Kena: Bridge of Spirits review - "The Rot really are a stroke of genius"

© Provided by GamesRadar Kena: Bridge of Spirits review

For some people, Kena: Bridge of Spirits will be a visually impressive meditation on grief. But for me, it’s all one big mission to collect new hats for my Rot companions. Sure, I have to fight giant monsters and solve platforming puzzles to do it, but it’s all worth it to see my chubby little companions wearing pancakes and frogs and acorns as headwear. Luckily for those looking for something beyond fashion accessories for small magical creatures, this adventure offers plenty to enjoy behind the eye candy exterior. 

You play as Kena, a spirit guide equipped with only a staff and the ability to “pulse” light as a shield or energy source. You’re tasked with helping struggling spirits pass on to the afterlife and clearing a dark corruption that’s taken control of the land. That means fighting monsters, climbing, jumping, and dashing your way through the stunning world while solving puzzles and collecting relics. On your quest to release the unquiet spirits you’ll make a few friends, deliver ghost mail and face Kena’s own memories. It’s a big job, sure, but the good news is you have an army of portly pals called the Rot to help. 

Friends with benefits

These little guys aren’t quite the manic minions that Pikmin are, but they are key to clearing the corrupted areas and navigating the world. Throw them at the big red blooms that mark the heart of a corrupted area, blast it with a pulse of light from your spirit guide staff and book, and the area will be cleansed. Chuck them at heavy items and they’ll carry them to your desired location. Hurl them at at enemies and they’ll bind them briefly, giving you a chance to attack. With the help of a magical flower that you can find on some areas of the map, you can even have your Rot join together as one big amorphous mass that has the power to slam through barriers. 

When you start Kena: Bridge of Spirits, with little more than a few Rot and a staff that’s both a weapon and capable of pulsing a special light to open doors and light gems, it feels a bit basic. Pretty as hell, sure, but enemies are easily defeated with the old light attack, heavy attack combo, and the platforming is straightforward. This isn’t an open-world exploration experience either, and at most you’ll only ever have two or three paths to choose from. 

Stick with it, though, and the game gradually adds new layers that elevate the action. There’s a bow that makes ranged attacks possible, and it can also be used to tether to giant blooms like a grappling hook. A bomb is useful in combat but is most notable for its power to levitate heavy rocks and parts of ruins, creating bridges and platforms that will remain suspended for a short period of time. You’ll learn to dash through magical barriers, which is a handy skill that also lets you teleport to reach new places. The best platforming puzzles and boss battles in Kena: Bridge of Spirits combine these abilities to offer a real challenge – one of timing, precision, and sheer bravado. 

There are plenty of smaller enemies that you can chew through easily enough, but the game packs plenty of bigger challenges and enemies that will test your skills and deliver overwhelming attacks. They’ll feel almost impossible to overcome until an idea hits you – using the Rot to bind the foe that likes to disappear underground, your levitation bomb to expose a weak point under an enemy’s tough carapace, or breaking through a forcefield with your dash. I’m not a violent person, but it made me happy to see a meaty-looking enemy spawn on the battlefield because I could already taste the rich satisfaction of taking them down. As with the Rot, the larger enemies are beautifully designed, leaning towards the organic with gnarled woods and twisted, craggy formations. It ties them back to the story, and even when you’re facing duplicates it feels more alive than a platoon of shiny robots would.

Missing a manual

The main problem with Kena: Bridge of Spirits is that, as new skills are introduced, it’s not always clear exactly how they work. It’s fine not to have text prompts all over the screen as long as the environment is set up to quickly teach you how your new power can be used – the Legend of Zelda games are a masterclass in this – or if there are some friendly NPCs who can offer advice. Kena often lacks either, and it’s easy to get frustrated. When you’re stuck in Kena: Bridge of Spirits, you’re incredibly stuck. Be thankful you’ll be playing in a world where our guide writers are ready to offer some help for those moments, because you might just escape the high blood pressure issues I now need to discuss with my doctor. 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is developer Ember Lab’s first game. Its previous focus on animation shines through in the charming and visually rich world, but a more experienced studio might have had the time to create a slightly smoother set of tutorials to make you feel empowered by new skills rather than lost, to add a few more side-quests here and there to keep the pacing varied and to address some of the framerate issues in cutscenes, and bugs around boss battles. That said, the code I received was a pre-release build, so some of the more minor issues will hopefully have been ironed out. 

