Sea of Solitude was a game that intrigued me right away when I saw it at EA Play 2018. Even before that game was presented, Game director and Writer Cornelia Geppert took the audience’s heart in a storm for being both nervous, excited and honest. With that direct connection that we can all relate to, being on such a huge stage, must be stressful and as we have gotten our fair share of developers being nervous on stage we feel with them.
It is every time a sympathetic, connection building thing that just happens to bond at least myself a little bit to the game that’s being presented. If then I can also see myself playing the game based on setting, type of genre and other minor factors, I definitely already made up my buying decision. So far, this has worked well with Unravel and now I can also talk about
“When humans get lonely, they turn into monsters”Cornelia Geppert on stage at EA Play 2018
What Sea of Solitude is about
Sea of Solitude gives the scene away into a vast open sea of nothing but darkness. There’s you, Kay, the girl who’s inner fear, the feeling of being worthless and the doubt in her mind has turned her outside into a monster. With dark black fur, red eyes and loneliness, Kay swims around on her boat and tries to find her way through the endless sea. The game fully begins when she meets another girl that glows bright and is clothed in a colourful raincoat. That girl then plays hide and seek with you until a big monster shows up and the girl disappears. With that, the adventure begins.
The whole idea of Sea of Solitude is to work up your demons on your own. Though you are never truly alone and never act alone. The social system that makes up what and who you are is also
Should you play Sea of Solitude
When I think about
Just with the release trailer of Sea of Solitude, there’s also loads of people in the comments that actually praise the game’s story and also explaining it more as an experience than just a game. It is truly what describes Sea of Solitude the best: an incredibly deep, emotional partially traumatising and yet also cathartic, working up through emotional stress-experience.
Without going too much into details, the topics of Sea of Solitude are about the deepest issues we can have as a society when trying to live together. From being bullied, having missed caring for a loved person that was being bullied over to divorce, the struggle between partners and the people relating in the family in the divorce. Even troubles between partners in a relationship are one of the topics being dealt with. These topics are all fairly heavy and as a
An emotional impacting game
The absurdity of seeing giant monsters argue over
A final note on gameplay
I saw some reviews of the game describing the gameplay of Sea of Solitude as lacking. I can not fully understand their comment. The game has one partially clumsy “fight” but mostly the whole gameplay experience was a fluid, well crafted and a specifically designed system for its purpose. You either move your boat around to new destinations or walk as Kay around the place. Sometimes climbing ladders, swimming between flooded houses trying to evade monsters and even some platforming are part of the gameplay.
Kay having also special abilities and powers that both help to work through negative energy. These abilities require you at times to outsmart enemies and also make use of interestingly placed events in the world. The negative energy which you clean up gets stored in her backpack, letting her basically carry everyone’s burden she meets.
There is one thing that annoyed me a bit, and that had to do with the way the game didn’t let me scroll fast enough around when I had to redirect a beam of light to a target. But, in the game’s defence, that was intentionally done, as I understand it, to have the player feels the struggle that Kay feels when she uses that rarely occurring power.
I think you have to experience it yourself and then you’ll understand
With all that being said, Sea of Solitude is indeed a game experience, unlike most others. It has become my most liked game of 2019 instantly after seeing the credits come up on the screen and I will definitely praise the game for its clever design, choice of topics and how to deal with it and more things for many years to come. So should you play it? Absolutely!
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