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[PS5] Bramble: The Mountain King Review

[PS5] Bramble: The Mountain King Review

Grim 3D adventure Bramble: The Mountain King from Merge Games and Dimfrost Studio is waiting for you on PS5. Check out our Bramble: The Mountain King review!


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Consider this a public service announcement. All kids everywhere, if a sibling or a friend or whatever comes up to you and asks to go on an adventure, just say no! Especially when you are cooped up in bed in the middle of the night. Go back to bed because nothing good can come of it. Just ask Olle, the main protagonist of Bramble: The Mountain King from Dimfrost Studio and Merge Games.

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After his sister Llillemor decides to go on an adventure in the middle of the night, Olle decides to go after her instead of, you know, telling the parents like a sensible child. No sooner do they start frolicking in the forest does Lillemor gets kidnapped by a troll! It is up now to Olle to rescue his sister from the Halls of the Mountain King. What follows is a surprisingly captivating adventure with intrigue, brilliant visuals, and a deluge of atmosphere.


Bramble: The Mountain King is an excellent game held back by some issues with its controls, but… first things first. The presentation is magnificent. The world that Bramble presents is vivid, captivating, and as enticing as it is dangerous. There is a magnificence in the contrast between the beautiful world of its storybook presentation to the frightening horrors of the more bloodied areas you encounter. Whilst this story is no doubt a fairy tale, it is 100% not fit for children. This is a Rated M for Mature adventure. The game is not afraid to go dark and graphic with its themes and content, and those who are squeamish about content may want to back away from this one.

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With that said, the writing in this one is amazing. The story progression draws you in relatively quickly and seldom lets go. The primary story of Olle trying to find his sister is strong enough to keep you going. But, at the same time, it is the little side stories you come across during your journey that bring the game together. Learning about the surrounding town and the plight of its people and learning how all of this ties into the eponymous Mountain King.


If I had to guess, I would say that the keyword for this game during its design phase was the atmosphere. As mentioned before, the visuals go a long way to get you hooked and keep your attention, but the sound design and soundtrack are by no means slouching. The music does a good job of keeping you in the moment. Towards the end of the game, there is a solid rendition of the Halls of the Mountain King by Edvard Greig that only adds credibility to the game’s soundtrack.

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But for me, an unexpected star of the show turned out to be the PlayStation 5’s DualSense. The PlayStation 5 version of the game uses the controller’s speakers to great effect. When traversing through the more gruesome parts of the game, the controller is there hammering home the unsavory nature of the scenes, and there are a lot! No doubt Dimfrost is not the largest studio and, as a result, could have been forgiven had they skimped out on taking advantage of the controller as other studios have been known to do. And yet, the fact that they made an effort to integrate the controller into the experience only accentuated it all the more.


Speaking of the DualSense, control-wise, the game feels a little sluggish. Whilst not sluggish enough to condemn the entire thing, it is sluggish enough to be worthy of comment. By the characters’ designs, especially Olle and Lillemor, it is possible to argue the designers were aiming for a more marionette design. At least for me, that would explain the movements of Olle. His general movement feels slow and often drags, which is more present during combat. The combat scenarios in the game are legitimately fun. There are a few boss fights, and each one feels unique and interesting to tackle.

The game offers a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy, and it’s a long one with 19 Bronze trophies, 4 Silver trophies, and 7 Gold trophies. There are several trophies tied to progressing through the game’s story and rolling credits. There are also wooden figurines to collect. Whilst not the main draw of the game, they do add a bit of replayability to the game and an excuse to use the chapter select function of the game, especially if you wish to clean up on some of the trophies. Do know there’s one tricky trophy for completing the game without dying, which is going to be a pain since you’ll die during some platforming segments due to wonky physics.

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In short, I enjoyed Bramble. Yes, it frustrated me at times with the controls and aiming, but this was not enough to call time on the experience earlier than necessary. Bramble is a fun time for everyone looking for a good story and an interesting experience. For a small game, there is a meaty amount of content, making the game feel varied enough that even in its around 4-5 hour running time. It constantly reinvents itself enough to always feel fresh enough, maintaining your attention. Bramble: The Mountain King is out as a Cross-Buy title, so your $29.99 purchase will give you access to both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game.

This Bramble: The Mountain King review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Merge Games.

Review Overview

Grim and engaging 3D adventure