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Medium with a taste of more: The review for Kena: Bridge of Spirits - Walla! The gaming channel

2021-10-22T05:47:14.837Z

The game that quite a few players expected featured quality graphics, interesting gameplay and a mysterious story, but could have been much better with fewer bugs



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Medium with a taste of more: The review for Kena: Bridge of Spirits

The game that quite a few players expected featured quality graphics, interesting gameplay and a mysterious story, but could have been much better with fewer bugs

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A twinkling light

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 08:20 Updated: Friday, October 22, 2021, 08:32

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Watch the launch trailer for Kena: Bridge of Spirits

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)

Not all introductions are standard

I swear I’ve been sitting with myself for a few weeks now, since I started playing try to figure out how I start talking about my experience. And here is the result. A game that costs almost half as much as AAA (Triple A), but is still more expensive than $ 15-20 indie games, and less polished than them. So what is Kena: Bridge of Spirits? The answer is not simple, and I invented a category specifically for lamentation. Get it!



So "Lament" is an indie A game, what does that mean? Not really AAA not really indie. He did not decide what he was, you will soon understand more. This weird introduction is almost over, but to figure out if I was "alone in the world" on what I thought of Lamentation, when I see 8 and even 9 everywhere, I went to the meta critic site (which currently averages 80% for PS5 even though the game came out for PS4 and store bus for PC) and I checked the low scores. I found out that I am not alone, even reputable sites think like me and helped me formulate the decision. Lamentation is a completely mediocre game, and sometimes even less so.

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To the full article

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

The plot - I did not understand what you want to tell me because Lamentation prefers to be silent

Throughout 80% of the game Lamentation says no more than two lines.

Even when asked questions.

I swear there were transition videos that I thought I was playing in Grand Theft Auto III, and for the younger ones among us we will mention that once GTA characters were silent, throughout the game.

Even in credits the player's name is The Driver.

So lamentation is the kind of "driver" of the plot.

What is that plot, there really is not too much.



When someone dies in the physical world, there are spirits that help him reach the "other side."

But sometimes he does not come to the other side for all sorts of reasons, and then there is an unpleasant situation.

A spirit that has not reached the other side is called Rot (because I am not going to say "rot" or "rot") and in the game Rots will help us and characters who have not moved to the other side will try to kill us.

The plot is to help the Rots and also the characters who refused to side, along with the Rots.

Confused?

There's no why.

I'm here to explain.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

Think of a zombie, when you defeat the zombie, the Rots help Len "die in peace" and everything becomes pastoral and green.

And lament?

Walla is not clear.

80% of the game did not understand at all what she is doing there, why she is helping the Rots, and it seems that she is just moving from A to B because that is what is being asked of her.



Remember GTA?

You can also buy Rots hats.

Why?

hat.

Maybe to differentiate between them, at least it does not cost real money (erm ... Valve and 2 Team Fortress I look at you) and buy the hats with game money designed only for hats and does not affect the points needed to upgrade the character.



So we realized that in 80% of the game the story is pretty flat, but what about the remaining 20%?

Honestly, these are great, and I will dedicate a special section to them at the end.

Because Lamentation both speaks and the game and story become much much better.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

The world is huge, and that's part of the problem

Lament can run and if I had a stopwatch I would find that running fast is probably 10% of walking. Not to mention swimming, not being able to swim fast. So in order to explore the huge world we will have to walk / run and a lot. What does not help at all is the very strange way that the developers chose to let us navigate the map. There is no mini-map, which was very helpful, there is only a "complete" map that shows points of interest. Nor is there the option to put a marker.



For orientation in the game world there is a mask that you get pretty quickly at the beginning of the game, which only you wear on your head, look around, and you can guess where the next target is. This means that most of the time we will try to guess paths and roads, when the map itself does not help much, frustrating. There is also the possibility of a fast, or fast travel, between the checkpoint points but they are quite far from each other, and when each part of the mission can be far and sometimes very far from each other most of the game we will go, climb, swim to the next destination, and it will happen slowly.



What can be said positively about the world is that there is always something to discover in it: secret places, side missions in the style of "Inbox" that open up more mission areas, usually at a higher difficulty level. Box challenges, underground caves and more. There is plenty to explore and discover, If you have the patience, the trophy chasers will die on the game.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

Tasks, Tasks, Key Figures, Key Figures

The game is divided into three main areas, without the training area, and each area has one key character who wants to move on to the next world, and its friends who are trying to help you figure out when to go and how.

The first area is relatively small with simple side missions and also relatively simple enemies except for the last boss, (and I have more to say about the bosses below).

The other area is frighteningly exhausting and almost made me throw the remote on the TV.

And it's also the area that finally broke me - also in terms of bugs, and only after I moved the level to the easy level, then the game really opened up for me.



The last area is the 20% I have already said they are great and I wish the whole game was like this.

