March 16th, 2021 by Simon Elliott

Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition - PS5 Platinum Review

Follow an ordinary fox through an extraordinary journey across the magical lands of Iceland.

Spirit of the North is quite a unique game in the sense that it has no dialogue, offers almost no guidance and has pretty much no user interface. Simply explore the beautiful environment as a fox, solve puzzles to unlock doors and discover what's there to be found.

Throughout the game are a number of collectables you'll have to look out for which take the form of magical wooden staffs. They're fairly well hidden, mostly off the main track and once you've picked one up you'll have to track down the body of a nearby Shaman and drop it off to free their spirit. The game would be very simple and straight forward if it wasn't for this as it'll have you spending more time looking for the collectables rather than worrying about what to do or where to go next in the main story. After every so many collectables, you'll unlock a new skin for your fox, allowing you to change it's colour from the traditional orange to white, black, golden and a variety of other combinations.

The scenery is beautiful designed and the soundtrack is peaceful and relaxing. There are no enemies, no combat and you can't actually die. Your fox can swim, jump and will learn magical abilities as you go which help you to reach new areas and overcome new obstacles. There's no pressure to rush through anything and it's a pleasant and well crafted journey.


Overview

  • Release Date: 26th November, 2020
  • Publisher: MERGE GAMES.LIMITED
  • Date Started: 14th March, 2021
  • Date Completed: 16th March, 2021
  • Version Played: Disc
  • Price: £10.99 (Monthly Rental Fee via Boomerang Rentals)

The Good

  • Slow paced, peaceful and relaxing game.
  • Quite addictive even though all you really do is run around.
  • Incredible landscapes and scenery.
  • No combat or enemies, so it's not challenging in any way.
  • Wonderful orchestral sound track.
  • A very useful Photo Mode which helps you capture photogenic screenshots.

The Bad

  • There are almost no directions at all. Most of the game is straight forward, but there were a few times where I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or where I was meant to be going.
  • The collectables are quite hard to find and take more time and effort than the main story.
  • At some points in the game you're forced to move very slowly which is a bit annoying.

Hardest Trophy

  • Kindred Spirits - Locate and greet all Spirits in the Spirit World.

In Chapter 7 you'll have to track down somewhere in the region of 28 Shaman spirits. The level is huge and very spread out and some of the spirits wander around so it takes a long time to find them. I ran back and forth through the level about 4 or 5 times and spent a good 2 hours trying to find them all, so although it's not difficult, it is frustrating and time consuming. Even following a guide you'll probably struggle as there isn't much in the way of landmarks to help point you to where you need to look.


Helpful Bugs / Glitches / Exploits

None. There are some occasions where you can jump against bricks or hills and get over walls earlier than you should be able to, but it doesn't really offer any benefit.


Platinum Difficulty Rating - 2/10

2/10

The whole game is easy. You can't die, there's no combat and if you miss any collectables then you can always go back and get them with chapter select. The hardest thing is just keeping an eye out for the collectables as you play through and trying to remember which direction you're supposed to be heading in.


Platinum Time - 5-10 Hours

The game isn't particularly long with 8 chapters that probably take around 30 minutes each depending on how fast you run through them, but if you're going to look for the collectables without a guide, you can probably double that time.


Platinum Enjoyment Rating - 6/10

6/10
This is one of the few games where I'm going to rate the overall game better than the Platinum experience. The collectables, particularly those in Chapter 7 made me start to fall out of love with this game. There are a few miscellaneous trophies you can earn as you progress through the story, otherwise the majority of them are story related, but having no map and no way of really knowing which collectables you've already found made this less enjoyable than it could have been.


Overall Game Rating - 8/10

8/10
Spirit of the North is visually stunning. The lighting effects, sound and the level design are great and I took more screenshots than pretty much any other game I've played recently. It's reasonably short but an enjoyable experience and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxed and pleasant game which makes full use of your PS5 and 4K TV. If you don't care about trophies or 100%ing the game, none of my Platinum-based negatives will affect the main game for you.


Platinum #517

Here are my most recent Platinum Trophies up to and including this game.

Platinum # Game Platform Date
517 Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition PS5 16th March 2021
516 Active Neurons 3: Wonders Of The World PS5 15th March 2021
515 Castle of no Escape 2 PS4 14th March 2021
514 Chess Knights: Viking Lands PS4 14th March 2021
513 GraviFire PS5 12th March 2021

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