Sea of Solitude

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Sea of Solitude
Sea of Solitude.png
Developer(s)Jo-Mei Games
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Cornelia Geppert
EngineUnity[1]
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
ReleaseJuly 5, 2019
Genre(s)Adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Sea of Solitude is an adventure video game developed by Jo-Mei Games and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in July 2019.

Story[edit]

The player controls a young woman named Kay who suffers from such strong loneliness that her inner feelings of hopelessness, anger and worthlessness turn to the outside and she becomes a monster. As Kay the player explores a seemingly empty, flooded city and its scaly red-eyed creatures in order to reveal why Kay herself has turned into a monster. The emotions of her manifest into giant monsters standing in her way, trying to help but also destroy her. Kay needs to interact with and understand their underlying intentions in order to overcome the negative effects of those emotions. The game is in the core an inner dialogue of a person trying to come to terms with their own shortcomings.[2]

Development[edit]

The city where the game takes place is based on Berlin. The developers announced the game online in February 2015. Its creative director, Cornelia Geppert, described the project as her most personal and artistic, in how it led her to probe her own fears and emotions following an emotional abusive relationship from 2014 to 2017. However, she noted that several parts of the game are not from her own past.[3]

Electronic Arts published the game under its indie game program EA Originals.[2][4][5][6] The game's release was postponed from spring to summer of 2019[7] before having a set release date of July 5, 2019.[8]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic72/100 (XONE)[9]
69/100 (PS4)[10]
64/100 (PC)[11]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10[12]
Game Informer7.5/10[13]
GameRevolution2.5/5[14]
GameSpot7/10[15]
IGN6.5/10[16]

Sea of Solitude received "mixed or average reviews", according to review aggregator Metacritic.[9][10][11]

Destructoid wrote that "Sea of Solitude stands out as heartfelt, almost painfully sincere, so much so that I hesitated to actually put a score on this review at all. It felt almost crass to do so, like being allowed to read a relative's diary, only to give it a thumbs-up or -down."[12] Game Informer said that "Sea of Solitude" provides an insightful look at how mental health devastates the lives of not just those it affects, but also loved ones on the outside. Kay learns a lot about herself by understanding the value of listening, coming to term with her flaws, and not just empathizing with family but also accepting that a simple fix isn't always possible."[13] The Guardian describes the game "a dazzling and cathartic exploration of mental health" and " a rare and audacious game that tackles depression and its causes head-on".

Other reviews were more mixed. IGN summarised the game by saying that "Sea of Solitude gives you a beautiful world and an intriguing story but the gameplay fails to evolve enough to make this a compelling adventure",[16] while Game Revolution wrote "In essence, it’s a boat that looks nice from the outside until you jump inside and notice all the holes actively trying to sink the whole thing."[14]

The game was nominated for "Games for Impact" at The Game Awards 2019,[17] for "Game, Special Class" at the NAVGTR Awards,[18] and for the Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award at the SXSW Gaming Awards.[19] In March 2019, The New York Times highlighted the game as part of a growing trend in the video game industry towards tackling mental health issues.[3]

The game won the Unity (game engine) Award for Best 3D Visuals.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unity (October 25, 2018), Gorgeous games and experiences made with Unity - Unite Los Angeles 2018, retrieved February 17, 2019
  2. ^ a b Sarkar, Samit (December 8, 2016). "EA picks up gorgeous adventure Sea of Solitude". Polygon. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Parker, Laura (March 24, 2019). "Depressed and Anxious? These Video Games Want to Help". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  4. ^ O'Connor, Alice (February 25, 2015). "Sail Away: Sea Of Solitude Looks Fab". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (February 26, 2015). "Sea of Solitude brings heart-rending loneliness to PS4, Xbox One and PC". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Whitaker, Jeb (January 7, 2016). "Sea of Solitude is like a 'mixture of Ghibli and Silent Hill'". Destructoid. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Geppert, Cornelia [@CorneliaGeppert] (April 24, 2019). "Sea of Solitude News!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 29, 2017 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Holt, Kris (May 28, 2019). "EA's long-awaited 'Sea of Solitude' arrives July 5th". Engadget. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Sea of Solitude for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Sea of Solitude for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Sea of Solitude for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive.
  12. ^ a b Tolentino, Josh (July 13, 2019). "Review: Sea of Solitude". Destructoid.
  13. ^ a b Favis, Elise (July 5, 2019). "Sea of Solitude - Uncharted Waters Of The Mind". Game Informer.
  14. ^ a b Leri, Michael (July 11, 2019). "Sea of Solitude Review - Lost at sea". Game Revolution.
  15. ^ Wakeling, Richard (July 5, 2019). "Sea Of Solitude Review - Adrift". GameSpot.
  16. ^ a b Garcia, Janet (July 5, 2019). "Sea of Solitude Review". IGN.
  17. ^ Winslow, Jeremy (November 19, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Nominees Full List". GameSpot. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "2019 Nominees". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. January 13, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  19. ^ Grayshadow (February 17, 2020). "2020 SXSW Gaming Awards Nominees Revealed". NoobFeed. Retrieved February 18, 2020.

External links[edit]