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Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition Review

  • Developer: Infuse Studio

  • Genre: Adventure game

  • Publishers: Infuse Studio, Merge Games

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5

"Review Copy Provided by Merge Games"












Every few years we end up with games that provide an immersive world with little to no spoken dialogue that is used to entice us into becoming in love with the world. Games like these have a way of telling compelling narratives with no words and just use the world you’re in to tell a story; games like JOURNEY and Old Man’s Journey did this exceptionally well and now we have another title which looks to pull this off with Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition for PS5. Does this game live up to the legacy of games like JOURNEY and exceed them or does it fall flat? Let’s find out!

Story

An ordinary fox eventually becomes entwined with a spirit known as the Guardian of the Northern Lights which is a magical spirit fox. The fox will travel over mountains and through red-stained skies to find out what exactly happened in this ruined land.

Gameplay

If you’ve played JOURNEY then you’ll be right at home here as this game is very similar to it. You’ll mainly be roaming environments to solve puzzles as that is how you progress from one area to the next; for example, one area you’ll need to follow the spirit fox to get to a specific location as the spirit fox will guide you to your destination. Other examples of puzzles are when you come across blue flowers with spirit essence attached to them of which you can gather that spirit essence which you will take to the various stone obelisks that will act as switches for activating raising water levels, water sprouts, or even platforms being shifted around.


There are times when you’ll need to gather the spirit essence from those flowers to charge up a spirit howl to clear areas filled with red spiky negative energy. If you don’t do the charged-up howl, then you’ll end up taking damage and not be able to clear the puzzle in that area.


There are some special areas you can find with corpses of monks which will require you to bring their staffs in order to allow them to pass on and their souls be in peace. Sometimes their staffs are in obvious open areas and other times they are found on the off beaten path that may even need you to platform to get to them.

Graphics

The game looks good and while the Enhanced Edition doesn’t push the PS5 to it’s limits it does ultimately look good overall. The environments are very well detailed from the forest areas to mountainous regions to the areas of snow and ice. The water effects are some of the best out there with a very life like motion to them.


The fox you control looks very good and while it isn’t incredibly detailed to showcase things like individual fur and whatnot, it is more a reflection of the art style the developers were going for and for this game I’d say it works perfectly well.

This enhanced edition has several upgrades such as 4K graphics showcasing new lighting effects and remastered textures all in an increased framerate of 60fps.

Audio

There isn’t much to say here as far as the audio is concerned as there is no voice acting at all in this game and there isn’t much in the way of music as the only thing you’ll be hearing is the ambience of the environment, the flow of the water and wind and rain, and the bark of the wolf.


Downsides

I really can’t think of any downsides for this game other than maybe the lack of letting you know where to go sometimes and it can be easy to get lost since there aren’t often prompts to let you know where to go and often it can be ambiguous as to what you need to do.

The Wrapup

If you’re looking for a game with a strong narrative experience and are looking to be told the story, then this game isn’t for you. If you are looking for a game that will immerse you in its world with its alluring visuals and ambience with some fun gameplay then Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition will be a fun game that you’ll definitely enjoy.

The Verdict

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