Kena: Bridge of Spirits by Ember Labs, released in September 2021, presents a unique action-adventure game that combines familiar gameplay with fresh elements. This review will explore various aspects of the game, including its strengths and weaknesses.
Graphics and Atmosphere
The game shines with its phenomenal art direction and immersive score. Ember Labs’ animation background is evident in the cute characters and gorgeous cutscenes that deepen the engagement with the game’s story and world.
The gameplay revolves around Kena, a young spirit guide, in a village struck by tragedy. Her mission is to heal the trauma at the village’s heart by battling corrupted spirits and solving puzzles. The combat is engaging, with Kena using a spirit staff for light and heavy attacks, dodging, and generating a limited-power spirit shield.
A unique feature in combat and puzzles is the Rot, small spirit companions that add a tactical layer to the gameplay. They can attack and distract enemies, making hearts vulnerable, which is crucial for progressing in combat.
Storytelling and Character Development
The game’s storytelling excels in developing the stories of the village’s inhabitants. However, Kena’s own story feels somewhat underdeveloped. The narrative hints at a tragedy in her past but wraps up her arc too quickly, leaving a desire for more depth in her character development.
Combat and Challenges
Combat in Kena: Bridge of Spirits is dynamic and enjoyable, with Kena’s staff providing versatile attack options. The Rot companions play a significant role in combat, offering healing and strategic advantages.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits stands out for its beautiful world, engaging combat, and emotional storytelling. Despite some minor flaws in puzzle variety and character development, it offers a compelling and visually stunning experience.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a remarkable game that beautifully blends combat, puzzles, and storytelling. Its unique approach to familiar gameplay elements and its enchanting world make it a must-play title for action-adventure enthusiasts. Games like this one are my favourite kind. A 4 of 5 in my opinion. A wish to have some Rots in my house!