Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review (PS5) – Spiritual Awakening

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PlayStation LifeStyle 21 September, 2021 - 04:19pm 38 views

Is Kena bridge of spirits coming to Xbox?

Unfortunately, Kena: Bridge of Spirits won't be available on Xbox Game Pass or its PC counterpart at launch and likely throughout 2021. gamewatcher.comKena: Bridge of Spirits Xbox Game Pass - What We Know

If you were ever a fan of the PS2 era of action-adventure games such as Jak & Daxter or The Mark of Kri, then Kena: Bridge of Spirits will be right up your street. It’s a modern version of those classics but with absolutely drop-dead gorgeous Dreamworks or Pixar-style graphics and also featuring some seriously adorable new mascots.

The first thing that everyone is going to notice about the game is how it looks. The luscious green environments that you get to explore are truly special and all of the character designs are delightfully charming. The developer, Ember Lab, originally started out as an animation studio so it’s not a huge surprise that the game is phenomenally beautiful. Thankfully the gameplay is also pretty fun.

The game’s protagonist, Kena, is a young spirit guide whose job it is to help spirits pass over to the other side. Whilst trying to get to a mountain shrine she finds her way blocked by an abandoned village which seems to be suffering from some kind of corruption. She’ll need to help heal the land and uncover its secrets before she can complete her quest.

At the beginning you don’t get to find out too much about Kena and who she is. She keeps her cards fairly close to her chest, but over time you’ll start to pick up some of the motivations for her journey. I do feel like it would have been better if the game had spent a bit more time on establishing her personality early on but I still found it pretty easy to warm to her character. She’s the kind of person who always wants to help others, no matter how difficult that may be.

The abandoned village acts as the game’s hub and you’ll get to travel to nearby areas to try to help the spirits, this then unlocks new places for you to explore. It’s a simple but very pleasurable gameplay loop where you’ll be venturing somewhere new, solving environmental puzzles, fighting corrupted spirits, and then unlocking a new area to do it all over again.

Along your travels you’ll come across some incredibly cute little critters known as the Rot. They’re small little spirits that help to maintain the balance in the forest and once you find them they’ll follow you around. They’re a source of constant adorableness and they also come in pretty handy throughout your adventure. They can help move heavy stuff out of your way and can even help you during combat.

The Rot are a little bit timid so they won’t instantly join you in a fight. Instead, you’ll need to raise a Courage Meter by getting Kena to deal damage first. She carries a staff with her which you’ll use to whack any spirits that attack you. Combat is fairly simple to begin with; you have a light and heavy attack, as well as being able to dodge and raise an energy shield. Once your little Rot army is ready to join in you can use them to do things like bind to an enemy for a short time. This lets you safely get in a few sneaky hits without the enemy being able to fight back.

Over time you’ll gain access to a couple of different weapons as well as being able to learn new moves. The combat system isn’t particularly intricate although that doesn’t stop fights from feeling frantic and fun. It definitely helps that you’ll regularly get introduced to new types of enemies which will force you to use different strategies to beat them. Some of the fights will be a lot tougher than you might expect, particularly against bosses, and you’ll need to use every tool at your disposal.

When you’re not trying to whack enemies, you’ll be exploring the forest and trying to clear the blight which has corrupted the land. This usually results in you having to solve some kind of puzzle or traverse your way across a platforming section. Neither of these things are particularly tricky as you’re given enough environmental clues to help you work out what you need to do next. It also helps that Kena is a delight to control so it feels really fun to jump between platforms and try to discover every secret of the forest.

There are absolutely loads of collectables for you to find, these mostly come in the form of new little Rot buddies and precious little hats for them to wear. You don’t really need to seek out every collectable but you’ll end up wanting to just to see their joyful little faces when you find another of their friends. It’s also lovely to be able to dress them up and then watch them run after you while wearing little cowboy hats or fox masks. As the game has an in-built photo mode you’ll constantly want to stop and take some pictures of your new little bundles of joy.

It’s pretty amazing to think that Kena: Bridge of Spirits is Ember Lab’s very first game. With absolutely stunning visuals and impactful music this is sure to leave an impression on people. Gameplay-wise it doesn’t do anything particularly new or innovative but that doesn’t stop it from being loads of fun. This is a small adventure with enough challenge and heart to keep you entertained for the full 10–15 hours that it’ll take for you to reach its conclusion.

Read full article at PlayStation LifeStyle

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review

IGN 22 September, 2021 - 07:10am

Kena Bridge of Spirits review: A PS2 throwback, for better or worse

Video Games Chronicle 22 September, 2021 - 03:54am

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a completely inoffensive, if somewhat bland adventure that will mildly entertain for the duration of its runtime, but won’t live long in the memory.