Rot around the clock

But ultimately, you look at those little Rot and you can’t be mad. Despite their limited skills as adventurers, they’re utterly charming companions whatever you’re doing. They’ll be watching you as you clamber ledges, enter an abandoned house, and then they’ll already be sitting on the furniture looking cute. You’ll collect new Rot by completing significant parts of the story or just by finding them out in the world, hidden under rocks or in pots. You can’t name them (in the game anyway, call them what you like in the privacy of your own head) or organize them, and they all have the same skills, but you can give them hats. You’ll get headwear for completing parts of the story, finding chests hidden throughout the world, and you can buy them at little hat carts too. It’s a minor cosmetic addition, but once you see your Rots running around with beetles and pots and mushrooms on their heads, I think you’ll agree it’s a brilliant one. The Rot really are a stroke of genius that heighten every other aspect of Kena: Bridge of Spirits, and give it a visual personality that sticks around through every task. 

Any technical issues for me were also outweighed by just how much I liked being in the world and learning how to traverse it, even if occasionally it meant my neighbors heard some new swear words through the walls. Some moments feel crafted by the writers and characters designers to be truly special, like when you free a magical creature called Rufus who was trapped by the corruption, or at the ending which even made my withered old heart beat extra hard. Thanks to its storytelling and visual design there’s just something warm and alive in Kena: Bridge of Spirits, which is perhaps fitting for a game that is so focused on death. 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits was reviewed on PS5 with code provided by the publisher

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Alec Baldwin Involved in On Set Shooting After Prop Gun "Misfires"

Alec Baldwin has been involved in a shooting on the set of his next movie. The actor’s rep told E! News there was “an accident” involving “the misfire of a ... Read more »

Orangeburg native writes a song to lift spirits over pandemic fatigue

Orangeburg native Tonya Ceasar hopes to lift people’s spirits with her new song called ‘So Worthy.’  The gospel singer-songwriter says she wrote the song during the pandemic last year. Ceasar says ... Read more »

Toby Keith Pays Tribute to John Prine on New Album

Legendary country folk singer-songwriter John Prine had a lot of fans. Bill Murray, Eric Church, Sturgill Simpson, and everyone who wrote him the postcards that were used in his final ... Read more »

Westerville ArtsLine: November brings eclectic mix of options

From autumn painting, teen mosaics and macramé knots to blues, jazz and percussion, the month of November is filled with a variety of art sessions and musical entertainment. Additionally, theatre ... Read more »

Review: Netflix's starry Black western 'The Harder They Fall' is both a dazzler and a muddle

The Times is committed to reviewing theatrical film releases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because moviegoing carries risks during this time, we remind readers to follow health and safety guidelines as outlined by the ... Read more »

Original Yellow Wiggle Greg Page meets new member Tsehay Hawkins

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins announced earlier this week she was leaving the children’s band after 11 years. And The Wiggles have now released ... Read more »

Blake Lively calls out 'disturbing' Instagram post showing daughters' faces: 'You said you would stop'

Blake Lively has hit out at an Instagram account for posting photos of her three daughters with husband Ryan Reynolds. The Gossip Girl alum voiced her disapproval of the Instagram ... Read more »

ABBA Voyage: How to get tickets

© Getty Images File image: ABBA give the thumbs up after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 – Getty Images ABBA have announced that there will be more tickets ... Read more »

ABBA Voyage unbelievable new song Just A Notion - Watch the video here first

Last month, ABBA released their first new material for almost forty years. The two singles, I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down, were the first preview ... Read more »

Haunted Chocolatier is Stardew Valley 2 in all but name

© Provided by GamesRadar Haunted Chocolatier Haunted Chocolatier is the next game from Stardew Valley creator Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone. Stardew Valley 2 in all but name, Haunted Chocolatier drops you ... Read more »

