the surprise reveal of Halo Infinite — Microsoft kicked off its E3 2018 conference by giving Ori and the Blind Forest fans a look at the sequel. Ori and the Will of the Wisps features an even bigger threat to the world, but our lovable protagonist has new moves and friends this time around. The story also seems darker, touching on subjects like genocide.

Will of the Wisps is scheduled to launch on February 11 and runs at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second on Xbox One X. However, it also features boss battles and similar interactions this time around. Replying to various comments on ResetEra, Game Director at Moon Studios Thomas Mahler said the following.

There was no fakery there, everything was simply recorded straight from our editor. And yup, the bosses will be nutters. And yeah, sorry about the slight delay, but that gives us a bit more time to polish... I want Moon to be known as a studio that puts quality above and beyond everything else and sometimes that takes a little more time than planned. We're working super hard to make Will of the Wisps a landmark title and it's really not that long.

Mahler also added that Will of the Wisps features boss battles where the titanic enemies can destroy the environment. He added the following.

We tried to crank all that up to eleven while also addressing the frustration concerns some had with Blind Forest... The main goal with this trailer was to show that we'll indeed have big boss battles this time around. I think the general consensus out there is that people wanted a deeper and more rewarding combat system from Ori, so our answer was to do just that and to make that all pay off, the bosses had to be unlike anything you've ever seen in a 2D game before. They're ginormous, they can destroy the environments they're in, there are always multiple strategies of how you deal with them and sometimes we even mixed escape sequences directly into the boss battles for good measure. The goal was to, just like with so many other things in Will of the Wisps, take that whole aspect above and beyond what anyone expected from the Ori sequel.

Lastly, instead of repurposing Blind Forest assets, the team started from scratch to make the sequel. It's much more ambitious in terms of scope. You can read Mahler's comments below.

We did pretty much everything from scratch and developed a proper sequel, instead of just phoning it in. We could've reused a ton of assets and just changed things up slightly, but we wanted to really take it all to the next level... Everything had to be way better than what we did in Blind Forest, everything had to feel fresh and new and we didn't want to repeat ourselves in terms of art.

Hopefully, Will of the Wisps will be a polished and compelling experience. Blind Forest told a powerful story, but the gameplay could've been a little more complex. From what we've read so far, it seems like those issues have been addressed. It's a shame that we have to wait until February to play it.

We would like to thank Twitter user "@opatschi96" for the tip.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.