[Beyond PlayStation] Spirit of the North Review
Follow the Spirit of the North, and uncover what happened to a lost civilization… playing as a fox! Learn more in our Spirit of the North review!
Awakenâ€¦ begin a quiet journey of discovery and companionship after rousing the slumbering Spirit of the North.
Spirit of the North is a single-player 3rd-person adventure game inspired by the breathtaking and mysterious landscapes of Iceland. The story takes root from various pieces of Nordic folklore.
The game is unique in that it purposefully has no dialog or narrative. Players must breathe in their surroundings to solve various puzzles and speculate the meaning of a lost ancient civilization.
Play as an ordinary red fox who’s story becomes entwined with the guardian of the Northern Lights, a female spirit fox. As you journey over the mountains and under red-stained skies, you’ll discover more about your companion and land left in ruin.
Spirit of the North is a beautiful game set in the future in which you’ll be searching for information on a fallen civilization. You play as a fox, and you’ll run and jump all over the place in search of new clues that will point you in the right direction. The first thing that struck me about Spirit of the North was how peaceful and beautiful the environments were. The game doesn’t hold your hand as you play, letting the environments do the talking as you piece together what happened before your time. I appreciate this type of storytelling, letting players discover the world before them as they create their own ideas.
Along with you – as the fox – there will be a spirit companion that will help direct and nudge you along the way. You’ll often come to areas that you won’t be able to complete right away. You can, however, find blue flowers hidden throughout, which your spirit can use to gain energy, which it will use on tablets or hidden murals that will change the world and allow you to carry on with your adventure.
This forces you to explore each environment, which is definitely a plus since it allows you to relax and unwind as you find new elements. Early on, the puzzles are very easy, which is to be expected, but later in the game, the difficulty will ramp up a bit, and you’ll need to really think about how to complete them. For later puzzles, you’ll be using the abilities you’ve found in your journey.
Controlling the fox was fun and definitely had a different feel from the regular two-legged forms I’m used to controlling in games. It does take a bit for you to get used to it, which you’ll notice during some of the more precision platforming sections. Don’t worry, because you’ll get the hang of things with a little bit of extra practice.
Along the way, you’ll find mystic staffs that need to be returned to their dead owners… the Shamans. When you reunite them, the Shaman’s spirit will come to life. These staffs act as collectibles in the game, and it was fun trying to track them down in each area. They also help you learn a bit more about the lore of the world as well, and of the lost generation.
I’ve talked before about how beautiful the world is, but it’s something that I need to emphasize. You’ll go from a grassy area with waterfalls, to a snowy tundra, to dark caves, and I don’t even know how to explain the very end, other than it’s just gorgeous. All of this is perfectly complemented by a hauntingly beautiful score. While you can play this game in Handheld or Portable Mode, or enjoy it on a Nintendo Switch Lite, I do have to say that the game is best when played on the big screen, since it helps to showcase the game’s excellent art design.
Spirit of the North is a wonderful adventure that takes you on a journey that will allow you to learn more about what happened to a lost civilization. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but you will quickly get the hang of things. The game’s fun is all about the exploration and the puzzles, making this an easy one to recommend on Nintendo Switch.
This Spirit of the North review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Merge Games.