Keena: Review of the Bridge of Souls: An uninspired third-person adventure

I am in the middle of another forest grass. If not all the knotty purple rhizomes killed life here, and the fleshy bulbs beating with poisonous red, it would be picturesque. As a spiritual guide, she travels in this land, seeking to reunite the dead, bring the soul into the afterlife, and do things well in general. My first task is the forest valley and its health. In most cases, this means eliminating all red nodules that damage the land.

For the seemingly independent game produced by an animation studio to enter the field of video games for the first time, Keena: The Bridge of Spirit It is a surprisingly smooth thing. The action is fast, the platform jump is not aggravated, and the third-person battle is full of vitality like a dance. During the game, you will gain some additional abilities-turn your walking stick into a magical bow, and be able to throw a series of mental bombs, to name a few-but the battle settings remain basically the same throughout the process . Enter a closed arena, kill the twisted trees, blast the bulbs with magic pulses, and clean the area.

What makes things more interesting is Kena’s companion, a little creature called Rot. These friendly little guys will fly away from Kena, show you the way and highlight the interactive objects. There are some lovely details here. The creatures are teleported to the resting place, always one step ahead of you, above the house furniture, rocks and logs. During the game, you will accumulate dozens of such Rots, customize them with interesting hats, use them for puzzles, and unlock more combat-related abilities. In battle, decay can be used to suppress enemies—jump onto the tree guard’s back and suffocate smaller enemies—or inject powerful hammers, bows, or bombs.

Image: Ember Lab via Polygon

They can also assist in the exploration: they move blocks and rearrange the statues to open hidden areas. They are also the way Kena upgrades; the more decaying creatures you find in the world, the more frequently you will use them and their power in battle.above Keena: The Bridge of Spirit‘Many battle trials and arenas, with platform parts that perfectly draw the edge of a cliff, and environmental puzzles that require you to shoot distant targets in order, both feel like very familiar activities.

widthWith all its verdant forests, glowing mountain temples, and mossy ruins, it feels like Keena: The Bridge of Spirit I really want to be a magical and mysterious game about nature. Unfortunately, due to lack of imagination and lack of any original identity, this illusion was shattered to some extent.From the constantly trembling and trembling percussion soundtrack to the rotten spirit itself, everything is reminiscent of the works of Studio Ghibli, especially Princess MononokeAt the same time, its paper lanterns, animal statues and torii gates vaguely gestured in the direction of Shintoism.

Adding to this feeling are the many ecological clichés of the game. Keena: The Bridge of Spirit Keep telling you its big theme. This is about “restoring balance” and “letting go.” Once, a character told you sarcastically that “this land has begun to heal.” It’s as simple as a meme, and it feels a bit condescending to me.

A group of

Picture: Ember Lab

But then I saw all the beautiful animations, the cute Rot creature bouncing behind Kena as she walks through a denser overgrowth, and a photo mode with a built-in kiss emoji. It feels like a game for children, not an adult like me trying to regain the joy of childhood. But this is not the case-the puzzle is too slow, the multi-stage boss battle is too difficult, and this is the case. On the contrary, what we have is perfectly fabricated “health”. Can you touch this spiritual creature? perhaps.

The most disappointing is how Keena: The Bridge of Spirit It feels like it can be played. Its battles, puzzles and explorations have been carefully adjusted and carefully oiled. But the game strictly follows the formula we have all seen before. You have learned the rhythm and flow from countless other games.This is 2018 God of war There is no terrible finishing is Ghost on the horse There is no broad is Horizon zero dawn There is no huge scope. The list goes on. When the formula is so complicated, how can there be truly magical things?No real secret Keena: The Bridge of Spirit, Only collectibles. There is no mystery either. Just more battles in the arena.

Inspiration should always be used as a starting point, something that can be built.But it often doesn’t feel like Keena: The Bridge of Spirit Inspiration comes from things, more like it decided to compress its beautiful magic and spiritual world into a ready-made mold. The result is a frivolous mixing; a mixed paste. Full of vitality and undoubtedly beautiful, Keena: The Bridge of Spirit Show us every color in the spectrum. But the strange thing is that all of this feels brown-a muddy gray-brown that is a blend of every color on the palette.

Keena: The Bridge of Spirit Launched on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC on September 21. The game was reviewed on the PC using the retail download code provided by Ember Lab. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These will not affect editorial content, but Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links.You can find View additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.