Sea of Solitude Review
Posted: 10 months ago, last updated 4 days ago.
While you do this, you encounter the audible inner dialogue of your character that tells a story of quarrelling parents, emotional isolation of a friend and the terrible experiences of her brother being bullied.
The game world mirrors each of these traumas with metaphorical creatures and obstacles to overcome. "All you care about is yourself, that's why you will fail," states the trailer, clearly signposting this is how you don't fail. But still, while the game can be overly literal at times and resolve longstanding issues relatively quickly, the deft combination of interaction, emotion and challenge create a unique space to step inside these challenges and character failings. Through this you can, to some extend, share the experience of what it feels like to be affected by loneliness, bullying, toxic relationships, depression and a troubling past.
This game has been rated ESRB TEEN.
Rated PEGI 12 for frequent moderate violence and use of offensive language. If your character steps into the sea, a giant swimming monster will come and attack, it will throw your character into the air and catch you in its teeth and eats you. You don’t see any detail, just the body disappearing into the monster’s mouth as you scream and the screen goes dark as it brings you back to the last checkpoint. There are also lots of hands that can drag you under the water as the screen goes dark. You can also be shoved backwards by some human-shaped monsters. The only sign of injury is the screen that changes colour and gets darker with each hit. Eventually the human-shaped monsters can overwhelm you and the screen will go dark as the game resets to the last checkpoint. The game features the use of the word “*!@?*”.
The game focuses on the loneliness and self-destructiveness of the character and her family members. The monsters can insult your character throughout the game. One particular chapter focuses on her brother and how he has had to deal with bullies. You can hear some of the insults they use against him, such as “Hah! Being ugly really does run in your family. Hahaha…”. There is also a scene where a male monster and female monster (representing the character’s parents) are arguing about how they had children too early and it ruined their careers. These themes may be distressing to some people.
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.
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