Doom Eternal is finally getting its horde mode next week

© Provided by GamesRadar Doom Eternal Doom Eternal is getting its long-awaited single-player horde mode next week, Tuesday, October 26. Bethesda revealed the release date in a new teaser trailer ... Read more »

Saints Row gameplay video includes the painful return of Insurance Fraud

© Provided by GamesRadar Saints Row Saints Row criminal ventures are the focus of a new gameplay video from Volition, laying out all kinds of under-the-table business you can engage ... Read more »

BTS to Leave Sony Music for Universal

BTS BTS is ending its distribution arrangement with Sony Music and is headed to Universal Music Group, according to sources familiar with the situation. The new partnership is a licensing ... Read more »

No Time To Die: 14 Cool James Bond Easter Eggs And Callbacks In Daniel Craig's Final Outing

© Provided by CinemaBlend Daniel Craig’s James Bond in meeting with M in No Time to Die Warning: SPOILERS for No Time To Die are absolutely in play. If you ... Read more »

How Netflix's You Needs To Change For Season 4, According To Penn Badgley

© Provided by CinemaBlend Joe Goldberg in You Season 3. Screenshot. Spoiler alert! This story contains major spoilers for Season 3 of the Netflix drama You. Proceed with caution if ... Read more »

Brooke Shields Is ‘Obsessed' With This Potent Anti-Aging Serum

Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. © Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock Brooke Shields in November 2019. Many celebrities who are ... Read more »

Debra Messing Finally Explains Criticism Of Kim Kardashian's SNL Gig With An Apology

© Provided by CinemaBlend debra messing tamron hall show interview screenshot youtube It’s become very common for celebrities to get themselves into (at least) a bit of trouble from time ... Read more »

Brooke Blurton on rumours winner of The Bachelorette has been leaked

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Darvid Garayeli is the front-runner to win Brooke Blurton’s heart on The Bachelorette, according to all major bookmakers. And now Brooke has addressed ... Read more »

A radio host called Gordon Ramsay's 19-year-old daughter a 'chubby little thing,' causing a flood of support for Tilly Ramsay online

© Karwai Tang/WireImage Tilly Ramsay responded to a 67-year-old radio host who insulted her on his show. Karwai Tang/WireImage Tilly Ramsay, Gordon’s 19-year-old daughter, spoke out against the LBC host ... Read more »

Live Nation Expands Venue Portfolio in Texas and South Carolina

The Echo Lounge & Music Hall in Dallas Live Nation is expanding its venue reach with a grand opening in Dallas and a new venue partnership in South Carolina. The ... Read more »

Fuego Celebrates 10 Years of ‘Vaina Loca' With New Manuel Turizo & Duki Version: Exclusive

Manuel Turizo, Fuego, Duki In 2011, Fuego (real name: Miguel Ángel Durán Jr.) recorded what would become one of the biggest bangers of his career in his mom’s apartment in ... Read more »

Megan Thee Stallion Announces New Freestyle Compilation Something for Thee Hotties

© Megan Thee Stallion (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images) AUSTIN, TEXAS – OCTOBER 01: Megan Thee Stallion performs onstage during Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park on October 01, ... Read more »

Everything you need to know about the Rebelde reboot

© Provided by ¡Hola! Netflix is ready to introduce a new generation to Rebelde. The reboot to the classic telenovela has an official release date and will feature Andrea Chaparro, ... Read more »

Wayne Shorter & More Jazz Greats Named 2021 Doris Duke Artists

Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter, Kris Davis and Danilo Pérez are the jazz performers chosen as 2021 Doris Duke Artists, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced Thursday (Oct. 21).   To accompany the award, $275,000 will ... Read more »

Family hip-hop singer Secret Agent 23 Skidoo to perform at ND's DeBartolo

SOUTH BEND — The family hip-hop singer Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and his Grammy Award-winning band will perform the first children’s concert of the season Nov. 13 at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.  © ... Read more »

