Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a pleasant motion journey recreation, with superb animation, lovely environments, and compelling gameplay to get pleasure from.
Although the return of well-known franchises is an thrilling prospect in video video games, it is additionally fairly a thrill to see the creation of one thing new. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a contemporary perspective on each counts, as it is a new property from first-time developer Ember Lab. Initially deliberate for release within the vacation season of 2020, after a handful of delays Kena: Bridge of Spirits is lastly right here.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the story of titular character Kena, a spirit information who’s attempting to achieve a mountain shrine. Finding an deserted village, Kena searches for solutions and tries to convey peace to the spirits that cowl the world. As a part of her quest, the spirit information will achieve the help of spirit companions known as Rots, and attempt to clear a mysterious corruption that has unfold throughout the land.
Ember Lab had in depth expertise in animation earlier than turning its hand to video video games, and it exhibits. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a wonderful recreation to behold, with lush and different environments stuffed with coloration to discover and fantastic, flowing character animation. Creatures just like the Rots bounce round playfully, whereas its twisted enemies are really foreboding, leaving Kena: Bridge of Spirits like an interactive mix of Miyazaki and the 3D animated era of Disney.
Because of this, the participant will little doubt need to discover extra of a world inspired by Bali and Japan, and exploration additionally comes with loads of rewards. Kena can uncover meditation spots to extend her well being, discover in-game currencies for upgrades, and full the extra collection-based parts of the facet content material resembling delivering Spirit Mail to homes within the village. And, most significantly, exploration will lead the participant to extra Rots to befriend.
The Rots themselves are very charming, and add quite a bit to the character of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. There’s one thing extraordinarily satisfying about discovering one of many creatures below a rock, and placing them to the participant’s ever-growing Pikmin-esque cohort. The participant also can add a bit little bit of selection to their mini military, by discovering hats within the recreation world to assist make every Rot really feel like extra of a person.
The Rots are greater than only a gimmick; they’re important to how Kena: Bridge of Spirits performs. The Rots are continually wanted to unravel the sport’s puzzles, transfer objects, and clear the corruption from the land, whereas they’re additionally extraordinarily useful in a battle. In battle, accumulating orange braveness orbs permits the participant to make use of Rot powers, whereas particular Rot power-ups may be unlocked that make the Rots simpler as properly.
The Rots feed into the general development of Kena: Bridge of Spirits, with its primarily linear nature with probabilities to backtrack to a central hub leaving the sport feeling like a compacted model of 2018’s God of War. Kena travels to a brand new space, roots out relics tied to one foremost spirit, then brings closure to the spirit and purifies the placement, preventing beasties alongside the best way. Ember Lab has saved the title tightly wound, not attempting to do an excessive amount of, and it’s all the higher for it.
This can also be true of the principle gameplay, which covers all of the core strands of motion journey video games in fight, puzzles, and platforming. Kena unlocks 4 key abilities over the course of the sport which might be helpful to all parts of play, resembling a protracted vary bow to hit distant targets and spirit bombs to get by means of armored enemies or rearrange the atmosphere. Meanwhile, its boss battles are additionally fantastically-crafted, with every feeling sufficiently completely different whereas nonetheless permitting the participant to place their discovered abilities into follow.
That’s to not say that Kena: Bridge of Spirits is ideal, as there are just a few points right here and there. Minor glitches will hopefully be addressed, resembling a few cases the place enemies do not spawn in correctly, or uncommon audio glitches that mar the in any other case unbelievable soundtrack by the rating often reducing out abruptly when the participant strikes into a brand new location. The recreation might additionally maybe do with extra accessibility options – there is just one measurement of subtitle and it is fairly small, though fortunately button remapping is on the market.
Overall, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is completely good. It’s a type of uncommon video games that feels prefer it belongs to the brand new technology because of its magnificent world, and its builders knew precisely how bold to be whereas nonetheless offering a prime charge expertise. Ember Lab is already planning its next game, and that is definitely an thrilling prospect certainly, although enjoying by means of the studio’s first effort already comes extremely really helpful.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits releases 21 September 2021 for PC, PS4, and PS5. Screen Rant was supplied with a PS5 obtain code for the needs of this assessment.
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