As if someone there after 80% came to the team and said, "Listen guys, enough with the nonsense. Need a normal story, good gameplay and reasonable bosses and one last epic boss!"

And they're all like "Come on! Go Tim!".

The tasks in the third area are usually relatively simple: bring A to B, kill the X that protects the gate, find three blue items to help you open the gate and all that.

But sometimes there are annoying puzzles (there is one that until now I did not understand what the schedule is with it, luckily it is optional.) And bosses that can make you check the strength of the remote.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

And we started: the bugs

The game is full of bugs.

But excessively.

There is no way to beautify it.

Even after a number of patches were released I suffered a lot from them.

This is how it is when you have a small seduction team when it comes to an indie studio I guess.

Here are some bugs I experienced, some more than once:


The game's camera clings to the back of the body and you see nothing.


The game freezes.


After a magic blow the game gets stuck in slow motion.


The character gets stuck in place.


Keys do not respond in time (super frustrating).


Keys do not respond at all.


Falls of sound.


Unwanted falls into the abyss.


Death from short heights.


And there is more.

The best example I can give of why this is an indie A game and nothing more, is falls from short heights.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

In the game there is a double jump, or double jump, but once we have already made the second jump when we are a short distance from the floor, the game should realize that we have "taken advantage" of the high altitude and let us land safely. And it just does not happen here. No matter what height we did the second jump, the game will always "remember" the original height and we will feel a hard landing or even death. It sounds petty, but such a small thing had to go through the testing or QA department because it does not make sense to leave it in such a platformer game.



Another bug that sucks is the keys that do not respond in time or properly. It's very disturbing. Why? One of the best reviews that can be given to a game is "when you die you feel it's your fault". This cannot be said of lamentation. I'm a Bloodbourne graduate, and this game is overly difficult in comparison, especially to the bosses. It can be said that 60 to 70 percent of my deaths were not my fault.



Get an example: The character can perform parry or dodging, a technique known in third-person games, for dodging a second blow before it hits.

The developers have invested.

Successful evasion will also gain magic points and allow for a blow back in the advanced stages.

But what happens when a game does not allow it to be done?

Get beaten up, and sometimes die.

It got to the point where I completely abandoned the option even though it was upgraded to the end.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

Broken playfulness and annoying control

By then we already realized that the gameplay was a bit broken.

But it is also reflected in control.

Lament, the character, a number of pretty impressive powers, which you get later in the game.

She has a bow and arrow and bombs.

But kill me why the game chose to place their use in such a crooked way.

Notice what's going on here: pressing L2 will allow you to zoom in or out.

The button itself does nothing and is quite unnecessary.

But ... with a combination of R2 you can aim an archery.

And with a combination of R1 a bomb can be thrown.

This is no longer okay for me, and I have even researched the subject in other games because I was frustrated.



Also in the very indie and free Astro's Playroom game that comes free with the PS5, and also in a game closer to Lament: Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it's done in a much better way.

In Astro there is only one key, and in Tomb Raider there are two keys but we know exactly when we are aiming.

It may be a small nuance, but it's disturbing.

When I do focus, I do not know if I am shooting a bomb or an arrow and in the heat of battle it can be a difference between life and death, very frustrating.



What's more, the key to shooting an arrow is also a blow, so it happened quite a bit during an intense battle that I wanted to shoot and gave a blow.

Or vice versa.

In short sucks.

It is possible to change the control to other keys but it does not really help.

What adds to the complication is another key after you already hold the L2 and also the R2 or R1 which gives a special power, and makes me do an unpleasant finger acrobatics.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

Battles, bosses and everything in between (frustration)

The battles in the game are the weakest part of it.

Also probably a reason I went down to Easy level at the end of the second part of the game (mentions there are three parts), and then I really started to enjoy it.

As in Dark Souls, there is a normal hit, a stronger hit when you hold the button and shield.

In addition there are special abilities that we will discover like archery, bomb (which does not do much damage) and upgrades like magic.

Unfortunately the upgrades will only add new capabilities and not improve existing ones.

And as I said before, all of the Parry's upgrades are pretty unnecessary.



As in regular soles games, it is impossible to threshold with the defender, and he has his own "power".

In addition to all these there are also the Rots who are responsible for the magic.

The magic in the game is wasted and filled up during battles (if you play at the normal level of the game it only fills up if you attack or get hit, and at the light level it fills up on its own), and is probably the most important power in the game.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

You may have seen lament water in the "Knight" costume from the game Dark Souls, it's not by mistake. There are particularly difficult bosses in this game. Luckily for most of us there are no "steps". You killed the boss once and he died. But most of the time it will look like luck and not a tactic when we beat a boss. Get an example: One of the main bosses of the first part of the game, was really, really frustrating, until I found out, really accidentally running and hitting it left him unable to react which made the whole fight a joke. Just because it is possible. In other bosses it did not work.



