Video game

Bridge of Spirits, an open-world adventure video game?

This week saw the release of Kena: Bridge of Spirits on multiple systems. The game was developed by Ember Lab, an independent studio made up of just 14 people who went viral thanks to their fan animation of The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora.

According to co-developer Josh Grier, making a video game after the team rose to popularity was “the next natural step” for them after their video.

The game was officially announced in June 2020 during the official PlayStation 5 hardware reveal. While it was originally developed as a console-exclusive title for the PlayStation 4, the team eventually received the tools to develop the game for the PlayStation 5 as well, according to an interview with the developers of Game Informer.

After many delays, including one caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kena was finally released on September 21, 2021.

Is “Kena: Bridge of Spirits” an open world game? Not really!

The story follows the eponymous Kena, a young spirit guide on a quest through a forest wasteland in search of a sacred shrine in the mountains. Along the way, she communicates with the lingering ghosts of the deceased.

Throughout the game, she interacts with all kinds of spirits and tries to help them pass into the afterlife, while also meeting living inhabitants who help her on her journey. Spirits she encounters can become corrupted and must be fought.

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Players take control of Kena in this third-person action-adventure title. Throughout the game, she uses her magic staff and various weapons to repel enemies and explore her surroundings. She can also collect spiritual companions called “The Rot”, an expandable group of creatures who can help complete tasks or even distract enemies.

As loyal and lovable companions, the Rot can even be equipped with new clothes like hats.

Kena’s journey, however, isn’t exactly in the open world. The game is played from a third person perspective and features a central world between explorable jungle-like areas. While there is a certain degree of roaming and traversing throughout this vast adventure, the world itself lacks the vast, explorable spaces found in other games like Breath of the wild.

Like any good next-gen game, however, Kena also has a photo mode which allows players to take detailed photos of Kena’s world.

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Kena fights corrupt spirits

The game is playable on multiple platforms and is currently available on PlayStation 4 and Playstation 5, and also available on PC through the Epic Games Store. The PlayStation 5 version uses haptic feedback from the DualSense controller, which simulates the physical feel of various in-game actions such as Kena using her Spirit Bow.

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