HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewKona II: Brume Review

Kona II: Brume Review

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There is something about playing a game that is set in the cold and snow, while the real life winter nights start to draw in. It’s a feeling I had back in 2017 when playing the original Kona, moving around a small snow-covered town in Canada, trying to stay warm and keep alive.

Kona II: Brume continues straight after that game finished, and you play the same character in Northern Canada as well. But things are a little different from the first game and let me tell you why. 

kona ii brume review 1
Heading back to Kona

The story of Kona II: Brume follows Detective Carl Faubert who at the start of this episode is in a boat on open water. He gets shot at and arrives in an area in Northern Quebec. He gets shelter and supplies before heading out to try and find out about his dead benefactor, Hamilton. There is also a mysterious storm surrounding the area called The Brume, that provides a barrier to escape. As the detective goes on his investigation he finds out that things are not what they may seem; the supernatural is at play. 

The story seems a much tighter and more focused affair than that in the original game. The self-narration of the main protagonist is good and feeds into the pulp nature of the piece. I think the narrative is strong and affecting, with some great surprises and strange twists and turns. Strong characters get met along the way and documents provide history and backstory that add weight to the whole game. However, Kona II: Brume doesn’t really help with guiding you or hand-holding. While I applaud this, it can feel a bit strange at times. 

The gameplay is in the first person, a mixture of exploration, light survival mechanics, puzzle solving, and combat. Exploring the world is satisfying and has the illusion of an open world, but really is quite linear in its approach with invisible walls barring your way, moving you in the right direction. It is the exploration which is my favourite part of the game, with rewarding locations to explore. The puzzle elements are good as well with some innovative and familiar-type puzzles that don’t explode the brain but rather gently probe it. And survival mechanics come in the guise of trying to find health packs and keeping yourself from succumbing to the cold by making fires and watching your stamina bar. 

kona ii brume review 2
Prepare for the cold

Combat for me is where Kona II lets itself down. In the first game, I can remember some light combat but in Brume you have weapons and ammo – and you need to use it. It isn’t a terrible system, far from it, but it doesn’t feel like something that is needed in the fascinating world rich for exploring. I just wanted these sections to be over and done with. But there are so many nice touches to the game that the good outweighs the not-so-good. 

Visually, Kona II: Brume works, but it can suffer at times from the white blindness of the snow world. But then it will surprise you with its vision moments, as the world goes supernatural and strange with colour. I also think some of the interior environments are very well designed with brilliant attention to detail in the fixtures but also things like books and record albums you can pick up with real-world front covers. 

The soundtrack is excellent, tense with some scary bangs and thumps along the way. There’s some solid voice work too.  

kona ii brume review 3
There’s a bit of supernatural going on in this one

You will love the chance to explore the world of Kona II: Brume. The story feels more beefed up, and I love how it tells a good tale with a heady mixture of different genres, moving from thriller to horror. The puzzles are decent too, as are the folk you meet along the way are interesting. On the flip, the lack of hand-holding may well allow for confusion and the combat is of no real interest.

But it’s been nice to head back to the Kona world once more for a second helping of the cold.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Exploration is great
  • Good puzzles
  • Lovely visuals at times
Cons:
  • Combat
  • Can get confusing in what to do
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Ravenscourt
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 18 October 2023 | £24.99
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.

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Andy
Andy
7 months ago

Nah combat is not bad , I think aiming is better then first part one shot if hit wolf in head , using melee is good , 3 hits to kill wolfs and you can even sneak apon the first one near where you find the axe.

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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Exploration is great</li> <li>Good puzzles</li> <li>Lovely visuals at times</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Combat</li> <li>Can get confusing in what to do</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Ravenscourt</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 18 October 2023 | £24.99</li> </ul>Kona II: Brume Review
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