Kena: Bridge of Spirits cleverly uses DualSense’s haptic feedback to help players sense the location of hidden rots by sensing their heartbeats.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits tells a heartfelt adventure story that is ultimately made easier on the PlayStation 5 compared to its PC counterpart thanks to the haptic feedback from the PS5. While Kena isn’t loaded with that sort of PS5-specific feedback, it uses the functionality in a charming and heartwarming way that adds another thin layer of personality to an already engaging experience.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the first track from independent studio Ember Labs, which follows Kena, a spiritual guide, on her way to the Holy Mountain Shrine. She encounters a village of spirits that couldn’t pass into the next life, and so she does all she can to guide them on their journey.
Kena is a skilled Spirit Guide, but even she needs help on her way, and given the game’s surprising level of challenge, she might need more than players first realize. Burps, shy and adorable little creatures, are his primary means of assistance, but while they are happy to help him, they must first be found. It’s during this ongoing game of hide and seek that the PlayStation 5‘s DualSense commentary comes into play.
Haptic Feedback to Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Makes Players Feel Near Rots
As Kena explores the Balinese-style village and its surrounding lush and beautiful forest, she encounters a terrible poison that infects the world around her. She needs Rot’s help to clear poison, solve puzzles, and perform some of her most devastating attacks. Kena: Bridge of Spirits contains dozens of Bursts hidden throughout the game, and Kena will need to find them if she hopes to unlock her most powerful attacks and abilities. At first, Kena will receive a spiritual mask that will allow her to contemplate the spirit world. This allows him to see the quest markers, key items, and hiding places of the Rot. While this is a useful tool, wearing the mask makes Kena immobile, and the animations for putting it on and taking it off take a few seconds too long for repeated uses in an area.
The DualSense’s haptic feedback, however, will allow players to experience the heartbeat sensation of a nearby Rot in their hands. As Kena moves around the world and approaches a Hidden Rot, the controller will gently vibrate with the heart of the adorable little creature, growing stronger the closer she gets to them. It’s not only a much easier way to experience the plethora of Burps lurking around the world, but it’s another innovative layer added to the game as a small detail, but which gives a touch of that charm of Pixar style. Players will literally feel their new friend’s heartbeat, and the more Rot that travels with Kena, the more she levels up and becomes more and more powerful.
While this is by no means a huge game-modifying feature or genre-defining aspect, it is the kind of subtle detail that the DualSense controller excels at providing. Although the game is available on PC and PlayStation 4, it is the PlayStation 5 version that makes finding Rot so much easier and more enjoyable. The spirit mask is not needed when searching for Rot, nor any of the other buttons, as the controller itself will guide the player to their next friend just by holding them. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a great example of taking the technology available in the DualSense controller and making it work for gaming as a proper mechanic rather than a gimmick.
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