Developed By Jo-Mei Games
Published by Electronic Arts
Mental Health Issues. Unfortunately an all too real part of life but usually far from the first choice for the focus of a video game. Sea Of Solitude is a bold new game that focuses on a young woman named Kay trying to bring back her family from the monstrous creatures they transformed into, which was caused by the negative aspects of life.
Going into this game I had high expectations for the storyline because its obviously a story driven game. I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint. The game starts off with our main character, Kay, stranded on a boat in the middle of a storm and suffering from Amnesia. Progressing through the game you begin to learn events from the past and it is not pretty. The story line tackles common and severe issues and the inability to cope. The way these problems are presented in-game is that different issues have turned each of Kay’s loved ones into real life monsters. Her little brother felt abandoned and alone because of severe bullying with no help in sight. Her parents had a strong growing resentment of each other, and her boyfriend was having internal issues of self-hatred. The story did not pull any punches with plenty of strong emotional scenes. In the end I did enjoy how each family member was represented and the message that change is nothing to be afraid of.
The overall game design of Sea Of Solitude is very impressive. First off the graphics are simple but that doesn’t hinder the beauty of the scenery at all. The ever changing environment never failed to impress. The soundtrack was pure bliss and was able to constantly match the mood of the story at every turn. The character design is one of my favorite parts of this game. Each monster was unique in their own way and represented the flawed characters perfectly. The voice acting had to be on point for a heavy story like this and it lived up to the challenge. The parental argument was so realistic I really did get caught up in the moment!
Unfortunately the gameplay is the weak point of this game. It is difficult for a story driven game to bring in the general gamer crowd without deep gameplay. I didn’t mind the gameplay, I actually did enjoy it but I can see why some are saying its too simple with no replayability. Overall I do think this is a good game and I think it is worth checking out if you’ve already experienced story driven games before, otherwise it might not be your cup of tea.