Kena: Bridge of Spirits is Ember Lab’s first game, which shows a lot of promise. The trailer from the PlayStation 5 event showcases Kena’s story and mechanics and while gameplay looks interesting, the animation steals the show. Here are the top 8 details we know about Kena: Bridge of Spirits.
8. Beautiful Animation
While Kena is Ember Lab’s first game, it’s not their first animation project. They were founded in 2009 by brothers Mike and Josh Grier as an animation and digital content studio.
Although Ember Lab’s portfolio includes many animated shorts for The Coca-Cola Company, Hisense and MLB, the team is also responsible for the Majora’s Mask – Terrible Fate 2016 fan film, featuring the Skull Kid’s dark past. Since then, the video has gained 9 million views from Zelda fans impressed by the 3D animation’s movie-like quality.
Now, Ember Labs consists of 14 professionals who would like to use their experience in animation and storytelling to create a game about growing up, discovery, and saving the forest.
7. The Story
The trailer doesn’t provide much information about Kena’s story, but from the looks of it, she’s able to see and talk to spirits. Some of these spirits come in the form of helpful little black creatures called the Rot, which follow Kena and aid her throughout the adventure. She also owns a magical staff, allowing her to fight against the evil spirits draining the forest of both its life and powers. It’s up to the young heroine and her allies to save the forest and bring peace to the spirits living there.
6. The Rot
Kena’s main ability allows her to communicate and interact with spirits with her staff. The Rot follow Kena like the pikmin from the Pikmin series. They help her in a variety of ways such as guiding her through the forest, solving puzzles, and granting support against enemies.
If players need something moved, she can command these little guys to pick it up for her. The spirits can be seen lifting a statue to rescue one of their own. The Rot are also seen surrounding and covering an enemy while Kena shoots, dealing extra damage to flying creatures. This also implies the more Rots she rescues, the more useful they will be.
5. The Magic Staff
Kena mostly fights with her staff, which has a magic crystal attached to it, channeling her powers. With her rudimentary training, she can pull off basic melee hits while moving, blocking and dodging. While this works for general melee purposes, Kena can channel her magic to turn the staff into a bow, shooting magic bolts. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is designed to take advantage of the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller as it uses the haptic feedback to include string resistance to ready Kena’s Spirit Bow to draw faster.
4. Visiting Villages
While exploring ancient ruins and collecting spirits, Kena may come across towns and villages much like The Legend of Zelda series. Presumably, she is able to rest or restock on supplies in these communities. The hero will meet many NPC’s along her adventure keen on helping her discover new abilities and moving the story forward. There is also a possibility these towns act as hubs seeing as Kena has a lot to explore.
3. Save the Forest
In order to save the forest, Kena has to tackle some of the large, angry, powerful enemies draining the forest’s magic. They can be found in places where the plants have withered and their color’s drained. These creatures take more than a few swings and arrow shots. The heroine has to use the abilities she finds along the way. In the trailer, Kena parries a heavy blow using her magic along with more powerful arrows. After defeating the boss, the surrounding area’s foliage grows back, regaining its color.
2. Cross-Generation and Epic Game Store
Kena: Bridge of Spiritswill be a timed exclusive for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, meaning that it will be coming to the Xbox Series X around the following year. While it’s a shame it won’t come to the Xbox- Series X on the same year, PC users are able to play it through the Epic Games Store. If it’s like most games on the storefront, it’ll be exclusive on that platform for about a year or two.
1 Release Date
Kena: Bridge of Spirits releases Holiday 2020, around the time the PlayStation 5 should launch. This is Ember Lab’s first game and based on the reveal, it’s fully supported by Sony. Games on the PlayStation are known for their stories and terrific animation quality. Kena is no different as Ember Labs is well-versed in high-quality 3D projects. Since this is their first game, there are bound to be a few issues. Ember Labs shows promise in Kena’s reveal and hopefully they won’t disappoint.