Tech reviews

Review: Kona II: Brume – Movies Games and Tech

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Kona II: Brume is a cold and heartless endeavour that picks up where its predecessor left off. Accordingly, if you adore the opening iteration of this franchise, you will cherish this tighter and uncomfortable icy experience. Additionally, nearly 7 years have passed since the original, and this time has been well invested. As such, this sequel has improved in nearly every aspect.

This suspenseful adventure title was developed by Parabole and published by Ravenscourt Games. Moreover, it incorporates some survival elements, a huge chunk of supernatural activity, plenty of puzzles and some combat elements. As such, it ticks many boxes for gamers who wish to have a rounded experience. On top of this, the narration is top-notch, and the story plods along at a captivating pace. Therefore, there is barely a moment to take a breath.

The hero starts his journey on a row boat.The hero starts his journey on a row boat.
A cold and harsh beginning.

Kona II: Brume tells a weird tale.

You step back into the role of Detective Carl Faubert. Stranded on an icy lake, you try to piece together what has happened. However, when bullets start flying and your benefactor, Hamilton, is murdered, you know that you are in trouble. Accordingly, you must get your act together and solve a bizarre and almost impossible mystery. Alongside this, Carl must survive the harshest of Canadian winters whilst battling an imprisoning fog known as the Brume. 

This survival-lite tale focuses on an immersive first-person narrative experience. Consequently, most of the key elements complement this idea. As you move from shelter to shelter, you follow a linear path in a deceptively open-world environment. Moreover, you are asked to tackle many puzzles whilst gathering clues and resources that help you uncover the mystery and stay alive.

A boat is docked at a icy and lonesome location.A boat is docked at a icy and lonesome location.
An isolated and strange place.

A balancing act.

Kona II: Brume does a fantastic job of balancing each of its core mechanics. As such, though the supernatural element is at the fore, it isn’t clichéd or overbearing. Additionally, the puzzles are not too complex, and I never felt out of my comfort zone. Where this excels is the exploration mechanics. Diving into a chilling blizzard as you move from house to house is uncomfortably worrying. As you watch your health and heat deplete, you must light a fire or use first aid kits to stay alive. This sense of urgency adds drama and despair to an already bleak experience.

The lore of Kona II: Brume is wonderfully explored thanks to documents that highlight backstories and the history of this oppressive location. Moreover, there is an array of strong characters to interact with. Each of these moments adds depth to an already interesting and captivating plot. However, what wasn’t so good was the combat elements. Sadly, this felt like an unnecessary afterthought that should have been better executed. I’m not saying they are woeful. However, they don’t match the polish and intensity of the other core mechanics.

Kona II: Brume looks fantastic.

The developers have created an oppressive and uncomfortable world that is often awash with whiteouts and claustrophobic spaces. Alternatively, the open world juxtaposes this idea with its vast emptiness and seamlessly never-ending expanses. I adore this approach as the team has created a sense of openness, although the game focuses on a mainly linear structure. Alongside this, the attention to detail was impressive. Each structure looks fantastic and the minor pieces of furniture and the frozen bodies are accurate and unnerving. 

The audio is equally good. The narration is spectacular, whereas the sound of howling wind and crunching snow will chill you to the bone. Furthermore, I loved the crackle of every fire and the overbearing sound of any gunfire. As such, this is a dramatic title that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

A haunting an unusual scene awaits you.A haunting an unusual scene awaits you.
What the heck is happening here?

Excellent controls.

Kona II: Brume is relatively slow-paced. As such, the controls didn’t need to be responsive. However, the well-considered button layout and intuitive UI help to keep things moving. Furthermore, it is easy to select usable objects or to solve any puzzle that you encounter.

I loved playing this title but the short playtime was disappointing. At around 10 hours of game time, this isn’t the longest game I’ve played. However, I loved how the story didn’t outstay its welcome, thanks to the introduction of interesting characters. Moreover, the drip-fed lore holds your attention throughout. As such, though replay value and longevity are limited, it is still great value for money.

Kona II: Brume is a great sequel.

This sequel outdoes its predecessor in most departments. As such, I was impressed by every aspect I saw. Additionally, the incredible storytelling and the haunting environment were impressive. What’s more, you can enjoy this if you somehow missed the first game. Yet, that is an inexpensive title that should be tackled if you have the time. My only complaint with this sequel was the uninspiring combat. However, this is a minor issue. Consequently, I enjoyed this game and recommend buying it here! Can you solve the mystery of the Brume? Complete every puzzle, explore the haunting landscape, and stay alive.