Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an odd 1. In some means, it’s a newcomer-friendly experience. In other people, it shirks genre conventions absolutely. It is an motion activity, but often it feels like a position-and-click experience. It doesn’t have a large amount of controls, but you feel the excess weight of them as you complete jobs. It strives for upcoming-amount storytelling, but it does so as a result of gameplay conventions that decidedly sense like those people of decades earlier.
In Kena: Bridge of Spirits, you participate in as a spirit guideline, combating hostile entities so they can move on and normally clearing the land of corruption. You do so, commonly, in two unique modes! Beat is dealt with mostly with shoulder buttons, combining gentle and hefty assaults with a several modifiers that you can unlock from a skill tree as you go. Exploration is slow-paced, with some platforming here and there but minimal to fear about. The two don’t tend to cross either you’re in a fight space or you’re shifting about.
It’s least difficult to realize Kena in the context of who produced it. Developer Ember Lab is principally an animation house. Does the sport have distinctive, adorable figures that emote really well? Definitely. Are environments geared toward environment in a way most game titles are not? Yeah, and it’s awesome, even though occasionally you are going to get a little bit lost navigating them and know why it’s unusual. There are kind of arbitrary walls blocking off development until eventually you’re ready, in the sort of way you’d hope from platformers of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. The voice acting is high-quality, in its way. Actors may perhaps have been solid for tone about video game practical experience, as shipping and delivery is a little bit disjointed, but the people today in the globe sense extra real and grounded.
But Kena is unquestionably a story first and a match second, and you feel that as you engage in. Empathy and scene-environment just take precedence. Sometimes it would seem like the sport was all established, and then someone at Ember Lab imagined “oops, there is not really adequate gameplay in here” and spawned a number of enemy encounters about. These fights are all about getting the to start with strike. Kena has paper-thin wellness, but fight combos reliably stun enemies and preserve them at bay.
Even well down the talent tree, Kena is quite substantially traditional. There is not so a great deal a gameplay move, or seriously a guiding ethos. It is as if a studio that hadn’t manufactured games just before went down a checklist of matters games are intended to have, alternatively than starting off with a eyesight for activity sense. Outdoors of combat, you often have to hit one particular certain motion button and then another unique motion button to activate objects in the earth. It feels inefficient to have to do the two every time, specifically considering that there is no real skill or timing concerned.
And that storytelling? It’s not seamless. Ember Lab seemingly desired a incredibly unique issue from its scenes, and you are going to fade to black and lower to other angles to make their vision occur. In this way, it feels like a PS2-period recreation. “Pause the game. Now it is time for the motion picture aspect!” The sport offers these scenes, deliberately, at 30 frames per next. Like flicks, type of? Or at the very least closer. The PS5 create of the sport that we performed defaults to Effectiveness Method and reveals gameplay segments at 60. Swapping to the 30-locked Fidelity Manner might have some merit to keep away from this back again-and-forth of presentation types. We identified it much less jarring.
There’s a flip aspect to this method, however! It is fun to just wander about the globe. The lovable Rot creatures pose in preset places as you move about, and you can acquire components to set on ‘em. There’s a Photo Manner to seize all of this probably-exhausting development do the job. The activity appears awesome, particularly on PS5, but this is not a major-spending budget energy. You’ll see the seams in techniques you really don’t in Rift Apart or Astro’s Playroom. Setting the appropriate expectations is essential to pleasure right here.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is accessible now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Computer.