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Ember Lab created Kena: Bridge of Spirits, a captivating blend of exploration and fast-paced combat in a story-driven action-adventure. At Player Opinion, we took on the role of Kena, a young Spirit Guide on a quest for the sacred Mountain Shrine. Alongside her adorable yet powerful spirit companions, the Rot, we helped free trapped spirits in a forgotten village.

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits Game Review

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Gameplay Experience: 15/25

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is easy to pick up and play, with controls that will feel familiar to anyone who has played modern console games. While optimized for controller use, it also works well with keyboard and mouse. The game is well-polished, offering satisfying milestones and skill increases that provide noticeable power boosts. The abundance of collectibles keeps players engaged throughout. However, the game’s balance feels off; unlike games like Elden Ring, where the difficulty is engaging and rewarding, Kena’s difficulty can feel frustrating without the same sense of accomplishment. The game also suffers from a lack of decision relevance, placing players on a linear path where choices have little impact on the unfolding story, making the experience feel more like following a predetermined script rather than influencing the narrative.

Presentation & Immersion: 19/25

The premise of Kena: Bridge of Spirits is simple but effective: individuals who are traumatized or have unfinished business can linger between the physical and spirit worlds, and it’s our job to help them move on. This concept creates a compelling and emotionally immersive storyline. The unique environments enhance this narrative, although they follow a linear design, giving the illusion of an open world while guiding the player along a dedicated path. Visually, these areas are well-designed, and the clean, functional HUD integrates seamlessly with the gameplay. However, the level of polish is inconsistent; even at maximum settings, there is noticeable pixelization in areas that should appear smooth. Initially unnoticeable, this graphical issue became increasingly distracting towards the end of our playthrough.

Design & Technical: 16/25

Overall the game design feels like something is missing. Where games like Elden Ring are expansive and entertaining for long extended periods, Kena: Bridge of Spirits can only be enjoyed in short bursts and doesn’t feel fun to play for longer sessions. Which leads in to the content, the meat of the game, again is linier—the overall story is short. Game bosses become regular mobs as you progress—speaking of which the AI is aggressive and fun here, so its not all bad. What we are saying is the content isn’t rich or diverse, quite the opposite in fact. Furthermore, the game settings are disappointingly basic, providing minimal customization options for players. On a positive note, we encountered only one minor clipping bug throughout our playthrough.

The Skinny About Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Final Considerations: 13/25

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Steam Link) was generally satisfying to play; with no in-app purchases, adorable Rot companions, and a well-written, touching story, it offers some enjoyable moments. However, despite these positive aspects, we found that other soulslike games overshadow this title in terms of mechanics. The lack of replay value and an average cost-to-play ratio left us feeling indifferent. While individual experiences may vary, for us, it’s a balancing act between not enough gameplay hours and just barely enough to warrant recommendation. At Player Opinion, we couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing from this game—whether it be cumbersome combat, a restrictive path, or insufficient content. Ultimately, we found ourselves unable to wholeheartedly recommend it. While we may revisit it in the future, our enthusiasm is tempered.

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