Another weird example is the boss I was fighting after receiving the bomb, I would have expected the bomb to be the main way to fight it, but no.

It can be easily defeated with the usual magic and blows.

The bosses also do not have much originality, with 90% of them coming with crystals emanating from their bodies, and if you guessed that damaging a crystal takes a lot of life out of the boss, you were right, but you can beat him without it.

There are also two "slow gear" modes that help aim, one with the bow and arrow and pressing R3 and the other when jumping and aiming.

Most of the time I used magic and a bow.



There is something nice that as long as there are enemies in the area they produce "rot", and when we "clean" all the enemies in a certain area we heal it and allow access to new places.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

Not everything is bleak, there really are good things too

This is a real Next Gen game: Walla, I haven't played a lot of "real" PS5 games. The latter was Returnal, but Lamentation feels to me like a next-generation game with zero effort. When I first died, I did not feel at all what was happening, it felt like a bug to me. The screen darkened for a second and I was already back to checkpoint. Wow. Really wow. I punished the comparison between other games that kill a lot like Bloodboure that takes 18 seconds on the clock (both on PS4 Pro) and a game like Shadow of the Tomb Raider (with a waiting time of 20 seconds for fun). This may not mean that it is "fun" to die, but it does take you straight back to the experience. boom!



The game's operating time is scary (in a very positive way): if I get tired and I turn off the console, the next time I turn it on I won't be able to count to 10 and I'm already in the game right where I left Lamentations. Maybe a game like Returnal can learn from Moshe.



Also really impressive graphics: it feels just like a cartoon.

When my wife first watched the game she said "it looks like a Japanese game to me", and yes, there is no shortage of Japanese elements, even though the studio is from Los Angeles at all.

It's not just the beginning of developer Ember Lab was as an animation studio, and the whole style is reminiscent of a Pixar or Disney animated film.



When I enter the water for example, I really feel and see the small waves that my feet create on the DualSense remote.

And the game maintains zero charges almost throughout.

Another advantage: you can skip all the videos, even if it's your first time, even if it's a boss show.

The sound also spun, but I did not fly.

He spun and does the job even with 3D headphones for those who have, he's fine relative to budget and I played with reasonable speakers plus.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

And the last 20% are worth it all

We got to the moment where everything was worth it. If the game had only the first and third (last) areas, it would be a lot more fun. This is also the moment when I lowered the level to "easy" and started to really use magic properly. The problem at the Normal level is that even after upgrading and after I have 4 magic slots we get one magic point per battle and to get new points you have to do an annoying grinding. At the light level, the enemies are also lighter, but the spells also fill up much faster, which is just more fun.



Why is it fun?

Because even when the game does not pick up a key I pressed and I get hit, it takes down less life and the hit I return is stronger, so the game can be forgiven for its inherent mistakes.

Even the screens themselves in the last 20% are just wonderful.

Any world that "cleanses" after eliminating the last enemy in which the decay is cured, simply becomes a new world, with secrets, passages, and roads that were blocked or dark until recently.

I had a lot of fun exploring the world, well maybe apart from swimming.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

The last boss is amazing.

really.

There will be no spoilers here, but as a veteran gamer who has a huge nose for anyone who has thought of the brilliant move with him, I think I have not seen any game take this path, and it totally breaks everything we have thought about the game or Lament so far.

Oh yeah, and Lament also finally opens her mouth, and she has something to say, which is following great dialogues with the last boss.

In short a pleasure, and it's a shame it only comes after 15 hours.



If until now I mentioned the "final boss".

So the final battle is one of the most invested battles I have seen, and not just because of its difficulty level, it is a great combination of fighting, puzzle and tactics, and also at the easiest level the game found a "trick" to harden, which is great and this is how a game should be.

If until now I "entered" the game, here comes the hot recommendation: the whole game is worth only for the last 20%.

(Photo: Official Website, Ember Lab)

Finally, is it worth the full price?

Since we are already after a few rounds of repairs, unfortunately the answer is no.

Obviously if it cost $ 60-70, like the other new AAA games today, people would come out with pitchforks, but he does not, he's indie A. It costs $ 40 which is a perfectly reasonable price, and I think at $ 25-30 It's a great bargain.

The game is not short, it took me 19 hours.

Provides several hours of enjoyment.



A recommendation for those who are thinking of buying.

Start the game at the Easy level, you are also used to playing at a normal level, if it is too easy for you to go up (you can always switch between the levels).

Do not expect easier puzzles or easier challenges but the battles themselves will be more fun especially when you upgrade your abilities.

One can only hope that in the next game the developers will learn from mistakes and we will get a game that feels more like the last 20% and not what was before.

I even read reviews that say she thinks the next game will be perfect, wait and see.

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Source: walla

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