Kena: Bridge of Spirits was a game that came a bit out of nowhere last year when Sony unveiled their PS5. It was a cute looking game that continues to impress visually anytime we get any new screenshots. As you may have also guessed, the game definitely has some Asian influences to it. Now the developer behind it has gone into more details about what that means.
In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine (February 2021), Ember Lab co-founder Josh Grier talked about that influence, specifically from Bali. He said Balinese culture was a huge inspiration for them and specifically pointed to the music, and through that it also helped the game discover the link there between the folklore of Bali and the themes of the game. Bali is a small province in Indonesia, and also one of the few Hindu-majority areas in the country.
“However, our understanding and exposure to Balinese culture came only after we began collaborating with the Çudamani group,” Grier said. “Our composer, Jason [Gallaty], reached out to Gamelan Çudamani with the hope of incorporating their musical style and traditional instruments into the soundtrack. Jason spent a lot of time working with the Çudamani team to build a collaboration that would bring their sound into the game in a respectful way. Through that collaboration we discovered the incredible Balinese culture included similarities with the game’s core concept: helping trapped and struggling spirits move on. Music is an important part of this process in Balinese culture and the collaboration with Çudamani helped us build that out in an authentic way.”
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is set to release on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC sometime this year. You can also read up on how the game will utilize the PS5’s DualSense controller features through here.