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Letters from the Front

Welcome to the first ever Indie’s Spotlight! Indie’s Spotlight is all about Indie games and Indie reviews. For our first issue, we’ll be taking a look at Sea of Solitude.

Sea of Solitude is about a sort of loneliness that you really can’t escape from and I guess, trying to fight it as well. It’s very personal story of loneliness and mental health, a subject that hasn’t been tackled all that well or a subject that is barely understood in the real world. Sea of Solitude is about tackling such issues, it’s a heavy narrative game filled with powerful moments but the gameplay fails to achieve much, resulting in a weird and monotone experience, even almost to the middle of the game. Sea of Solitude is more like a Polygon-esque Opinion piece on Mental Illness than an actual game revolving around these very hard subject matters.

You take control of Kay, a young woman who just wants to become human again. Kay is tasked with getting rid of corruption swarms that are scattered across the game world in the hopes that it will shine a small little light on her life and in the monster’s lives who are sad and lonely.

Your boat is the only mode of travel and it provides a sense of safety and refuge from the corruption that the monsters thrive on. The boat itself is convenient and easy to use, Sea of Solitude mixes it up once and a while to keep the game fresh: a nice blend of sailing and exploring on foot to keep things fresh. There are two specific bosses that are recurrent in the story, one is a sea monster and the other is a shelled monster girl who likes to remind you how much of a garbage can you are and how much you suck.

When you’re not avoiding monsters, you’re helping them by clearing corruptions and listening to their stories. There are many times in the story where Kay is constantly reminiscing of her own behavior when it comes to the people in her life, I won’t spoil anything here but Sea of Solitude does a good job of tackling situations and specific points that I haven’t really seen that much in videogames, however, sometimes the writing itself gets in the way of the story that the game is trying to tell which is a shame. The voice acting doesn’t really help either because it just makes it out to be some sort of Broadway play than a series of conversations. The story is compelling enough to pull you in and get you to the end but other then that, there isn’t much to see here which is a shame considering how much praise the game received at E3 2018.

Sea of Solitude is a beautiful game, but a lot of the areas look very similar to each other which made it to collect things or made certain sections a complete bore to just explore or maneuver which is a shame considering that the developers could’ve done more with this beautiful engine.

Even halfway through, Sea of Solitude shows promise but I am not sure how long will that promise last, considering that I’m already exhausted. I just want things to be done already. Sea of Solitude is just an okay game so far, I would recommend it just for the story alone. Check out my review soon.

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