Ori and the Blind Forest was one of my favourite releases of 2015 and on the 27th April a new version was released named the “Definitive Edition” which I didn’t waste much time in snapping up. So what is this “Definitive Edition”, DLC, expansion or update? Well it’s a bit more like a re-release with extra content, including new levels, new abilities and enhanced storyline elements. The original game is not compatible with the new version, as according to the developer, Moon Studios, too many changes were made in all parts of the game to support its addition as DLC. As such, you can’t just buy the updates but will need to repurchase the original game, a little like the Dark Souls 2 to Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. Obviously, expecting owners of the original game who want to play the extra content to buy a fresh copy at full price would be less than fair, but fear not because steam and windows accounts which already have the original game, will get a reduced price of £3.50 for the repurchase, much more reasonable.

So is it worth buying? Well if you haven’t played the original then the answer is definitely yes. This version of the game has all the visual beauty, content and excellent gameplay that the original had. In fact, it comes bundled with the original game, so you could still play the original if the fancy takes you. If you loved the visuals and storyline but found the original game too difficult, then the definitive edition may just be for you, as it adds a choice of four difficulty levels to the game, easy, normal, hard and one life. With the addition of the two harder settings, this is great news for veteran players, too, and will certainly add replay value to the game.

Also added in this new edition is new areas, with the main area added acting as a prologue to the game’s storyline, new abilities – Dash and Light Burst – which have not only been worked into the design of the new areas, but have been incorporated into the rest of the game, as well, with new secrets added across the game’s map, accessible only by using these new moves. I’ve found that the new moves have freshened up even the original areas of the game, as the new abilities give you different ways of traversing the environment and dispatching enemies. Also added is a new warp function allowing the player to warp between unlocked Spirit Wells. This is a great addition, as I really felt the need to endless backtrack along routes discouraged me from hunting down missed pickups, and made going for 100% feel like too much of a chore. However, this play through, I’ve been jumping backwards and forwards between the areas each time a new ability is unlocked, hunting down every pickup.

With the exception of the prologue, the additions to the storyline are a little more subtle. The new text and story scenes have been woven into the existing narrative, and unless you’ve completed the game multiple times and memorised every scene, you’ll be hard pushed to distinguish the new from the old. However, the story does feel richer and more fleshed out as a result of the additions, so the cumulative effect is noticeable.

The only negatives that I’ve noted in this new definitive edition is that your saves from the original game will not carry over, so if you happen to have bought it recently and are halfway through or if you spent hours 100% the original game then you’ll have to start again from scratch. It is worth noting that the new edition is installed as a separate item to the original, so your install and save games will remain for the original game and will not be over written. Also, due to the addition of the two new abilities, I found the normal difficulty, which technically matches that of the original game, felt easier, as the new abilities make traversing some of the obstacles feel quite trivial at times, particularly the dash moves with the laser sections. So if you have completed the original and want a challenge then you might want to try the hard setting instead.

When I saw that the additions were only playable by repurchasing the game, I was a little dubious as to if would be worth it, but on playing the new edition, my view is that it was worth every penny and that despite having to restart my progress from scratch, all the extra features make replaying the game feel like a fresh while slightly nostalgic, experience rather than a repetitive grind just to encounter the new content, which was a pleasant surprise. All in all, this is a great revamp and expansion of what was originally already an exceptionally good game. The new edition remains in keeping in terms of character and quality and is, in my opinion, well worth the cost for both new players and veterans alike.