“One’s fears and flaws can become burdens on the ocean’s mirror surface.”
When you take a good story and combine it with an emotional soundtrack and the possibility of exploring a fantasy world in which you can find the human psyche metamorphosed into beings out-of-the-ordinary – with a good storytelling design and great voice-actors – you end up creating a game that not only keeps the player attached to the keyboard but also a game which demands to be replayed as soon as you finished it.
It is the case of Sea Of Solitude – an adventure game developed by Jo-Mei Games and published by Electronic Arts.
The protagonist – Kay finds herself in a submerged city with no recollection of how she got there. By interacting with the world around her, she is able to collect memories and reveal her story.
Based on real events (the creative director – Cornelia Geppert told that this game was inspired by events from her life) – the story in Sea Of Solitude is about dealing with human feelings caused by different circumstances.
Kay is greeted by monsters which are materializations of these intense feelings. In order to overcome the feelings she must battle these creatures. Her story engages the player with Kay’s relationships. Her brother, her parents, her boyfriend.
You end up knowing the importance of dialogue between siblings, repercussions of the lack of attention in a couple, sharing feelings, wanting to help and finding ways to cope with sadness and also the design of moving on.
Mental health issues are presented in this game in a way in which the protagonist is taken into the midst of uncertainty. Kay’s monologues are a representation of her desire to understand the problem.
There is sadness and emptiness along with this fear of the unknown.
There is hatred and miscommunication along with the incapability to reconnect.
There is misunderstanding and isolation along with powerlessness and mental fatigue.
The whole human universe of emotions is described in the gameplay as a labyrinth from which Kay must find a way out – also to battle her demons and also to help destroying the ones which were born from the barriers with her loved ones.
What I enjoyed the most at this game was the story – how it evolves – the dialogues and the monologues. Secondly – the chromatic – using shades of just a few colors to establish an environmental tableau. And the last but not the least – the amazing soundtrack created by Guy Jackson.
I finished the game in one day – a few hours of exploring (“We are Explorers!”) and trying to collect all the bottles and to shoosh all the seagulls and after that I replayed it just for the feeling it was able to transmit.
One of the best adventure games I’ve played. Recommended.