Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ Photo Mode Is My Happy Place

Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ Photo Mode Is My Happy Place
Image: Ember Lab / Kotaku Australia

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is currently my comfort game in between sessions of getting destroyed in Elden Ring.

I finally got my grubby mitts on a PlayStation 5 after months and months of trying and failing. While the journey to get one took a while, the console came the day after I ordered it, which was a welcome change considering I ordered a lipstick that took a month to get here not long before. Since receiving my big fat PlayStation 5, I have jumped right into Astro’s Playroom, which is VERY fun. However, it’s Kena: Bridge of Spirits that really caught my attention.

Man, this game is so pretty. On the complete opposite spectrum to Elden Ring, it is a fairly forgiving title that also has its very wholesome moments. While still challenging when it needs to be, I consider it a perfect palate cleanser for when I’m tired of dying over and over.

What I’m really enjoying in particular is Kena‘s Photo Mode, as not only is the game quite picturesque, but following me around in my travels are the perfect models. The Rot.

kena bridge of spirits
Look at it. Look at this little guy. (Image: Ember Lab / Kotaku Australia)

There’s two things that can be added to games to put them in my good books: little fellas that follow you around, and the ability to collect said little fellas to help you in the game. It just so happens that the Rot are integral parts of the game, which is a big tick for me. Not just that, but they are very, very, very cute. And very photogenic.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ Photo Mode Is My Happy Place
Each one is very special to me. (Image: Ember Lab / Kotaku Australia)

Through the course of the game, you collect more Rot to grow stronger and overcome obstacles, while also unlocking perhaps the most important things of all: little hats for your Rot to wear. There are various hat carts around where you can buy these hats for your Rot at quite reasonable prices. If you’re thinking, “Why should I have to buy them if I collect them through my travels?”. The thing is, the game pretty much throws Rot Hat currency at you, so it’s not like your pockets will be completely emptied by these purchases. There are more than enough Rot hats to go around.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ Photo Mode Is My Happy Place
I make sure to get at least two of every hat, so every Rot has a hat buddy. This is important. (Image: Ember Lab / Kotaku Australia)

About half of my time in this game has been used in Kena: Bridge of Spirits Photo Mode, playing professional photographer with the Rot. Every time I see one or two sitting on a rock of a bridge, I have this animalistic urge to open up Photo Mode and snap a picture of these little guys. They are my children. My children that I fling at horrid abominations for my own safety, but that’s just parenting, right?

Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ Photo Mode Is My Happy Place
If I saw this before I died, I’d die happy. (Image: Ember Lab / Kotaku Australia)

There were also frogs in one area. I went absolutely fucking insane for the frogs. I lost my goddamn mind.

Outside of Photo Mode, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a really beautiful game. Considering it’s Ember Lab’s first game, it’s an impressive feat. It looks beautiful, it plays beautifully, and it tugs at the heartstrings. The fighting mechanics flow well and are heaps of fun, and it’s accessible to players of all levels. I’m loving it a lot, but I might be a little biased because I just fucking love the Rot so much. This last picture is not only my favourite one, but an accurate representation of how this game makes me feel when I play it after Elden Ring.

kena bridge of spirits photo mode
Completely tranquil. Unbothered, moisturised. Staying in my lane. Feeling fresh, free, and fergalicious. (Image: Ember Lab / Kotaku Australia)

If you’re looking for a pretty action-adventure platformer that lets you collect funny little fellas, I have to recommend Kena: Bridge of Spirits (it’s on sale on the PlayStation store too!).

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