I was a bit hesitant to look at this game, not because it didn’t look good but it looks quite scary. Developed by Jo-Mei Games and Published by EA, Sea of Solitude is centred around the essence of loneliness and is based during the emotional time of the CEO of Jo-Mei Games, Cornelia Geppert’s life. It seemed like a game that could easily pull on your heartstrings and something you can get emotionally involved in.
Let’s face our monsters.
You play as Kay, a young woman, as she takes on her journey of loneliness which is portrayed as a flooded city based on Berlin with monsters lurking in and around the water. As you travel in your boat, you have to encounter and interact with these creatures to look beneath the dark surface and discover what it truly means to be human.
The whole game is very focused on mental health and in a way helps people try and understand what loneliness can do to a person. For me, the boat that Kay sails are a metaphor of her “safe place” and the world that you see is a metaphor on what Kay is truly experiencing. When you get on land, on buildings and start jumping in the waters, you slowly going beyond what is safe and try to shine a light on the darkness.
What I liked about the game is that as you progress through the chapters and Kay’s mind starts to heal, it goes from a bleak flood ridden world to a beautifully coloured surrounding as Kay has finally realised that particular moment in the past is good and her mind starts to heal.
12 chapters in Kay’s life will reveal the quarrels between her parents when she was younger and the realisation that her brother was being bullied while at school and she had no clue it was going on. With those coming to light (or darkness), you face all types of monsters that you need to get past to progress.
The graphics in Sea of Solitude are very good and the use of darkness indicating Kay’s mental health and the light vibrant colours indicating that Kay’s mental health was getting better had a great impact.
It works very well out of the box without many options of graphics settings, however there was no Colourblind mode, but this didn’t affect my whole experience as a lot of the symbols to use and interact were in black and white.
The music and sound effects enhance your experience with the game especially when running around the school where apparitions appear and seem to be talking behind you. There has been a lot of thought gone into the audio too, to make sure users are having the best experience.
Once you have played the game, I feel there isn’t much replay value. I see Sea of Solitude as a one-shot type of game which tries to convey how someone feels when they are lonely. However, this is where the team can expand to other areas of mental health and try to explain in a similar way on how someone sees different states. Though these could again be stand-alone games.
Sea of Solitude is priced at £17.99 for PC, £19.99 for Xbox One and £15.99 on PS4 however the title is also included in Origin Premier and has a 10% discount if you own EA access. Those price points are perfect for this game and something that anyone can easily pick up and play.
Sea of Solitude is a great game, albeit short. I found this game can get very intense and every once in a while had to take a break as some of the encounters you have can be quite hard-hitting and really shines a light on loneliness and how it truly affects the mental health.
With a great price point on each platform, this game is worth picking up and playing through as this can really help people who are also in similar places. With that, I will give Sea of Solitude a Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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