Home Gaming Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Review – Don't Fear The Reaper

Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Review – Don't Fear The Reaper


In Kena: Bridge of Spirits, on a regular basis gadgets are imbued with new, unseen emotional significance. A picket masks is a hyperlink to the spirit of the individual for whom it was made. Objects like a building hammer or a field stuffed with meals are tied to reminiscences of people that have been misplaced. Areas that had been as soon as the websites of vibrant and pleased instances are scarred with the ache and trauma suffered inside them.

Taking a look at widespread issues with new eyes is a operating theme of Kena, and that theme usually applies to its gameplay as properly. Although the sport is stuffed with some pretty widespread action-adventure style tropes–it has melee fight that feels akin to titles comparable to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and even Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, climbing sections just like Uncharted or Tomb Raider, platforming that remembers video games comparable to Ratchet and Clank, and puzzles like what you may see in The Legend of Zelda–it manages to mix a well-recognized approachability with some contemporary spins on the concepts. Mixed with emotional, character-driven storytelling, some tough-but-excellent fights, and mechanics that make the world really feel alive round you, Kena is an thrilling, usually heartbreaking journey that can make you wish to discover each nook and crevice to see all you can.

Now Taking part in: Kena: Bridge of Spirits Video Evaluation

The story and world of Kena: Bridge of Spirits middle on a village beset by tragedy. Its inhabitants are all gone, worn out by misfortune, and their ache has bodily poisoned the once-vibrant land round it. That ache has drawn Kena, a younger spirit information, to hunt out the trauma at its middle and heal it. Her hyperlink to the spirit realm permits her to assist the ghosts of the village discover peace, and in so doing, she’s in a position to push again the corruption that has gripped the land, restoring it to its former glory.

In sensible phrases, you do this by wandering the massive, semi-open area of the village and its surrounding environs, battling the corrupted spirits of each the individuals who as soon as lived there and the character their ache has twisted. Most each interplay comes right down to a mix of fight and puzzle-solving. Your objective is often to beat again a bunch of enemies, releasing up the flexibility to destroy a close-by corrupted “heart”–a form of evil flower bulb–with a blast of spirit vitality you possibly can pulse from Kena with the contact of a button. Kill the center, and the corruption recedes, together with the corrupted enemies.

Fight itself is usually acquainted, with Kena combating off enemies with using her spirit workers. You get gentle and heavy assaults you possibly can combo collectively, however even within the regular issue, enemies hit exhausting and may knock you off your recreation for those who’re not paying consideration. Like comparable motion video games, you’ve a dodge that may get you out of bother more often than not, and you’ll generate a spirit protect with restricted energy that can cease assaults. Take too many hits, and the protect breaks, sending you flying and dealing you harm, however for those who can time your block excellent, you will parry an enemy and open them as much as a counter-attack.

Each Kena’s puzzles and its fight add a twist within the type of the Rot, that are little spirit friends you will discover within the setting. The Rot are a bit like Pikmin or the minions seen in video games comparable to Overlord. In fight, you possibly can ship them to assault and distract enemies, permitting you to get in a number of free hits or assault a weak level, and so they’re important to creating hearts weak in the course of fights, which may help you cease enemies from respawning so you possibly can advance.

The Rot are the factor that makes Kena stand other than comparable video games, and discovering them, powering them up, and using them successfully provides a tactical layer to fights that goes past simply dodging and parrying. For the reason that Rot are all fairly small, you’ll want to work up their braveness to deliver them into the battle. As you deal harm and kill enemies, you fill a meter that offers you a Rot motion, and you’ll deploy them in a battle with a single button or use them to energy up one in all your assaults for a giant hit. The Rot are additionally essential for benefiting from the environment–you must ship them at hearts with a view to neutralize them, and the one approach to heal Kena is to expend a Rot motion.

Working with the Rot in fight forces you to always be on the assault and to concentrate to your setting. You must mentally log the situation of hearts that spawn enemies and the gadgets you utilize to heal, and it is usually important that you simply knock out smaller, weaker enemies to construct Rot costs so you possibly can distract and take down greater, more durable ones. Deciding how greatest to make use of the Rot in fight retains you balancing a big-picture view of a battle with the smaller, extra intense moments of parrying a giant hit or sniping a weak level.

