Review of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Goodness from a small studio that makes top AAA – however, it’s not worth buying yet
one of the most anticipated games of the year. A cute heroine, nice visuals in the spirit of Pixar, intriguing trailers – it is not surprising that gamers are interested in the project. But how did Kena turn out in reality? I finished the game and I hasten to share my impressions!
What is Kena: Bridge of Spirits?
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the debut project of the Ember Lab studio, although it seemed from the trailers that an experienced team was responsible for the development. The game looked great: enchanting landscapes, cute characters, smart animations – but how did the newcomers manage to make such a visual? Perhaps the trailers are a swindle, and gamers are waiting for a noticeable downgrade at the release? Or is Ember Lab not so simple?
The studio was founded back in 2009, but over the years it has not dealt directly with games. Ember Lab has made beautiful videos for companies like Coca-Cola and viral short films based on games. According to the executives, creating their own game was a “natural next step”.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits was developed by 15 people. These are crumbs compared to the hundreds of people who work on titles like the good Assassin’s Creed Valhalla . But is the result really that different?
In terms of the size of the world, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is more modest than the creations of Ubisoft, and there are an order of magnitude fewer points of interest. However, in terms of visuals, content, soundtrack and a number of other mechanics, it surpasses Valhalla and many other AAA games.
A small team managed to make a great game. However, the lack of experience still affected – there are also a lot of problems in Bridge of Spirits.
The plot of Kena: Bridge of Spirits
The world Kena lives in is beautiful. Picturesque forests, crystal clear rivers and snow-covered mountain peaks. Alas, this beauty can perish forever.
The fact is that dead people usually find peace, but some souls, due to strong feelings and unfinished business, remain in the world of the living. Over time, these creatures become aggressive and poison the area with filth.
Spirit guides are needed to help them find peace. Ken is one of those. Previously, the father of the heroine was the conductor of the spirits – it was from him that the daughter got a powerful staff.
The last time the filth has become more. One day, Kena found an entire village covered in darkness – and in fact, recently the place was heavenly. Yes, and the villain who spreads damage with a wave of his hand is annoying.
What is the cause of all troubles? What is the villain looking for? What is the purpose of Kena? The gamer will have to answer these questions.
Perhaps the plot turned out to be simple, but the game does not need more. The writers did not rely on what they tell, but on how they do it. The atmosphere of the world is sensual. The characters’ stories are memorable and can make you cry. The theme of kindness and helping others will seem naive to someone, but it is presented with talent.
A lot of the setting is so good because of the curious characters. Kena is a charming young lady: her cute appearance, facial expressions, chubby cheeks and bright inner world turn her into the most pleasant protagonist.
NPCs are good too. The kids admire the courage with which they try to save their brother. From Rusu came a wise mentor who does not give fish, but gives a fishing rod. Even the villain can be understood – his motivation is clear.
The main decoration of the game was not people or spirits, but decays. These are mysterious creatures that constantly follow Kena and help her in combat and with puzzle solving. The creatures turned out to be cute – it is not surprising that gamers quickly fell in love with them.
Engaging characters and a light story make Kena: Bridge of Spirits a great fairy tale that could well have been released by Pixar. The story would also look good on the big screen.
Peaceful Kena: Bridge of Spirits gameplay
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure game about exploring, solving puzzles, platforming, and fighting enemies. Technically, the world is open here, but in reality the game is linear. Most of the locations are locked until Kena finds the right mask or gains the right ability. And before that, you will have to explore the available terrain, although a direct path usually leads to the goal.
Kena explores locations, climbs ledges, jumps between gorges and other activities of a typical adventurer. The peculiarity is that some obstacles cannot be overcome without the help of scum. These creatures only seem fragile – in fact, they can drag a hefty stone to the right place, hold a bridge, and clear away filth.
A hurried gamer can quickly fly over the location, but being attentive is much more profitable. The fact is that a huge number of useful items are scattered around the world. For example, inverted sculptures: if you put them in the right way, you will get karma points.
If there is a lot of karma, Ken will be able to pump. A lady can be taught new tricks, make her shield stronger and much more. Among the perks there is even a time slowdown when aiming, as in the chic Horizon Zero Dawn .