We're pitting the week's biggest hitters against each other as Ori and the Will of the Wisps released on Xbox One yesterday and Nioh 2 is coming to PlayStation on Friday. Both sequels have been eagerly awaited but which one are we most excited for?
This alone looks like a tough fight.
Sam | Nioh 2
With 2020 having been pretty quiet in terms of new releases so far, I’ve spent a good chunk of time catching up on my (now ever-so-slightly-smaller) backlog. Two of the games I scratched off the list are Ori and the Blind Forest and Nioh, which means I’m coming into this particular skirmish of sequels funky fresh on their forebears.
Honestly, I found the original Ori to be slightly disappointing. It was fundamentally solid, don’t get me wrong, but for years it’d been built up to be something truly standout. It isn’t, to be blunt, but I still had a good time nonetheless.
Nioh had been built up in a similar fashion over the years I elected not to play it in favour of, well, erm, just about every other Souls-like out there. Team Ninja’s effort didn’t disappoint, however. It’s probably the best example of the emerging sub-genre not to be developed by the founding FromSoftware.
Having already played a little Nioh 2, I’m also equipped to say that it’s even better than the original. The uniquely level-based structure is back, which means the second instalment will continue to be more readily accessible than most other Souls-likes. That’s not to say Nioh 2 is basic by any means, though; the toolset available to players this time around is expanded through the introduction of several all-new weapon types and abilities.
A more readily accessible Souls-like is just what the doctor ordered.
James | Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The likes of Ori in particular may have a good reputation, but who has the time? With so many games to get through, even this most recent drought of releases (DOOM (2016) sits on the digital shelf, mocking me) didn't give me the opportunity to get to the acclaimed Metroidvania.
Now that there's a new one around the corner though, the easy availability of the game (as well as the original) on Game Pass will probably be the deciding factor if I do get time to explore one of these two titles.
Seeing as I don't have a PlayStation, this probably won't come as a surprise, but the platforming nature of Ori does bring it closer to my wheelhouse in the form of Rayman Legends and historically a number of 2D platformers, all the way back to Sonic 2.
More than likely the game will go the way of Unravel and Unravel 2 – decent games which perform reasonably well but fail to work their way onto my radar.
Oh, and if you're wondering what I'll be choosing between DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing next week, here's a clue: I'm terrible at shooters, but also a masochist when it comes to gaming, so I'm at an impasse. If you fancy it, you can help me decide on Twitter.
Will James' admission of being terrible at shooters influence the votes?
Liam | Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Like Chris and James, my abode is still decidedly lacking in the PS4 department, so while Nioh 2 may be going down very well with both the public and gaming media, I’ll not be playing it anytime soon.
That being said, even if I did happen to own the corresponding tech to play it on, there’s not much about Nioh 2 that really appeals to me. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly looks pretty impressive, and I’m sure if you’re into the whole Souls-like thing then it’ll seem marvellous, but those type of games are just not my bag.
To be honest, this whole head-to-head is decidedly underwhelming for me, as I found the original Ori to be nothing special when it made its way to Game Pass. Twice I tried to get past the opening thirty-or-so minutes of the game, but both times it failed to click.
As I’ve still got an active subscription to Game Pass Ultimate, I’ll no doubt give Ori and the Will of Wisps an obligatory try in the future, but I’ll not be going in with elevated expectations like last time. Hopefully it sticks this time, as I would like a reason to give the first game another try.
Here's hoping Liam's third attempt at getting into Ori will be successful.
Let us know which of the week's releases you're most looking forward to.