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Kena: Bridge of Spirits - Playstation Console Exclusive (coming to PC) - 9/21/2021 Release date...

Romier S

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits from indie studio Ember Lab announced for PS5


Josh Grier, COO of Ember Lab, writing for the PlayStation Blog:




Ember Lab is a small team with a background in film and animation. Before transitioning into game development, we were a boutique studio specializing in character development for animated commercials.


As young kids, we moved around a lot, following our dad on various expat assignments. Games centered us and allowed us to feel at home no matter where we were. Our love of games pushed us to create the fan film Majora’s Mask – Terrible Fate. Creating Kena: Bridge of Spirits was the natural next step for us.



In case you haven't seen it, here is the film he's talking about. I remember seeing it a few years ago and being super impressed with it. It's no wonder Kena looks as good as it does if the same folks are behind it.





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. Working with the support of Sony and the next-generation features of the PS5 gave us the opportunity to expand the immersive experience we envisioned and enhance the game’s unique play mechanics.


Kena: Bridge of Spirits is truly a passion project born from our pursuit of creative storytelling, and we hope audiences around the world will love it as much as we do. We’re looking forward to sharing more about the project soon.



I seriously cannot wait to play this.

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The whole article is here:



Another thing that will probably be apparent is the number of Rot that players will see in the world. There are 100 of the tiny creatures to discover in the world, and PlayStation 5 players can potentially see all of them scampering around onscreen simultaneously. On PlayStation 4, you can still find all of the Rot, but they won’t all be represented visually. Mike says that even with the game’s aggressive level-of-detail scaling on the creatures, the performance suffered too much on PS4 with the whole crew onscreen, so they had to make concessions. Their functionality is the same on both versions, but the visual differences are there.


More at the article...

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Q&A from Game Informer:



What’s up with those little guys we saw in the trailer?

Those are the Rot, and they’re an important part of the game – both in terms of gameplay and the story. As Kena travels around, she can find them hidden in the world (think hidden Toads in a Paper Mario game), and they’ll join her. That name isn’t just coincidental. They’re responsible for decomposing things, and the fact that they’ve been scattered is one of the reasons why this region has become tainted with corruption.


What can they do?
Lots of things! Outside of combat, Kena can direct them to move things around to help her. Can’t cross a big gap? Maybe they can pull a broken bridge back into shape temporarily. Can’t climb up to that ledge? They can maneuver a block into position and give her a boost. In combat, Kena can tap into the Rot to distract enemies or infuse her attacks with special power. The Rot are timid by nature, however, and players will have to build their courage by damaging enemies before they’ll enter the fight.


They can enter the fight? Uh oh. Can they die?
Nope! Mike doesn’t want players to see the Rot as a consumable resource; once you find a Rot, they’re part of the team forever. You don’t need to worry about digging tiny little graves or anything morbid like that.


What can Kena do?
She can do lots of things. Besides using her staff’s basic light, heavy, and charged attacks, she can get an upgrade that bends the staff and turns it into a bow. On defense, she can use a pulse ability to create a bubble-like shield around her. It has its own health meter, which gets depleted by enemy attacks. If she times its activation correctly, it will stagger enemies and make them more susceptible to attack.


Some of that sounds kind of familiar. Is this like a 3D Zelda?
If you got those kinds of vibes from the trailer, you’re not far off. There’s definitely a 3D Zelda influence in the game, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering an earlier Ember Lab project…



Is this an open-world game?
Nope! You’ll encounter a village fairly early on in the game, and that serves as a hub. From there, you can travel to several connected regions. Think of it as being wide linear. There are secrets to find and things to discover off the main path, but it’s not an open-world game.


What is the advantage of PS5 vs PS4?
We only saw the game running on PlayStation 5, so we can’t offer any side-by-side comparisons, but there are differences between the PS4 and PS5 versions. One of the most notable is the number of Rot that you’ll see onscreen. On PS5, all of them can be visible simultaneously. On PS4, you’ll still be able to collect all 100 of them in the world, but you’ll see fewer of them at a time. They won’t be any less effective in combat or during puzzle solving, but there won’t be as many of them visible at once. Also, the forests and overall foliage is denser on PlayStation 5.


How long is it?
It’s tough to put an exact number on this, because of the number of side activities, but Josh says they set out to make something players could comfortably finish over a weekend.


How much does it cost?
Kena: Bridge of Spirits isn’t going to be priced at $60. We don’t know the exact price yet, but it won’t cost as much as a traditional full-priced retail game. If you buy it on PS4, you can upgrade the game to PS5 at no additional cost, too.


It looks cute, but is it challenging?
Mike says the team has a lot of Sekiro and Soulsborne fans on the dev team, and while the game isn’t quite up to FromSoftware's difficulty, players will be challenged on the highest setting. On the other end of the spectrum, enemies won’t be able to one-shot you in most difficulty settings; you’ll be able to sustain one final sliver of health to give you a fighting chance against tougher enemies. Ember Lab wanted to make a game that families could enjoy together, whether your family just wants to enjoy the story or is looking for tougher battles.


Full q&a:




So it's a relatively short sub-$60 game. Was that known previously? It's not particularly surprising given the size of the studio behind it.

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  • Romier S changed the title to Kena: Bridge of Spirits - Playstation Console Exclusive (coming to PC) - 8/24/2021 Release date...
  • Romier S changed the title to Kena: Bridge of Spirits - Playstation Console Exclusive (coming to PC) - 9/21/2021 Release date...

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