Young Thug Sues Over Stolen Bag That Included Jewelry, Cash & Songs

Young Thug Atlanta rapper Young Thug said an apartment concierge let an unknown person take his Louis Vuitton bag holding about 200 unreleased songs and more than $100,000 worth of ... Read more »

Albums: Elton John – The Lockdown Sessions, Lana Del Ray – Blue Banisters, Duran Duran – Future Past

Elton John The Lockdown Sessions ★★★★☆ In the past few years, Elton John has cemented his reputation as someone who can spot a future superstar from 40 paces. His radio ... Read more »

The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber Take Fans Inside the Making of Their ‘Stay' Music Video: Watch

The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber Vevo has named The Kid LAROI their final LIFT artist of 2021 and released an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the music video for “Stay,” ... Read more »

Apache Casino Hotel hosts Beach Boys concert

LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) – Apache Casino Hotel Event Manager Lee Bayless joined 7News in studio to talk about an upcoming concert series featuring the Beach Boys. © Provided by Wichita ... Read more »

Storm Cancels San Anselmo Weekend Of Free Concerts

SAN ANSELMO, CA — A San Anselmo concert scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled due to a Pacific storm. © Shutterstock / chase4concept The 7th Sons, a classic rock ... Read more »

Joe Gorga reveals he CRIED over sister Teresa Giudice's engagement

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Joe Gorga is thrilled about his sister Teresa Giudice’s engagement to  Luis Ruelas, who proposed in Greece earlier this week after a year of ... Read more »

Claire Holt to Appear in Legacies Season 4 as Rebekah Mikaelson

© Courtesy of The CW Another much-missed Mikaelson is returning to the fold. Claire Holt, who played Rebekah on both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, will reprise her role ... Read more »

Ant and Dec tease new I'm A Celeb with exciting trailer as show prepares for castle return

Declan Donnelly gets on his high horse to gee up pal Ant to come up with ideas for the new series of I’m a Celeb. The ITV show returns to ... Read more »

Queen Elizabeth II Spends the Night in Hospital After Canceling Visit to Northern Ireland

Queen Elizabeth is on the mend following a hospitalization, which prompted Her Majesty to cancel a trip to Northern Ireland. On Thursday, Oct. 21, Buckingham Palace said in a statement, ... Read more »

Queen Elizabeth Spends a Night in the Hospital After Canceling Visit to Northern Ireland

© Provided by People Steve Parsons/AP/Shutterstock Queen Elizabeth spent Wednesday night in a hospital after canceling a trip to Northern Ireland under medical advice from her doctors, according to Buckingham ... Read more »

Noir Film ‘The Blue Rose' Rounds Out Cast With Ray Wise, Danielle Bisutti, Nikko Austen Smith

© Courtesy Images “The Blue Rose,” a new noir thriller from writer- director George Baron, has rounded out its ensemble cast. Joining the project currently shooting in Los Angeles is ... Read more »

Queen Elizabeth spent night in hospital after cancelling her visit to Northern Ireland

© Provided by Pinkvilla   Buckingham Palace stated on Wednesday that Queen Elizabeth II had undergone “preliminary investigations.” It occurred after she agreed to follow medical advice to rest for ... Read more »

My love story with horror films isn't over yet: Emraan Hashmi on his upcoming flick ‘Dybbuk'

© Provided by Pinkvilla Makers of ‘Dybbuk’ recently released the trailer of Emraan Hashmi led upcoming horror film. In a recent chat with PTI, Emraan spoke about his film and ... Read more »

Sundance Institute Sets Fellows For Inaugural Producers Intensive

© Sundance Institute The Sundance Institute has set 10 fellows for its inaugural Producers Intensive, taking place virtually from October 21-22. The artists and projects selected on the nonfiction side ... Read more »

Adele's New Comments About Her Simon Konecki Split Reflect the Reality of Divorce as a Mom

© Charlie Williams/Everett Collection. Adele is offering another detail about her divorce from Simon Konecki — the “risk” she took with single motherhood. In a new episode of Vogue’s “73 ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic