[PS5] Bramble: The Mountain King Review

by EdEN, Owner

Bramble: The Mountain King from Merge Games and Dimfrost Studio sets you on a quest to save your sister, who has been kidnapped by a troll. Learn more in our Bramble: The Mountain King review!

Bramble: The Mountain King from Merge Games and Dimfrost Studio sets you on a quest to save your sister, who has been kidnapped by a troll. For this Nordic horror inspired journey, you’ll be playing as Olle as you explore the strange land where creatures of all shapes and sizes coexist. Unfortunately, you’re on the small side, and most of the creatures are hungry and ready to feast on your bones! You must get good at deciding when it’s time to run and hide, and when it’s time to stand your ground, or else your sister and yourself will be done for.

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The story begins in the children’s room, where Olle wakes up from a nightmare due to his mother’s bedtime story. He searched for his sister’s comfort, but she was nowhere to be found. Lighting up a candle with the nearby matches, he goes to try and see where she could have gone. Before walking out of the room, Olle can interact with the objects around him, so that you can get a better understanding of how things will take place. There are plenty of collectibles to find if you want to add a new Platinum to your collection – more on trophies in a bit – so be sure to interact with everything!

You’ll control Olle with the left analog stick, as he jumps with the X button as needed. The Square button will be for interacting. Olle can sprint by pressing and holding down the R1 button. He can also crouch by pressing and holding down the L1 button. Sprinting is important, since it can help Olle put some distance between himself and the monsters out to get him, but it’s also going to be making a lot of noise. Crouching allows him to walk at a slower pace, which is ideal for taking a stealthier approach for a particular situation.

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As you interact with objects – such as the storybooks you can find – and progress through the story, you’ll hear a narrator that will let you know what is going on. Checking the storybook in the children’s room will allow you to learn about how your sister walked into the woods, and that it was there that the troll caught the girl in a trap and took her to his lair. Lillemor had been warned by her mother that boys and girls that don’t listen to their parents could get in trouble, and it seems that she didn’t listen to her advice.

Your journey will start with Olle running into the forest to try and ask the pinecone people if they have seen Lillemor. The pinecone people are made from pinecones that Olle picked around the forest. They have been given arms and legs to make them look similar to humans. But while Olle runs and jumps around the forest, he ends up falling down a hole that sends him down into a peculiar looking room. It’s there that he finds the Spark of Courage, an enchanted fragment that will grant him the abilities needed to search for his sister.

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Olle will aim by pressing the L2 button, throwing the Spark of Courage with the R2 button. He only gets the one shot since he’s literally throwing the Spark of Courage, so he’ll have to run quickly to pick it up from the ground with the L2 button so that he can use it once again. Lillemor will help him practice by holding up some pinecones and throwing them up in the air, so that Olle can aim at them. Yes, Olle did find Lillemor, if only for a moment. Soon after this tutorial segment is over, the two tumble down through the woods, and end up in an area unknown to them…

Or at least they think they don’t know the area. It seems that after the practice session and falling through the woods, the two of them have been shrunk down considerably! Small mushrooms will now serve as huge platforms for them to carry onward, and small streams of water have now turned into deadly rivers that can swallow them whole. An apple falling from a tree nearly squashed them! At least that giant apple can be a good source of nutrition for the two. But wait… are those gnomes running around the area?

Trophy-wise, Bramble: The Mountain King has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. The list includes 19 Bronze trophies, 4 Silver trophies, and 7 Gold trophies to work on. Some of them will unlock as you defeat the different bosses in the game, and there’s a trophy for beating the game and another one for doing so without every dying. The big bulk of trophies will be related to locating all wooden figurines, and there’s one trophy for finding all storybooks. There are many wooden figurines to locate, as well as several storybooks to find and interact with, so you’ll have to search everywhere!

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Bramble: The Mountain King is a Nordic horror inspired journey, and you’ll be able to tell this is true once Olle losses his sister to the troll. The adventure that follows will have you take on monsters as you traverse gruesome scenarios that might end up making your stomach churn. Fall into a trap, and Olle will be snapped like a branch while it’s smashed into a pulp. Fail to avoid a boss’ attack, and it will slice Olle up with a single chop. It’s a Rated M for Mature experience, so it’s definitely not going to be for everyone. Bramble: The Mountain King is out tomorrow on PlayStation 5.

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

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