Sea of Solitude
|Sea of Solitude|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Release||July 5, 2019|
Sea of Solitude is an adventure video game developed by German studio Jo-Mei Games and published by Electronic Arts. The player controls a young woman named Kay as she explores an abandoned, submerged city and its scaly red-eyed creatures in order to reveal why Kay herself has turned into a monster. The quarrels between her parents, the emotional isolation of a friend and the terrible experiences of her brother being bullied are presented on a metaphorical level - the experiences hunt her as enormous monsters she now has to face, representing feelings like loneliness, depression, as well as fear and loss of attachment. The city 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 a 2013 breakup.
In March 2019, The New York Times highlighted the game as part of growing trend in the video game industry towards tackling mental health issues. Sea of Solitude is not meant to be fun, its focus is on letting players experience what it feels like to be affected by depression and a troubling past. Gamers are put in the midst of the conflict, with a call to not only feel the effects but also to influence and change the actions.
Electronic Arts published the game under its indie game program EA Originals. The game's release was postponed from spring to summer of 2019 before having a set release date of July 5, 2019.
The game was given mixed reviews, IGN said "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."
Some were more favorable, Destructoid & Game Informer both gave it 7.5/10, Destructoid said "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." While Game Informer said "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."
Not all reviews went to at least 60. UK magazine Edge gave it a 5/10, saying "There's definitely a kind of magic to discover here, but Sea of Solitude too often breaks its own spell." Game Revolution gave it 2.5/5, saying "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."
- Unity (October 25, 2018), Gorgeous games and experiences made with Unity - Unite Los Angeles 2018, retrieved February 17, 2019
- Sarkar, Samit (December 8, 2016). "EA picks up gorgeous adventure Sea of Solitude". Polygon. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- "Discover what loneliness feels like in Sea of Solitude". GameGator. July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- 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.
- Kreienbrink, Matthias (July 19, 2019). "Videospiele: So spielt sich Einsamkeit". Die Zeit (in German). ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- O'Connor, Alice (February 25, 2015). "Sail Away: Sea Of Solitude Looks Fab". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- Matulef, Jeffrey (February 26, 2015). "Sea of Solitude brings heart-rending loneliness to PS4, Xbox One and PC". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- Whitaker, Jeb (January 7, 2016). "Sea of Solitude is like a 'mixture of Ghibli and Silent Hill'". Destructoid. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- Geppert, Cornelia [@CorneliaGeppert] (April 24, 2019). "Sea of Solitude News!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 29, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Holt, Kris (May 28, 2019). "EA's long-awaited 'Sea of Solitude' arrives July 5th". Engadget. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
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