Kena Bridge of Spirits
Rated T for Teen
(PS5, PS4, PC)
The first game from Ember Labs showcases a talented team that created a heartfelt adventure with fast and fluid combat and interesting environments to explore.
The visuals are gorgeous. The environments are a nice mix of dark and menacing areas, which, after being cleared of corruption, turn to a bright vibrant look.
The bright green forests and white snowy mountains in the background also present a nice visual.
The animations of the characters are also top notch. The cut scenes showcase the developers animation talent and easily compare to the top studios.
The voice acting is astonishingly well done. All the dialog brings across the emotional parts with genuine punch. All the characters have their own backstories with different actors.
The musical score and sound effects are also well done. To have such a solid sound design for a first game brought out by a studio shows the talent on tap.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits revolves around Kena, who is trying to reach the mountain shrine. Along the way, the young spirit guide finds an abandoned village filled with corruption that absorbed all the life from the area.
You look for answers as to what happened and help spirits move on to the spirit realm along the way.
The story takes some emotional turns and creates a heartfelt adventure.
The game is done from a third-person perspective giving the player a larger view of the battlefield around them.
Kena goes around the environment clearing evil along the way.
That evil is there from souls that
are stuck in the current realm. Kena has to battle a large variety of enemies.
You have smaller enemies that resemble rock trolls, flying enemies and enemies that tower above you. The game has a large map of areas to explore. As you complete the different story elements, you collect little helpers called rot.
Rot are found from completing story parts and by searching around the environments, and doing some puzzles. Rot isn’t just for collecting, it also helps in battles.
Rot fills a small circle on the bottom left of the screen. The more Rot you collect, the more circles to use in battles. Rot is used for special abilities in battles.
The developer created a large world filled with a rich story and characters. The world you explore is lush, detailed and pops on the television screen.
The game truly looks like the next generation is here.
Kena has an array of combat moves, both light and powerful attacks. You also have a shield around you that can parry attacks if done with correct timing.
As the story progresses, you unlock a bow and arrow and other abilities. Combat is fluid and easy enough to get the hang of.
Battles are fast and frantic at times, requiring all the skills you learned. Parrying, doing light attacks and switching to arrows on the fly is fluid and easy to get the hang of.
Bombs can even be used to destroy shields, stun and more. Boss battles feature enemies that tower above the player. Each boss has different weaknesses and patterns. All the bosses have a nice amount of challenges and will test all the skills you learned.
I did experience a weird boss glitch that had me floating around and not being able to undo my parry. This was one of the few glitches that I encountered.
The game’s story will leave you open to different side missions that you can unlock along the way. Finding spirit lanterns will unlock houses and side missions in the village area.
As you progress you will learn new platforming and other abilities. There’s chests filled with diamonds and even hats for your little rot characters.
The platforming just like the combat feels well balanced, if you miss a jump, it’s likely your error. Puzzles are also a staple of the game. Players will have to pay close attention to the environment that will give you clues as to what to do next. Some puzzles will require your rot to move objects to certain locations, shooting crystals in certain order and more. There are a bunch of side missions and collectibles to keep you busy.
The developer may not have taken too many risks or tried many new things, but Kena is an extremely solid adventure with a combination of great environments, solid combat and a great story. Everything just works to immerse the player in Kena’s adventure.
I hope Ember Labs can bring this masterpiece to the Xbox console so more gamers can enjoy the game.
A must buy — 9/10.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. On XBox One:
acehardy13, On PSN: acehardy13