The character Britta from the tv show network as soon as, whilst challenged, described an analogy as “like a notion with any other idea’s hat on”, which is pretty precise. So, that being the case, Sea Of Solitude is like an entire bunch of mind wearing different mind’ hats. The mind all did a wacky hat change at the workplace for comedian alleviation, and now not one of the mind are wearing their own hat anymore. if you look intently you will word that among the new hats do not pretty match, however usually they work.
i’m not going overboard in announcing that. when I spoke to Cornelia Geppart more than one weeks ago, she made it clear that the whole lot in Sea Of Solitude has a secondary that means. the very best to parse is the ocean, which, on this colourful however severe-questioning adventure, is a stand in for loneliness and solitude. it’s a barrier that continues Kay, a younger woman and the man or woman you play as, from her cherished ones. the sport is ready navigating that sea.
there’s an outstanding brotherly love to Sea Of Solitude. there’s the slightly bouncy fine to the animations, the pointy tonal divide among disappointment and happiness, and even little info which includes how the display receives a visual wobble like a television being tuned if Kay techniques a healthful human and cannot recognize them. all of it pulls collectively and creates a world that you can instinctively apprehend, even if it’s talking to you pretty loudly and slowly at times.
Like most treacherous waters, inside the Sea Of Solitude: here thar be monsters. huge, looming creatures, with weeping crimson eyes, who would appear at home in historical myths. here a hunched over bird, there a reptilian girl’s face, topped with furry octopus tentacles like a brand new medusa. And their bureaucracy are all consultant of a positive form of loneliness, of reasons of isolation even whilst you’re now not by means of yourself. Kay, also slowly being monstered by using her ache, reveals ways to get closer to those monsters physically that involve getting nearer emotionally, and finding wholesome approaches to address personal troubles.
regardless of the name of the game, you genuinely spend lots of day trip of your little boat and running across the washed out homes of the sport’s Berlin placing as a substitute, as sections of the water improve or decrease and exchange which bits of the map are accessible. That depiction of Berlin modifications with Kaye’s emotional kingdom. it is stunning and inviting inside the sunshine, but scary and antagonistic within the darkish and the rain. it is a a laugh place to run around, and Kay’s bare ft make a nice little slapping noise at the ground. There are gaps to jump, semi-cryptic messages in bottles to collect, which trace at the cyclical nature of loneliness, and a massive murderous mermaid to avoid. all the basics, proper?
these nearly-a-platformer sections are easy, but now not uninteresting. they’re generally followed with the aid of a simple task associated with the monster you’re currently chasing after, like amassing memories or melting ice partitions, however they’re additionally in which you get extra context for who Kaye is and why she’s here within the first region, that’s the extra exciting part anyway.
So now we attain the opposite half of of having near human beings, the emotional, metaphorical bit. it is the larger part of the sea Of Solitude, and yet additionally the bit most in danger of being spoiled if I communicate approximately it. The morals are pretty easy and specific, absolutely, as are some of the hats stated earlier. If Kay collecting other people’s emotional baggage in a literal backpack is a thought carrying a hat, it’s a see-via bathe cap. but they’re additionally the type of things that a whole lot of human beings will probable gain from being informed surely and explicitly, and so I begrudge them nothing.
I don’t think it all works neatly. Kaye is capable of summon a flare from within herself that shows her the way, so i was reading it as maybe being her emotional instincts, but then she also can use it to banish smaller monsters or alternate them into wonderful versions of themselves. She chases after a ball of mild she calls Glowy, which enables her but gets attacked or captured by means of terrible feelings. i was in no way quite able to workout what Glowy was. So who is aware of?
but for all that I wish for complexity in video games, I think we ought to in all likelihood do with stuff like Sea Of Solitude in a medium that may be so emotionally immature. We want to be told the basics: on occasion you hurt a person greater by using trying to assist them, on occasion you need to let pass, now and again you could listen with out listening, on occasion a monster isn’t always a monster, on occasion someone isn’t a monster, now and again you’re not a monster. And they are things that we inevitably forget about and need to learn once more every so often. at the least this game will take you by the hand and say, “i have been here too. let’s attempt it once more, but with another thought’s hat on.” it’s the invoice Nye of video games about disappointment.
at the heart of Sea Of Solitude is the idea that each one feelings will have a nice or bad form — love can be twisted to be some thing dangerous or saddening, as an instance, simply as being by myself can be quiet solitude or debilitating loneliness. i have no doubt that Sea Of Solitude may seem facile to a few people, however that just means it is not for you. I think it’ll probably be for quite a few different human beings.