FORMAT PS5 (reviewed), PS4
ETA Out now
PUB Ember Lab
DEV Ember Lab
LENGTH 12+ hrs
ACCESSIBILITY Non-adjustable subtitles on/ off; control remapping; Y and X camera axis can be inverted independently of each other; camera sensitivity slider; camera tracking options on/off; multiple difficulty modes
Young spirit guide Kena seeks a certain mountain shrine but is soon drawn to the spiritual turmoil of a village resting uneasily in its shadow in this, the first game from Ember Lab, a studio with a background almost exclusively in animation. The developer’s expertise shines through in every frame - for better and for worse.
The village is home to a multitude of restless spirits and a strange supernatural corruption that’s tearing its way through the surrounding forest. To help each spirit of the not-all-the-way-departed move on, Kena must uncover their story by looking for their personal effects and reuniting them with loved ones. Kena’s story is naturally very concerned with grief and the tone is often solemn. Everything is presented in a way that’s ageappropriate for little ones but later story beats pack an emotional punch thanks to excellent cutscene direction and beautiful animation. There are plenty of emotional reunions throughout the story that leave us all misty-eyed and it’s these sincere, heartfelt storylines that are bound to stick with you long after you’ve uncovered all of the forest’s hidey holes.
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