Coming from Jo-Mei Games, Sea of Solitude is the following EA Originals title, following 2018’s A Way Out from Hazelight studios. Taking an unorthodox strategy to one thing of a well-worn journey premise, you may discover the ruins of a seemingly flooded world that is fully deserted. But therein lies the hook; on this puzzle-adventure recreation, that sense of isolation and loneliness is palpable, which is mirrored within the struggles the principle character has along with her personal psychological state. While at E3 2019, we had the possibility to take a look at a near-final construct of Sea of Solitude and spoke with the CEO of Jo-Mei Games, Cornelia Geppert, about why it is important for extra video games to deal with some difficult points like psychological well being.
Beginning in a rowboat, the protagonist Kay comes throughout a flooded metropolis in the midst of the ocean. As she maneuvers by the canals and alleys of the town–which is loosely impressed by Berlin–she’ll encounter evil blights that appear to have a deep connection to her–shouting vile insults that appear akin to intrusive ideas. By discovering the power inside herself to discover additional, she is going to be capable of restore the town, slowly elevating the buildings from beneath the floor and restoring colour to the completely different areas of city. Even from the brief demo we performed, it is evident that Sea of Solitude tries to deal with the advanced and difficult matter of psychological well being, and the creator describes the sport as a very powerful challenge the studio has ever made.
“I want people not to feel so bad about feeling lonely, and that they understand that almost everyone experiences that in some way and that it’s a part of human life,” mentioned Cornelia Geppert. “It’s a very human story. You never quite overcome your worries and fears, and this game isn’t a superhero story where everything is perfect after you finish it. But it’s about how you come down and relax about life, suffering and pain is a part of life, and it’s something that [Sea of Solitude] focuses on a lot.”
Described as a “wide-linear” recreation, you may have the liberty to discover and row in regards to the flooded metropolis. However, it isn’t fairly an open world. While you do have the liberty to decide on which course to sail in the direction of, there may be largely a set path to comply with by the town that results in the important thing moments of the story. While there are main story threads to comply with, you may also depart your boat and discover a number of the deserted buildings, letting you search by the stays of the houses that when had been.
Although there’s all the time a component of hazard in Sea of Solitude–even leaving your boat to swim within the water places you vulnerable to getting eaten–I discovered that the sport had one thing of a soothing cadence, regardless of how heavy a number of the material was. In some methods, this made me extra drawn into what Sea of Solitude was attempting to say about Kay’s journey. According to Geppert, video video games are in a singular place to inform thrilling tales that put gamers within the sneakers of characters which are in often extraordinary, however nonetheless relatable circumstances.
“Compared to films, you can actually experience the feels and situations of the main character in a game,” mentioned Geppert. “The main goal of Sea of Solitude is for people to experience those feelings of loneliness and despair. I also want people to see that characters like Kay are not perfect and that they have flaws, which is something we all live with. It’s a very human look at the struggles of keeping up with your mental health.”
Much like different video games tackling the subject of psychological well being, the builders at Jo-Mei focus rather a lot on placing you within the sneakers of Kay to know her current circumstances. That feeling of empathy is a giant a part of Sea of Solitude, and lots of the occasions that occurred in our transient demo had been extremely relatable in some type or one other, which is able to undoubtedly hit near house for some gamers. There’s a high-quality line Sea of Solitude walks with its subjects of psychological well being, and I could not assist by be intrigued by how this recreation goes about its dealing with of a troubled girl coping with her interior demons, and what which means for the bigger journey she finds herself on. I’ve a deep respect for video games that no less than attempt to speak about points referring to psychological well being, and Jo-Mei Games’ strategy with their recreation is each haunting and empowering–in its personal means.
Sea of Solitude will launch on July 5 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.