Ori and the Will of the Wisps is definitely one of the hottest titles of 2020. Making a continuation to a the well-received predecessor was quite a challenge though. After all, Ori and the Blind Forest is not only an extremely difficult platform game, but one that managed to achieve colossal success despite the genre that is quite niche today.

It’s heavenly, it’s magical and it plays your heartstrings.

It is also a touching story told with gameplay, visuals and a phenomenal audio track. The symbiosis that Moon Studios achieved wouldn’t be possible without trust placed in Gareth Coker. The talented Briton proved that perfect music can be fully interactive and at the same time sound like precise music written for a movie. At the same time, he created music that is heavenly, magical and touches the hearts of not only those who decided to travel with Ori.

I have never doubted that the continuation of the adventures of the forest spirit will sound even more beautiful. Gareth, despite starting with a high C as he himself stated at the Game Music Festival 2019, is still learning and developing as a composer. And you can hear it, oh you can hear it. If I were to choose anything comparable, I’d have to go back to Howard Shore and the music for The Lord of the Rings.

Personally, I think that this music’s integration with the narration, editing and storytelling will never be matched by anything. It is a magnum opus of film music unthinkable for many composers, where a change of each note, timbre or arrangement would be an offense to the soundtrack. This is also the case with the Ori and the Will of the Wisps soundtrack.

Gareth’s sensitivity and skill pair up in this work.

This is the best soundtrack you can imagine. Gareth’s sensitivity and skill pair up in this score to form a magic helix of absolute perfection. The music also gives the impression of being more diverse compared to the previous part. We hear known themes less often, and if they do appear, they usually appear in fresh variations. The new themes allow themselves not only for interesting notation, but also for more instruments, different from those from Ori and the Blind Forest. The balance of the instruments is also more interesting.

We have a lot of fragments where a quiet solo is played for a while, and then it grows to the level of raging orchestra. There are instruments as new to the story as the hang drum, male choir, Mongolian throat singing, bassoon and piano. There are also many experiments with electronics, which once again complement the live instruments. These, in turn, are often treated with skillfully twisted effects. Thanks to this, the magic pours out of the music with redoubled energy.

Embracing the Light – A retrospective on music from Ori and the Will of the Wisps

There is also a lot of action too, because the game itself presents several powerful opponents who try to defeat our heroes. Well, some compositions sound as if Gareth Coker decided to play rock’n’roll on Blind Forest instruments.

This great variation only works on a plus three-hour soundtrack. This is probably the most important thing. The composer decided to pamper us with a very long soundtrack, which will land a safe spot on your playlists for a long time. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the perfect sequel, while Gareth Coker’s music is a soundtrack that should be listened to whether one plays the game or not. It is virtuosity down to the smallest detail. It is a monumental work that delights both on the macro and micro scale.

The composer decided to pamper us with a very long soundtrack.

A titanic work that will catch your curiosity in the first sounds, and with each subsequent listening you will appreciate newer and newer elements. A mature, delightful and complete work of art. Anyway, words are enough, here I go listening again!

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Executive Editor

Konrad Belina-Brzozowski

Lecturer at Warsaw Film School and School of Modern Music. Sound alchemist, electronic musician and sound designer.