Sometimes, the mix of these parts generally is a bit annoying, as a result of it is easy to blow a single dodge or block and have failure cascade on you, or to unintentionally ship the Rot to assault the incorrect enemy as issues get hectic. With some bosses, you will most likely have to die a number of instances simply to determine how badly they’re able to wrecking you. However loss of life is not the purpose, and at the very least with PlayStation 5’s lickity-split load instances, the sport is all the time fast about getting you again into the motion with as little punishment as potential. It additionally affords a narrative mode issue, which looks like an excellent addition, given how deceptively tough a few of its fights may be. Kena’s fight is mostly robust and thrilling, executing properly on acquainted dodge-and-parry mechanics, however it’s the addition of the Rot and the flexibility in how you should utilize them that actually makes battles in Kena really feel enjoyable and clever.

That additionally goes for the sport’s varied puzzles. Exterior of fight, Rot observe you round or pop up on ledges and bridges as you progress by means of the setting, and may be despatched to do contextual actions on the earth, like transferring climbable objects that will help you attain a excessive platform. Kena does a superb job of mixing the necessity to give the Rot instructions with good makes use of of Kena’s talents, creating conditions through which options want you to consider what you are able to do with the unlockable bow or platform-levitating bombs, in addition to what the Rot can do to change the setting.

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The place Kena nails the steadiness is in offering you with tons of puzzles that largely reward your statement abilities, with out overly taxing your potential to resolve them. More often than not, recognizing one thing the Rot can transfer or seeing an object you possibly can work together with utilizing spirit vitality is sufficient to illuminate the trail ahead. You may be climbing alongside a wall and see a less-obvious spot the place you possibly can leap down, and each time, noticing one thing like this can take you to a reward.

The one disadvantage is that, with the sport hinging a lot on statement, it is very simple to overlook the one merchandise that may level you in the fitting route. One explicit puzzle, which required capturing a number of torches in a particular order, had me wandering the realm attempting to determine it out for a superb 10 minutes earlier than I spotted how easy the answer actually was, however that I hadn’t caught on to the single-use clue the sport had included to indicate me what to do. Principally, although, these puzzles are simply tough sufficient to make you’re feeling good for catching on. Kena can be brimming with collectibles, together with Rot spirits hidden within the setting and hats to customise them, and whereas chasing these gadgets is essentially inessential, the addition of all these little facet paths and tiny rewards encourages you to discover and lose your self in Kena’s world.

And it’s a lovely world to discover, because of phenomenal artwork route and a very good, immersive rating, made extra so by the tales of the spirits discovered inside it. Developer Ember Labs has its beginnings in animation, and the sport takes full benefit of that background with cute characters and lovely cutscenes that assist to speculate you even additional in uncovering what has occurred within the village and setting it proper. You possibly can’t save these individuals, however you possibly can assist them transfer on and forgive themselves.

In every part of the sport, you enterprise out to search out one explicit tormented spirit and assist them obtain peace, and your journey by means of the situation is all about piecing collectively the story of who these individuals are and what grew to become of them. In every, you are not simply serving to free a human spirit who has been corrupted and twisted into a robust and harmful boss by their trauma–you’re additionally serving to the spirits of the individuals who liked them however can not attain them. The interactions with the characters you discover in every part of the sport helps imbue the areas in and across the village with a personality of their very own, and although the place has been all however destroyed, you possibly can really feel the life that after thrived there.

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What’s lacking from the story, although, is Kena herself. The sport hints that some tragedy in Kena’s previous has scarred her, very like the spirits she units out to assist. Close to the climax of the story, the sport digs into a few of Kena’s motivations and historical past however wraps issues up so rapidly and neatly that it appears like some facet of her story may need been lower. Kena is kind of in the identical place on the finish of the story as initially, and in a recreation the place a lot improvement is given to the tales of the inhabitants of the village, the eye paid to the protagonist feels anemic by comparability.

The act of assembly and understanding all these different characters is highly effective, although. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is finally a recreation about making these connections, similar to it is about making a reference to the sport world round you thru the Rot. It facilities on characters who tried valiantly however failed to assist each other, and what coping with that ache did to them. It is about exploring a world and seeing what it as soon as was, and serving to to revive it once more. And whereas Kena: Bridge of Spirits is filled with familiar-feeling fight and exploration, its potential to search out alternative ways to take a look at these concepts makes for a gorgeous, emotional, and thrilling journey.


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