Sea of Solitude is a game developed by Jo-Mei Games, a studio based out of Germany and published by EA as part of the EA Originals line-up. The game has a very intriguing visual style and thematics that are not found in most games. So who is this game for and should you play it? Keep reading because we’ll answer all of that and more.
What Is: Sea of Solitude
Sea of Solitude is a game that seems to come from very personal inspirations and deals with heavy themes that most games don’t really get into like depression and crippling loneliness. These mental illnesses physically manifest themselves and turn people into monsters. You play as Kay, a young woman who is exploring a flooded city that’s filled with monsters and corruption as she tries to get rid of the corruption and find out why she’s turned into a monster.
The city itself is ever changing as you slowly clear corruption and help monsters. It’s visually an impressive sight and really hooks you in with the change in visual tones from bright and vibrant to dark and gloomy in an attempt to depict life.
Along with the visuals, the story also does a great job to hook you in and make you want to learn more about Kay, the monsters, the city and about why it’s all happening. There’s a lot of mystery that slowly unveils itself through voice-overs and cutscenes.
Where It Falls Short
However, the writing itself feels somewhat sloppy and heavy-handed and at times feels like it’s just not delivering enough. It feels like it gets in the way of the story the game is trying to tell. That mixed with the somewhat sub-par voice acting really pulls you out of the world and dampens the experience. This could be attributed to the fact that the devs are a small team from Germany and English not being their first language.
On a similar note, the gameplay loop itself gets repetitive and doesn’t change much. It turns into a boring and monotonous grind that you do just so you can learn more about the story and the world of the game. There are also a few collectibles that you can go out of your way to collect by exploring the city and its area.
The game has a lot of platforming which isn’t too hard and is most-often pretty easy, especially when you’re trying to reach areas of corruption. The act of getting rid of the corruption itself also doesn’t feel as impactful or satisfying. After its gotten rid off, the city does change but it all tends to look similar which makes it hard for you to figure out whether or not you’ve been to a certain place or not.
The game starts off brilliantly and absolutely hooks you at the start but as the initial awe wears off, the monotony of the repetitive gameplay loop starts to set in. There are moments of brilliance, some of which do a fantastic job of evoking the feelings of anxiety and stress that make you feel empathetic towards the character, however, these are far and few in between and tend to get overshadowed by the mediocrity of the game.
The game itself is somewhere around 4 to 6 hours long and is quite linear in nature with simple platforming and other game mechanics. This means that it is easily accessible and can be played by even those who just want to experience the story but might not be very skilled at playing games.
So who is the game for? If you want an experience that takes a look at some of the more darker themes about the human mind and mental illnesses and how it affects you and the people around it, this game might be something to look into. It’s also visually gorgeous and easy to get into so if you’re looking for a good experience that doesn’t require you to be extremely skilled then too this game is for you.
Score – 7/10
Sea of Solitude is available Worldwide for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
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