Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Ember Lab
Release Date: Sept. 21, 2021

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'Kena: Bridge of Spirits' Gets Photo Mode, Fidelity Mode, Physical Edition - Trailer

by Rainier on Sept. 20, 2021 @ 11:15 a.m. PDT

A story-driven action-adventure, Kena: Bridge of Spirits seamlessly blends narrative with exploration, puzzle-solving, and fast-paced combat for a beautiful, immersive journey.

This gorgeous adventure takes players on a journey of self-discovery as Kena restores balance to an ancient village in a once-thriving environment. Players take on the role of Kena, a young Spirit Guide on a quest to uncover the mysterious story surrounding the demise of the village. Using her staff and the help of her collection of tiny companions known as the Rot, the player will disarm adversaries, unlock new skills, uncover secrets, and restore the beauty of the land.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the first game from Ember Lab, a small indie studio that honed its skills creating character-driven animated commercials and branded game apps for clients such as Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball, and Hisense. The studio was formed in 2009 by brothers Josh and Mike Grier with the mission to tell great stories with universal appeal. Ember Lab is a tight-knit team of 14 that seeks out and collaborates with emerging talent and developers worldwide.

Many in the game industry may know the studio for Majora’s Mask - Terrible Fate, a short fan film released in 2016 that explored the dark origin story of the Skull Kid. The short combines real-world locations and CG characters. It has been viewed more than 20 million times across YouTube and Facebook and has been praised as one of the best game-inspired fan films.

Those playing Kena on the PS5 have access to several exclusive features including full support for PlayStation Activities with more than 200 Game Help videos to increase the game’s accessibility. PS5 players also will have the option to play in “Fidelity Mode,” locked at a framerate of 30 fps with native 4k resolution for a more cinematic experience, or the PS5 version’s default “Performance Mode”, targeting 60 fps and upscaled 4K resolution to prioritize gameplay. PC players will also be happy to hear that Kena: Bridge of Spirits has DirectX 12 support.

“We were inspired to make Kena by the films and games we enjoyed together growing up, so we wanted to ensure the game was reflective and cinematic as well as challenging; an experience that would appeal to and be accessible for a broad range of players,” said Ember Lab co-founder and COO Josh Grier.

Another feature Ember Lab has been keeping under wraps that’s sure to be popular thanks to Kena’s adorable Rot companions is Photo Mode, which brings more fun aspects to the gameplay. In Photo Mode, players can pause the action to stage the game’s characters – including the Rot with the wardrobe of optional hats, then resume the action to bring them to life.  

“We’re very excited to share the “Cheese!” function in Photo Mode,” shared Hunter Schmidt, Ember Lab’s Animation Director. “When players have set up their perfect photo angle, they’ll have the option to have the characters in the photo say “CHEESE!” and strike a pose. Many characters have multiple poses, so you can snap a great variety of fun shots in the same location. I’m very excited to see what kinds of photos players will capture!”

Kena: Bridge of Spirits can still be pre-ordered today, which will unlock a special collection of exclusive celebration Rot hats, and will be available for live purchase starting tomorrow, Sep. 21 (4:00 UTC/9 PM PT).

Ember Lab, along with game publisher Maximum Games, announced they have partnered to release the physical Deluxe Edition of Kena: Bridge of Spirits for PS4 and PS5 just in time for the 2021 holiday season. The Deluxe Edition, which includes the soundtrack and exclusive digital and physical items, will be available globally this November at major retailers, in-store, and online for $49.99 USD and all global equivalents.

“Our community was extremely vocal about their desire for a physical edition from the moment we first announced the game,” said Josh Grier, chief operations officer at Ember Lab. “It’s an honor to create a game people want to add to their collections, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Maximum Games to make that happen so quickly after the initial launch.”

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a truly special game and one that we are excited to bring to retail,” said Christina Seelye, CEO of Maximum Games. “The team at Ember Lab has been fantastic to work with and we can’t wait to see the game’s reception this holiday season.”

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Deluxe Edition will launch in time for the 2021 holidays. Kena: Bridge of Spirits Deluxe Edition can also be pre-ordered starting today at store.maximumgames.com.

Ember Lab also released an original sci-fi/fantasy short film titled Dust. The film was named Best Film at DragonCon; Best Sci-Fi by Hollyshorts; Best VFX, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best of Fest at Filmquest; and is a Worldfest Remi Award Winner.

One of the most unique aspects of the game revolves around enhancing Kena’s abilities with the help of her Rot companions. Building a bond with the Rot leads to a deeper, more organic combat and a nuanced skill evolution. Kena: Bridge of Spirits has been designed to take advantage of the PlayStation 5 hardware performance and DUALSENSE controller. The game features immersive haptic feedback including simulated string resistance for Kena’s Spirit Bow.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits will be coming exclusively to PS5, PS4, and PC (Epic Games Store) on September 21, 2021.


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