It might be a strange way to phrase things, but Kena suffers from feeling too much like a game for a game’s sake. The latter third is essentially a string of linear levels with puzzles and boss fights, so much so that by the time the climactic confrontation rolls around it affects the dramatic tension the story has spent several hours slowly building towards. It’s by no means bad, or anything close to that. Instead, you get the feeling that much like commanding the Rot to prop up a fallen statue the experience itself is given the very same vibrant animated lift based on how it looks.
It's the sort of framework that's easy to grasp, and one that plays into a lengthy and rewarding tale. An adventure that sees Even travel from the lowliest slum-like villages of Onecroft all the way to the shining beacon in the sky that is Sixtopia.
It's comforting and familiar and simply does what it does without a great deal of fuss. In many ways it feels like the ideal pandemic lockdown game. I'll happily load King's Bounty 2, pull up the covers and settle in for the weeks and months to come.
Playing in a squad is the experience in terms of actual playability, and on that front it’s fun to be in the midst of a distinct 1986 cinematic Aliens vibe for a time. Sharing in the look and feel, pointing out the similarities, the inconsistencies, and questioning some of the questionable logic. In the end the impressive, but static, visuals and sound design do a lot to put you into the universe. But, at best Aliens: Fireteam Elite is what you play in the arcade before jumping into the cinema proper.