There’s a really strange familiarity to the way it controls, the world it takes place in, and even the adorable little creatures that join you on your journey. However, it doesn’t feel like a remake of a classic like Shadow of the Colossus or the Yakuza Kiwami series, instead Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a completely inoffensive, if somewhat bland adventure that will mildly entertain for the duration of its runtime, but won’t live long in the memory.

Bridge of Spirits is a third-person action-adventure game with a focus on melee combat. Using the shoulder buttons to attack, you’ll string together heavy and light combos that, while impactful and satisfying, quickly lose their lustre when the hollow nature of the combat becomes clear.

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Players also have a block that can be used to parry enemy attacks, adding a bit of depth to proceedings, but we found the timing windows to be inconsistent, and enemies to generally be so simple to deal with that it was an unnecessary addition, although on harder difficulties, it becomes a more essential tool.

Combat is freshened up a few times throughout your playthrough with a bow, some bombs and a dash, but these do little to make the combat feel more than completely passable. It’s very evocative of the era that so clearly inspired the game design, but compared to modern games in a similar genre like 2021’s incredible Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, it leaves a lot to be desired.

The boss encounters, which manage to include some more complex battle elements like a reliance on shooting particular weak points, or timing your attacks more carefully, were very enjoyable, although they’re few and far between.

Enemies can also be stunned by The Rot, the adorable fluffy creatures that are used not only as a combat mechanic, but a collectible and a puzzle-solving technique too. The Rot almost feels like an exercise in marketing. You can practically see the dollar signs in the eyes of Ember Labs, as once these furry companions and their litany of customizable hats are made into plush toys, the studio will likely be able to retire from making games, such is the marketability of the creatures.

We’re conflicted, because on one hand, they feel like gaming’s answer to the Minions, a feeling that isn’t helped by the game’s artstyle, but on the other hand, they are incredibly cute and you can put funny wee hats on them. Your reaction when you saw Baby Yoda for the first time will largely influence how successful The Rot are at winning you over.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is about Kena’s quest to rid the land of a mysterious infection that has ravaged the abandoned village she finds herself in. In order to do this, she needs to settle the souls of those who’ve passed on, but have yet to be put to rest. This is achieved by acquiring three items of significance to that person, before a boss fight with the restless spirit sends them to their final resting place.

“It’s very evocative of the era that so clearly inspired the game design, but compared to modern games in a similar genre like 2021’s incredible Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, it leaves a lot to be desired.”

There’s nothing wrong with Kena’s story, but it feels incongruous with what you’re actually doing in the game. In 2021, you’d expect a journey to settle someone’s soul would include some kind of exploration of those concepts in a gameplay sense, not arrow shooting puzzles and “lift the thing and put it here” ephemera.

Kena’s story attempts to broach sentimentality are also incredibly hollow. Not enough time is spent with any character to become truly invested in them. It’s perhaps a byproduct of the general boredom that sets in as you repeat the same tasks over and over that we found the story difficult to actually recall, despite how basic and formulaic it is.

While the cutscenes throughout the game are very visually impressive, the performances and writing are more like something you’d see in a B-tier Illumination animation, the game less attempting to tug at your heartstrings, and more to rip them away from you. We got a few laughs out of the dialogue, but any kind of emotional resonance was lost.

Graphically, Kena is a strange juxtaposition of incredible looking, but jittery pre-rendered cutscenes, and gameplay that manages to achieve a rock-solid framerate, at the behest of some occasionally dated looking environments. The odd dichotomy in visual style is actually down to the intended framerate of the high-fidelity cutscenes. They’re being rendered at 24 frames per second, the standard frame rate for animated films.

This is why when contrasted with the gameplay which is the more familiar, incredibly smooth 60 fps, they appear juddery and slow. However, on a few occasions, we did experience some slow down with the pre-rendered scenes, causing the audio to go out of sync.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits does almost everything it tries to do successfully, we just wish they’d tried a bit more. The combat system is fine, but never elevates itself above basic action-adventure fodder, despite teasing that evolution during the boss encounters.

The visuals of the pre-rendered cutscenes are truly exceptional, and some of the lighting you’ll encounter while exploring will have you scrambling for the photo mode, but the juxtaposition of the two only leads you to focus on which part of the narrative Ember Labs thought were important enough for the expensive cutscenes, and which were not. The Rot are either the cutest characters of 2021 or a hyper cynical attempt to force a mascot into the memory of players, regardless of the quality of the game.

Despite the issues, it manages to make us extremely curious to see what Ember Labs would do to continue this franchise. It feels like the building blocks are there, but on this occasion, they decided to build the safest structure possible.

No part of this site or its content may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

Website by 44 Bytes

Kena Bridge of Spirits review: A PS2 throwback, for better or worse

Dexerto 22 September, 2021 - 03:54am

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a completely inoffensive, if somewhat bland adventure that will mildly entertain for the duration of its runtime, but won’t live long in the memory.

