Buy or Pass – Kena: Bridge of Spirits

It can be annoying when a game that looks interesting is on a platform you aren’t a big fan of, but that makes it that much better when it finally releases on the platform you like. This is why we are incredibly excited to see Kena: Bridge of Spirits finally released on Steam.

It was an Epic Games exclusive for a year, and then it was finally released on Steam back in September of 2022. It was a game that we have been looking forward to but have held off buying since we knew that it would come to Steam at some point.

Yes, waiting might be annoying, but we had plenty of other games to play then, so it didn’t bother us. It was worth the wait, though, since the game is incredible. Here is our Buy or Pass of Kena: Bridge of Spirits.

Story

The story has you playing as a young girl named Kena, and you have inherited the role of Spirit Guide from your father. It is your job to go through the world and help the trapped Spirits that are there. Story-wise, there really isn’t that much to talk about since getting into details would technically be spoilers.

Along your journey to find out how to stop Corruption, you will find many Spirits that need help. There are 3 main areas with Spirits that you need to help to get to the end of the game, and the areas all look different and introduce a new mechanic that makes traversing each area unique.

All the footage we are showing is in the first couple hours of the game, so you don’t have to worry about getting spoiled if you are going to play the game for yourself. The Story in the game is good, but in our opinion, it isn’t why you should get this game. It is just an added bonus to an already great game.

Gameplay

Gameplay-wise, this game is incredible. The movement and traversal are just top-notch and extremely smooth. Whether you are climbing up a mountain or exploring a large open area, the game never seems to disappoint with both its visuals and exploration.

The coolest part of the game is that you can explore anywhere you want. Yes, it has a linear feel, but once you go through an area, you have free reign to return and fully explore it. You will unlock new mechanics that will help you get past certain obstacles you didn’t even know existed.

Eventually, you unlock a bow that is probably the most useful tool in the game, and the gameplay change is welcome. The gameplay in Kena is top-tier and was definitely a part of the game that the developers worked on the most, and it definitely shows.

Optimization

For optimization, we are going to talk about 2 different devices. The first is PC optimization. This is what most people will be playing the game on, so it is the first one we should cover. The game ran amazingly well on PC. Yes, we have 30 series RTX cards, but from what we hear, most other cards work just as well.

The recommended GPU for this game is a GTX 1070, but you can run the game on lower cards than that. Other than a few stutters every once and a while, the game ran amazingly well. The other device we want to mention is the Steam Deck.

The game runs very poorly on the Steam Deck, so if you are thinking of buying the game on the Deck and playing it, you might want to wait until it is optimized better for it. You can do the 30 FPS lock, and it runs great, but if you want that buttery 60 FPS, you will need to wait a bit longer.

Combat

The combat is also a massive part of this game since that is what you will be doing the most in your playthrough. We do have to say that they nailed the combat in this game. Not only is it satisfying, but the new additions to the mechanics later in the game always keep the combat fresh.

Yes, the combat does feel a little repetitive over time, but you can definitely overlook it with how well-crafted the mechanics are. You start out with just a stick, and then you slowly gain new weapons over time. The abilities that you can upgrade also give you many ways to play.

The more options you have, the more fluid everything will feel since there are multiple ways to proceed in almost every combat situation. The combat in the game is what this game is about, especially if you enjoy playing souls-likes.

Graphic Style

The Graphic Style of this game is incredible. If you look at the cutscenes in this game, you might notice something very familiar about it. The game was actually developed by a team that created movie animation. The game is styled after Pixar and Dreamworks movies. It is a style that really isn’t used much in video games.

When the cutscenes start to play, it is almost like watching an animated movie, but then you get to play those characters. The world is absolutely stunning as well since there are so many different locations to explore. There are snowy mountains, dark forests, massive farming locations, and much more to explore.

The graphical style alone is one reason to play this game, and it is worth at least watching a playthrough. The developers need to be commended for their work on the animation.

Replayability

When it comes to replaying the game, it is hit or miss. We only did one playthrough, but a New Game+ mode allows you to start a new playthrough with all your earned items. You can purchase outfits, hats, and upgrades that will transfer over into NG+ if you decide to do it.

We weren’t interested in replaying it, but many people like the challenge that a new playthrough will bring. We would say that it is entirely up to you if you want to replay it, and there are different ways to do so at your own pace.

It is entirely up to you if you want to start a fresh new playthrough, play NG+, or even just play the game once.

Buy or Pass?

Now, is the game actually worth it? Should you buy the game or pass on it? We would recommend this game if you get it on sale. The base asking price for this game is $40 USD, which is a lot for a game with less than 10 hours of content. 

If you replay the game, it might be worth it, but if you are only going to play the game once, it might not be a great investment to pay the full price. Wait till there is a sale, and it is definitely worth your money.

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