With the release of Ori and the Will of the Wisps fast approaching, I decided to revisit Ori and the Blind Forest and write a review. I have to disclose that I only own the basic edition. What is currently sold is the Definitive Edition, but mine is the previous version, so the settings might be different between them.
It’s a short review, because surprisingly this game is more inclusive than I remembered. As usual, the first thing I checked was the settings. The screenshot shows all the options available. So as you can see, there is only Language option. There is no Subtitle option.
Obviously, I have come to learn that this isn’t a good sign due to experience with other games. However, this is where the surprise comes: the game doesn’t have speech or any dialogue. It’s all shown visually, with very short phrases in big text, as you can see in the next screenshot. Even the speech that comes with those texts are actually not English, it’s more of a grumble, rather than proper words.
This is for sure one of the best aspects of this game, because I don’t need to spend energy into paying attention to dialogues. I can simply turn off that part of my brain and instead just enjoy the soundtrack, which is very beautiful. You don’t even need to play the game hearing the soundtrack, because there is no relevant sound cue happening, from what I could notice.
I have found that this game is perfect for someone like me, because it’s very visual, relying very little on sound to tell the story. The soundtrack for sure helps to set the mood, but it isn’t an essential thing to pay attention to. So instead of the game being draining in terms of attention, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a very chill game, that you can easily lose the perception of time. Well, to be honest, there were a bunch of moments that I got frustrated, but it was my fault (I wasn’t really syncing very well what I needed to do with what I was doing).
And because the game is more a visual game, it also means it’s extremely beautiful and immersive, since you won’t be losing any important information that is hiding in the form of sound cues. Even though I played the prologue without sound, I was still emotional, just because the game absolutely nailed using visuals for emotion.
Alexia is a deaf writer, graduated in Audiovisual Communication and a Master student in Screenwriting. Passionate about representation, accessibility and mental health in media, also writes about personal experiences with deafness/hearing loss and mental health on Medium. You can contact her on Twitter at @AlehCemy