There’s a really strange familiarity to the way it controls, the world it takes place in, and even the adorable little creatures that join you on your journey. However, it doesn’t feel like a remake of a classic like Shadow of the Colossus or the Yakuza Kiwami series, instead Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a completely inoffensive, if somewhat bland adventure that will mildly entertain for the duration of its runtime, but won’t live long in the memory.

Bridge of Spirits is a third-person action-adventure game with a focus on melee combat. Using the shoulder buttons to attack, you’ll string together heavy and light combos that, while impactful and satisfying, quickly lose their lustre when the hollow nature of the combat becomes clear.

Notice: To display this embed please allow the use of Functional Cookies in Cookie Preferences.

Players also have a block that can be used to parry enemy attacks, adding a bit of depth to proceedings, but we found the timing windows to be inconsistent, and enemies to generally be so simple to deal with that it was an unnecessary addition, although on harder difficulties, it becomes a more essential tool.

Combat is freshened up a few times throughout your playthrough with a bow, some bombs and a dash, but these do little to make the combat feel more than completely passable. It’s very evocative of the era that so clearly inspired the game design, but compared to modern games in a similar genre like 2021’s incredible Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, it leaves a lot to be desired.

The boss encounters, which manage to include some more complex battle elements like a reliance on shooting particular weak points, or timing your attacks more carefully, were very enjoyable, although they’re few and far between.

Enemies can also be stunned by The Rot, the adorable fluffy creatures that are used not only as a combat mechanic, but a collectible and a puzzle-solving technique too. The Rot almost feels like an exercise in marketing. You can practically see the dollar signs in the eyes of Ember Labs, as once these furry companions and their litany of customizable hats are made into plush toys, the studio will likely be able to retire from making games, such is the marketability of the creatures.

We’re conflicted, because on one hand, they feel like gaming’s answer to the Minions, a feeling that isn’t helped by the game’s artstyle, but on the other hand, they are incredibly cute and you can put funny wee hats on them. Your reaction when you saw Baby Yoda for the first time will largely influence how successful The Rot are at winning you over.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is about Kena’s quest to rid the land of a mysterious infection that has ravaged the abandoned village she finds herself in. In order to do this, she needs to settle the souls of those who’ve passed on, but have yet to be put to rest. This is achieved by acquiring three items of significance to that person, before a boss fight with the restless spirit sends them to their final resting place.

“It’s very evocative of the era that so clearly inspired the game design, but compared to modern games in a similar genre like 2021’s incredible Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, it leaves a lot to be desired.”

There’s nothing wrong with Kena’s story, but it feels incongruous with what you’re actually doing in the game. In 2021, you’d expect a journey to settle someone’s soul would include some kind of exploration of those concepts in a gameplay sense, not arrow shooting puzzles and “lift the thing and put it here” ephemera.

Kena’s story attempts to broach sentimentality are also incredibly hollow. Not enough time is spent with any character to become truly invested in them. It’s perhaps a byproduct of the general boredom that sets in as you repeat the same tasks over and over that we found the story difficult to actually recall, despite how basic and formulaic it is.

While the cutscenes throughout the game are very visually impressive, the performances and writing are more like something you’d see in a B-tier Illumination animation, the game less attempting to tug at your heartstrings, and more to rip them away from you. We got a few laughs out of the dialogue, but any kind of emotional resonance was lost.

Graphically, Kena is a strange juxtaposition of incredible looking, but jittery pre-rendered cutscenes, and gameplay that manages to achieve a rock-solid framerate, at the behest of some occasionally dated looking environments. The odd dichotomy in visual style is actually down to the intended framerate of the high-fidelity cutscenes. They’re being rendered at 24 frames per second, the standard frame rate for animated films.

This is why when contrasted with the gameplay which is the more familiar, incredibly smooth 60 fps, they appear juddery and slow. However, on a few occasions, we did experience some slow down with the pre-rendered scenes, causing the audio to go out of sync.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits does almost everything it tries to do successfully, we just wish they’d tried a bit more. The combat system is fine, but never elevates itself above basic action-adventure fodder, despite teasing that evolution during the boss encounters.

The visuals of the pre-rendered cutscenes are truly exceptional, and some of the lighting you’ll encounter while exploring will have you scrambling for the photo mode, but the juxtaposition of the two only leads you to focus on which part of the narrative Ember Labs thought were important enough for the expensive cutscenes, and which were not. The Rot are either the cutest characters of 2021 or a hyper cynical attempt to force a mascot into the memory of players, regardless of the quality of the game.

Despite the issues, it manages to make us extremely curious to see what Ember Labs would do to continue this franchise. It feels like the building blocks are there, but on this occasion, they decided to build the safest structure possible.

No part of this site or its content may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

Website by 44 Bytes

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