PS5 Review: Kena: Bridge of Spirits

October 14, 2021 by  

I’ve Rot a feeling…

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a story-driven action adventure set in a charming world rich with exploration and fast-paced combat. Players find and grow a team of tiny spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their abilities and creating new ways to manipulate the environment.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits takes a lot of inspiration from action adventures games, especially The Legend of Zelda, but it also reminds me a bit of Starfox Adventures, which was criminally underrated in my opinion. The game has you play as Kena who has to restore hope to a world full of corruption with her abilities and her companions, the Rot who heal the land and restore it back to its natural form.

Kena is equipped with a staff for hand-to-hand combat, but it can also later become a bow and the Rot can help out in both combat and puzzle situations. The game has an open world, but areas are locked off until you get the right item or if the story dictates you head that way. Kena is a game about mourning and bringing closure to spirits who haven’t yet moved on, which has added to the corruption of the land. There’s definitely a Majora’s Mask vibe with the whole spirit mask idea, but it does still feel its own with the way it’s done and considering EmberLab’s tribute video to Majora in their short film “A Terrible Fate”, it makes perfect sense that they’ve been inspired by it.

Combat is fast paced but ultimately rewarding, while the open world has plenty of hidden areas and secrets to uncover. The DualSense works well with its haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers are a treat when you are pulling back the string on your bow, adding to the realism of firing the weapon. Like I said, the Rot can take care of enemies and puzzles with more abiltiies added the more you find, which reminds me a bit of Pikmin in this regard and adds another layer to the experience.

The puzzles are pretty clever and while they aren’t anything new by Zelda standards, it doesn’t really matter. The game is fun without having to show off its unique but by providing an enjoyable love letter to one of gaming’s greatest franchises (the greatest in my opinion).

Visually, Kena: Bridge of Spirits looks incredible with its open world and characters that look adorable and highly detailed. The game ran solidly with its framerate and load times between fast-travel or other times were barely noticeable. The voice-acting was also surprisingly good, while the soundtrack was also impressive.

The Verdict

It’s hard to believe that this is EmberLab’s first game. Kena: Bridge of Spirits pays homage to Zelda with this incredible experience that any fan of the series needs to try. I cannot wait to see what EmberLab come up with after this…

Score: 9.0

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