Kena: Bridge of Spirits cleverly uses DualSense’s haptic feedback to help players feel the location of hidden Rots by sensing their heartbeats.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits tells a heartfelt tale of adventure that’s ultimately made easier on PlayStation 5 compared to its PC counterpart thanks to the PS5’s haptic feedback. While Kena isn’t loaded down with this kind of PS5-specific feedback, it does make use of the feature in a charming, heartwarming way that adds another thin layer of personality to an already engaging experience.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the first title from indie studio Ember Labs, which follows Kena, a spirit guide, on her way to the sacred mountain shrine. She encounters a village of spirits who have been unable to pass over into the next life, and so she does whatever she can to guide them on their journey.
Kena is a skilled spirit guide, but even she needs help on her path, and given the game’s surprising level of challenge, she might need more than players at first think. The Rots, timid and adorable little creatures, are her primary means of assistance, but despite being happy to help out, they have to be found first. It’s during this ongoing game of hide-and-week that the PlayStation 5’s DualSense feedback comes into play.
Haptic Feedback In Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Lets Players Feel Nearby Rots
As Kena explores the Bali-styled village and its surrounding lush and beautiful forest, she encounters a terrible poison infecting the world around her. She needs the help of the Rot to clear away the poison, solve puzzles, and perform some of her more devastating attacks. Kena: Bridge of Spirits features dozens of Rot hidden throughout the game, and Kena will need to find them if she hopes to unlock her most powerful attacks and abilities. Early on, Kena will receive a spirit mask that allows her to gaze into the spirit world. This lets her see quest markers, key objects, and hiding places of the Rot. While a useful tool, wearing the mask renders Kena motionless, and the animations to put it on and take it off take a few seconds too long to make for repeated uses in an area.
The DualSense’s haptic feedback, however, will let players feel the sensation of a nearby Rot’s heartbeat in their hands. As Kena moves about the world and approaches a Rot in hiding, the controller will softly pulse with the adorable little creature’s heart, growing stronger the closer she gets to them. This is not only a significantly easier means of discovering the plethora of Rots hiding in the world, but it is one more innovative layer added to the game as a small detail, but one that lends a touch of that Pixar-style charm. Players will literally feel the heartbeat of their newfound friend, and the more Rot who travel with Kena, the more she levels up and grows increasingly more powerful.
While it is by no means a huge game-altering feature or genre-defining aspect, this is the kind of subtle detail the DualSense controller excels at providing. While the game is available on PC and PlayStation 4, it is the PlayStation 5 version that makes finding the Rot so much easier and more enjoyable. The spirit mask isn’t necessary when searching for Rot, nor are any of the other buttons, as the controller itself will guide the player to their next friend simply by holding it. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an excellent example of taking the available technology in the DualSense controller and making it work for the game as a proper mechanic rather than a gimmick.
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