Kena: Bridge of Spirits might not have the name of a major AAA developer attached to it, but it’s generated a lot of hype since it was revealed last year, and one of the primary reasons for that is just how good it looks. Whether or not it plays as well as it should remains to be seen, but visually, the game is shaping up to be an impressive accomplishment. What’s been impressive to see is how, in all the footage so far, the game seems to be maintaining a largely similar level of visual quality across both cutscenes and gameplay, and in a recent interview on the official Unreal Engine website, co-founder of developer Ember Lab Mike Grier spoke to that a little bit.
Grier explained that on top of using the same assets in cutscenes and gameplay in order to breathe greater life into environments, something else that works in the game’s favour is the visual style adopted by the game. Grier also went on to state that Kena’s quality of animations in gameplay and in cutscenes also deserves a special mention.
“We spent a long time developing the look of the environment and the world,” Grier said. “Those efforts were focused around a visual style and the goal of environmental storytelling. All of this work in developing a world carries over to the cinematics because we leverage the same assets. So that visual style really helps carry the same feeling between gameplay and cutscenes. But one area I think may be sometimes overlooked is the quality of our gameplay animations. Kena and the characters move and feel great in gameplay and the cinematics which really unifies the gameplay and cutscene experiences.”
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is releasing for PS5, PS4, and PC on August 24.