Sea of Solitude is greater than only a unhappy story, it is a deeply private journey by loneliness.
Sea of Solitude’s opening phrases, “I’m nonetheless making an attempt to piece it collectively… however I can’t,” usually are not simply an invite right into a hauntingly lovely world, they’re a problem for the participant.
Every part that occurs in Sea of Solitude has an underlying which means. All through the sport, gamers wanting a powerful understanding of Sea of Solitude’s story must piece collectively gameplay parts, monster design, dialogue, and extra to study what occurred to its lead character, Kay.
Developed by Jo-Mei, a 12-person studio based mostly in Berlin, Germany, Sea of Solitude is an journey sport that takes place in a world the place people flip into monsters after they get lonely. Now a monster herself, Kay is desperately looking for out why this occurred and – extra importantly – learn how to flip again to her human type.
Cornelia Geppert – CEO, Author, Artwork & Inventive Director for Sea of Solitude – describes the sport as “essentially the most private challenge [she’s] ever made.” The lead character, Kay, is definitely based mostly on herself after going by a nasty breakup. However the sport isn’t solely about Geppert’s personal expertise. Throughout improvement, everybody within the studio shared their very own histories with loneliness to create a extra various story.
Sea of Solitude isn’t nearly disappointment, as an alternative, it explores the other ways loneliness manifests itself.
Sea of Solitude isn’t nearly disappointment. As a substitute, it explores the other ways loneliness manifests itself and the secondary feelings it causes. Melancholy and anger are simply two of the “forms of loneliness” Sea of Solitude covers. “We’ve [some other, more] distinctive varieties [of loneliness] that individuals stated they’ve by no means seen in a sport earlier than,” stated Geppert, “however explaining them could be a spoiler.”
Touring throughout the water, Kay encounters her first monster. The creature doesn’t hesitate to verbally drag Kay, calling her by title and telling her she’s “a nugatory piece of shit” earlier than making waves that push her away. This is only one instance of the horrors she’s certain to uncover, a few of which can mirror her interior self.
Discovering one other means round, or convincing the monster to behave in a different way, means discovering a brand new path and fixing any “corruptions” that inhabit the realm. These are darkish spots on this planet that should be eliminated. Interacting with corruptions to make them disappear components the clouds of a darkish and stormy space, coaxing out the solar, and permitting secure journey by with out worrying about enemies.
Throughout its roughly Three-5-hour expertise, you possibly can anticipate mild platforming and puzzle fixing to progress by the world. Kay is “gifted” a Gentle Flare from a mysterious lady through the opening scene. This Flare serves as a kind of waypoint that may be shot at any time, guiding Kay ever ahead over decrepit buildings and throughout harmful waters. This mild connects Kay with the mysterious lady who gave it to her so in the event you’re ever uncertain what to do, this Flare might be a kind of lifeline in complicated occasions.
I discovered the early levels of Sea of Solitude pretty simple. However even when issues don’t get more durable in later chapters, I’m fantastic with that. Sea of Solitude’s enchantment isn’t essentially from its problem however somewhat its expertise. I really feel compelled to study extra about this world and the eerily human monsters that inhabit it.
Listening to disjointed voices and sounds within the distances as I walked by muted hallways made me really feel on edge. And the primary time I noticed Kay swallowed by a sea monster, I couldn’t assist however wince as her tiny physique was limply hurled into the sky like a ragdoll.
Sea of Solitude could also be a sport about shifting climate nevertheless it all the time shines is in its skill to create moments of stress.
Sea of Solitude could also be a sport about shifting climate nevertheless it all the time shines in its skill to create moments of stress.
Through the opening space, Kay is desperately making an attempt to trace down that mysterious lady who gave her the Gentle Flare. Whereas crossing the water Kay says, “I used to be on the lookout for a lady however I discovered a buoy.” “I’m sorry,” blurted out Geppert for her horrible pun, however I don’t assume she meant it. Sea of Solitude is unapologetically her, proper all the way down to town within the opening scene, which is loosely based mostly on her hometown of Berlin. “It’s a narrative I wish to inform,” says Geppert, “and it’s [an] necessary [one].”
Sea of Solitude is about loneliness however, by the tip of it, Geppert needs individuals to really feel much less alone. “I hope that when [players] see the entire journey of Kay, her decision… and really feel empowered,” says Geppert, “I hope they really feel higher afterward.” However don’t anticipate a contented ending within the conventional sense.
Closure isn’t on the desk for the Sea of Solitude staff. “I don’t know if anyone in life will ever actually get closure,” notes Geppert, “however being comfy is the factor [they should strive for]. I attempt to be as reasonable as doable” favoring the human-side of issues over Hollywood dream eventualities.
When Sea of Solitude comes out on July 5, 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC it will likely be the subsequent indie sport revealed by EA underneath the EA Originals label. Its distinctive artwork type units it aside from different EA Originals, in line with Geppert, “as a result of it actually comes from a private expertise.” “I used to be a comic book artist initially, so I attempted to place 2D type artwork right into a 3D area with SOS as greatest as I might,” Geppert stated, “so I feel that is actually distinctive.” The result’s a solid of memorable creatures and what’s prone to be an attention-grabbing and introspective journey.
Janet Garcia is IGN’s affiliate guides editor. Comply with her on Twitter @Gameonysus to listen to her gush about indie video games that will or could not contain monsters.