Ember Lab’s Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the cover story for Game Informer’s latest issue and new details on the action adventure have been revealed in the process. Since the game is coming to PS5, it will leverage the console’s next-gen features in its own way. The developer noted that while it didn’t consider the console’s hardware during development, the added resources allow for doing much more.
Chief creative officer Mike Grier said, “We’ve been on development on PS4 for most of the project, and squeezing it and getting the performance that we wanted out of it was a nightmare. But having done all that, when we went to PS5 it was nice, because we had a good baseline and then we could just add to it and take advantage of the extra juice.”
Another noteworthy bit is how Kena: Bridge of Spirits leverages the SSD. Launching the game from the console’s system menu takes only two seconds. Keep in mind that this is not from a suspended state either. As COO Josh Grier notes, “They have a whole thing set up where you can do transition and it’s very nice, but frankly it doesn’t have time to play the animation. It just loads the game so fast.”
Ember Lab has talked about DualSense implementation before, particularly how the haptic triggers affect the drawing of the bow. You can also feel the resistance when performing heavy attacks. Josh Grier further noted, “The triggers are a part of it, but when you get the haptics in the hands, it really brings it all together. Obviously, you feel the tension in your trigger finger, but when you’ve got the bow drawn and you add the Rot into it, we can dynamically say, ‘OK, this right palm feels the Rot jumping into it.’ And then when we use the Rot cloud, as the cloud shifts from left to right on the screen, you can feel it transitioning from left to right in your hand, as well.”
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is out in late 2020 for PS5, PS4 and PC. It will be a launch title for the PS5 but PS4 owners can avail of a free upgrade for the next-gen console version. Stay tuned for more details and gameplay footage in the coming months.