Tuesday, July 09, 2019
"Sea of Solitude" Review
There are purposes for games that are higher than simple entertainment. "Sea of Solitude" marks a mature new direction for gaming as a whole. The fact that an experimental indie such as this was released by EA shows the level of innovation at play in the industry.
Set inside the damaged pscyhe of a woman suffering through mental issues, "Sea of Solitude" is an emotionally challenging voyage. It shatters preset conceptions of what a game should be by revealing what a game should be.
Freeform and meditative as you drift along the point-and-direct adventure finds you scampering among dilapidated buildings, rowing a boat through flooded streets or confronting tentacle-waving beasts.
Symbolism abounds, with many on-the-nose messages mixed with a smattering of obtuse riddles. Taken as a whole, the voyage makes up for what it lacks in challenge by adding an all-consuming dramatic narrative.
Developer Jo-Mei Games has an empathetic command of its touch subject matter. orchestrating elegiac voiceover blended wtih haunting visuals amd somber music. The mix, combined with a freeform stroll on a guided path, makes for a fascinating and unique trip, albeit a bleak one.
The role of a video game as therapy has rarely come on display in greater effect than it does here. "Sea of Solitude" is a shuddering yet critical walk on the long, slow path to change and redemption.
Publisher provided review code.