From the infinitesimal Kena’s unit ignites with magnificent magic, the satellite astir her sizzles with excitement, creating an enchanting ambiance for 1 of the champion escapade games I’ve played successful caller memory. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is Ember Lab’s debut game, but it hits with the sophistication and quality you’d expect from a workplace that’s been doing this for decades.
With biology puzzles astir astir each crook and secrets waiting for those who tin lick them, Bridge of Spirits has a beardown bosom for adventuring. That bosom perpetually pounds arsenic caller areas are discovered, each bushed pulling you successful antithetic directions to unearth hidden treasures and items that volition assistance rejuvenate a fallen society.
Kena (pronounced “Kay-nuh”) is an inexperienced Spirit Guide who indispensable find wayward souls that are reluctant to permission this mortal coil. Before sending them connected their way, she needs to larn astir their lives, and yet what happened to them. By exploring the land, their pasts are unearthed, and you larn of their triumphs and hardships done little flashbacks that marque the communicative sing successful intriguing ways and assistance soma retired its cardinal players. Many of these revelations play retired wrong beautifully animated communicative sequences that swell with emotion and are amplified by an outstanding soundtrack featuring accepted Balinese music. I recovered myself humming on to the excellently composed low-key melodies, immoderate sung by Ayu Larassanti, the aforesaid histrion that brings Kena’s dependable to life. How chill is that?
The serenity of the acquisition extends to the world. Be prepared to participate photograph mode galore times during your playthrough. Bridge of Spirits is arsenic beauteous arsenic games come, and that quality encourages exploration – you’ll privation to spot each of this phantasy kingdom. Ember Lab’s artists marque each small item pop, whether wrong the sprawling wood Kena journeys done oregon the small creatures she meets on the way. These adorable tiny blobs are called Rot and are 1 of the game’s astir sought-after collectibles. They play a monolithic relation successful some the gameplay and story, but much importantly, they deterioration cute hats (another point to way down). You don’t cognize what the Rot are oregon wherefore they are helping Kena, but you support gathering them (up to 100 successful total) and anticipation they proceed to beryllium your allies arsenic the communicative unfurls.
As Kena bounds done the sun-soaked forest, she’ll travel crossed areas of corruption littered with thorns, muck, and grey vines starring up a red, pulsating blob called a Tangled Heart. When Kena enters these locations, enemies materialize from reddish mist and combat ensues. Throughout the full game, Kena lone uses her unit to instrumentality down these foes, but this elemental limb is astir arsenic adaptable arsenic they come.
Kena’s movements are swift, and the staff’s melee strikes onshore with a satisfying wallop. She tin evasive roll, block, and execute parry’s to stun her adversaries. These conflict sequences hum with intensity, are loads of fun, and grow with complexity erstwhile Kena learns to usage the unit successful caller ways.
Some of the staff’s augmentations unlock done purchase, but the astir important additions are earned by making advancement successful the story. Along the way, Kena learns however to crook her unit into a bow and transmission its almighty vigor to make bombs. Tagging an force with a cautiously placed weaponry is bully fun, but the bow is the existent prima of combat. It feels unthinkable and is designed with pinpoint precision successful mind. When Kena leaps into the aerial and pulls backmost the bowstring, clip slows, allowing for an arrow to deed the nonstop spot you privation – whether it’s a tiny anemic portion connected an enemy's thorax oregon a hanging lantern beneath a galloping behemoth. Landing these shots is an empowering experience, and you are tasked to bash it constantly. It's specified a satisfying gameplay hook.
The Rot, those adorable companions I mentioned earlier, besides play a important relation successful combat. They tin heal Kena, stun enemies, and are game-changers against bosses. These conflicts crook the trouble to 11 and request adjacent perfection successful your timing and strategies. Don’t beryllium amazed if these bosses propulsion you astir similar a ragdoll, and you dice often. The leap successful trouble is astonishing and is 1 of the areas wherever the crippled struggles a bit. The trouble mounting is switchable astatine immoderate point, but with unsatisfying results – moving from blistering strength to cakewalk.
Bridge of Spirits besides leans a small excessively heavy connected the aforesaid puzzle mechanics, particularly successful the precocious crippled wherever astir each vertical question pushes Kena to propulsion a weaponry and detonate it with an arrow to make a way forward. While I admit however clever the puzzles are and however fluid the platforming is, utilizing the aforesaid motions gets tiring and saps immoderate of the amusive retired of the exploration.
Ember Lab was upfront astir Kena’s magnitude going into release, saying it could beryllium completed successful a weekend. Given however overmuch I adore this experience, I privation it would past longer, but the shorter footprint works well, particularly for seeing each the satellite has to offer. The last enactment is the lone facet that feels rushed. The communicative wraps up nicely (in ways I didn’t expect), but a fewer of the large reveals and conflicts travel and spell successful a flash and aren’t fixed the aforesaid level of attraction arsenic different moments successful the game.
Bridge of Spirits stumbles a small successful spots, yet confidently sprints into the bosom of the adventure, rewarding the subordinate with secrets galore and visuals that are astir ever worthy admiring. If you emotion Zelda-like games oregon are conscionable looking for an acquisition that volition marque you grin each measurement of the way, you can’t spell incorrect with Kena: Bridge of Spirits.