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Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review

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Every child dreamt of being in a Disney film. If you’re sitting there considering, “I didn’t,” I’ve received information for you – you probably did. Disney owns every thing. Did you need to be in Star Wars? That’s a Disney film. Be like Iron Man? That’s a Disney film. Maybe you wished to be like Jack Bauer – newsflash, because of the Fox acquisition, Mr. 24 is now formally a Disney character. Kena: Bridge of Spirits fulfills that childhood want, capturing the bouncy allure of Disney inside a splendidly lush and realised world. Of all of the Disney movies on the market, it feels most like Raya and the Last Dragon, so except you’re a toddler proper now, it most likely isn’t the precise film you dreamed about, but it surely’s shut sufficient.

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Kena seems like Raya, but it surely seems like lots of different issues too. Zelda, Horizon, Princess Mononoke, and Ghost of Tsushima all got here to thoughts throughout my playthrough. Other individuals who’ve performed it right here have in contrast it to Jedi: Fallen Order, Ori, and Dark Souls (not for the problem, don’t fear), and The Medium. While I don’t agree with all of them, I feel everybody who performs this game will add a brand new comparability to the pile. That’s as a result of Kena borrows extensively from video games that exist already, however doesn’t do lots to assist itself stand out.

Related: Deathloop Review – Balletic And Brilliant, Arkane’s Latest Is PS5’s Best Game So FarLast yr, Ghost of Tsushima received the viewers selection for Game of the Year at The Game Awards. Personally, I didn’t get it. I believed it was an excellent, very secure game. Kena is similar. It has an enormous array of meaningless collectibles, a repetitive map, fight that doesn’t really feel worthwhile till the top, and the whisperings of a narrative about one thing extra substantial than it truly is. There’s no traditionally inaccurate appropriation of Japanese tradition, however every thing else feels very Tsushima-y. Yet whereas these repetitive duties irritated me in Tsushima, I had no points with them right here. Maybe it’s as a result of Kena is considerably shorter – 15 hours is well sufficient to clear the primary story – but it surely’s additionally as a result of the game is so rattling loveable. It’s properly polished and whereas the graphics aren’t innovative, the smooth, rounded artstyle is completely positioned to seize the inherent heat on the centre of all of it.



Kena: Bridge of Spirits

In 2010, this could have been a GOTY contender. It does every thing it tries to do very competently, and it makes you content whereas it does so. To say its game design concepts are dated wouldn’t be honest – they nonetheless maintain up, and nothing feels archaic or off-putting. But with Kena solely having the ability to climb in areas clearly marked with white paint, the open-world being a combination of smaller hubs mashed collectively, fight with no assault cancel, supporting characters with no different improvement in anyway, and really fundamental traversal, it seems like Kena is occupying an area within the style that has lengthy been left behind.

Apart from the graphics, which might clearly have been groundbreaking a decade in the past, all of Kena’s conventions have since been constructed upon and improved. Playing Kena, all of them mix properly sufficient, but it surely’s nothing you haven’t performed earlier than. Maybe that’s not too horrible. We haven’t in contrast Kena to Tomb Raider but, so positive, it’s a Disney Lara Croft. My favorite Tomb Raider is 2006’s Legend. Kena does exploration and traversal higher than Legend – simply because it’s not innovative doesn’t imply it’s terrible. Loads of video games from the period Kena appears to belong to nonetheless maintain up. It’s simply that ten years in the past, Kena would have been nice. By the requirements of right now, it’s simply fairly good.



Kena: Bridge of Spirits

If you’re excited for Kena, then you definately’ll most likely find it irresistible. All of the fluffy, lovable whimsy of the trailers is current – the motion is gentle, the adventuring feels epic, and the Rot, whereas given too little time on display and too little significance within the narrative, are excellent mascots. If you’re on the fence although, it’s just about every thing you anticipated it to be primarily based on the very first trailer. Nothing extra, nothing much less.

Kena has three totally different important quests, all of which contain liberating a spirit from corruption. The puzzles develop more durable as you progress , but it surely’s principally the identical quest, 3 times. You wander. You combat stuff. You win. It’s wonderful. Hell, I loved it. But for a game all about spirits and the afterlife, it doesn’t really feel prefer it does a lot with the premise. It’s Raya and the Last Dragon, but it surely’s missing the Heart – you understand, like within the film? What do you imply you haven’t seen it? Why didn’t you say that earlier? Anyway, the story is little various picket sticks dug into the dust to maintain the game propped up. It’s only a fundamental plot so Kena has one thing to do. It exists particularly for you, the participant, to play by means of, moderately than as an precise story we’re alleged to turn out to be invested in.



Kena: Bridge of Spirits

The fight is price sticking with, I’ll say that in its defence. Initially, you could have your workers, and that’s about it. Heavy assault, gentle assault, dodge, block. There’s a parry perform, however you most likely received’t use it that a lot. Soon sufficient you unlock the bow, then later, the bombs, and eventually, a touch assault. You can improve these too, including Rot prices to them for extra energy, combining them with dash strikes, upgrading your quiver, et cetera. It takes a very long time so that you can have Kena’s full arsenal at your disposal, however once you do, fight feels wealthy and rewarding, particularly with the enemies rising extra complicated alongside your assaults.

For instance, the bomb doesn’t simply do further injury, there are particular enemies who have to be hit with a bomb to show their weak factors. Combat is the one factor in Kena that feels contemporary in 2021, and it’s tied unnecessarily rigidly to development, which means the game is nearly over earlier than you’ve seen the very best of it.


Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an excellent game that feels prefer it’s already been left behind by trendy style conventions. There’s nothing all that irritating in that – we shouldn’t count on video games, particularly these made by studios the scale of Ember Labs, to be continually groundbreaking, however a lot of Kena feels borrowed from elsewhere that it’s troublesome to name it nice. It’s a strong, pleasing expertise, and charming sufficient that you simply received’t care that you simply’ve performed variations of it earlier than. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it surely’s a reasonably good wheel nonetheless.


Kena Review Card

Score: 4/5. A PS5 evaluation code was offered by the writer.

Next: Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Complete Guide And Walkthrough


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