During my second play through of Control a friend brought up the game, Sea of Solitude. I was getting a little worn down playing the AWE expansion in Control. An emotional story was exactly what I needed. Holy buckets did I get one heck of a dramatic experience, which kind of sparked some of the spirits of my past. Sea of Solitude touches on many subjects like family, bullying, and relationships.
Your character navigates a flooded town with nothing more than a boat, and the power to summon a bolt of light. This light will be key in the game and paving the ways forward. Something has corrupted this world and all of the people are gone. This can be tough to navigate as there’s no HUD of any sort except when finding collectibles. There’s seagulls to shush away, and messages in bottles that tell a little bit about those who are no longer there.
Sea of Solitude takes you through many stages of the protagonists life, reminiscent of a slice of life drama. As you play you start to see what the corruption is, and what needs to be done to deal with it. I’ll focus on what I felt was going on in the storyline. So from here on there’s major spoilers to this short game so be warned. I finished this game in about 2 days, less than 5 hours.
—– —- — — – MAJOR SPOILERS – — — —- —–
Once I realized the depth of the narrative in this game I had to write about it. The protagonist Kay is haunted by her past. The dark creatures in this game are actually her family and a past lover. When all of the pieces come together you learn that the game is about dealing with oneself and others. It touches on what it feels like to be bullied in school, and how easy it is to overlook these things. How easy it is to be selfish and forget about the feelings of those around us.
Kay’s brother was an easy target for bullies. He struggled to fit in and was the brunt of the bully mob mentality’s jokes. Kay spent time with her brother and her brother tried to explain what was happening to him, but she was too busy being enveloped with her boyfriend. So Kay’s brother is filled with grief and eventually becomes a monster in which Kay has to save.
Kay’s parents were struggling to keep the flame of their relationship going. Her father was consumed by work which the game isn’t 100% clear on but it’s implied that he’s unhappy with the relationship so he wants to leave. The mother constantly spends her energy on providing for the family and eventually purchases a home so her husband can work from home and be with the family. Can you imagine this in a game? It’s hard because the parents are horrific monsters filled with rage and grief.
Kay’s boyfriend is trying to work and deal with a relationship. He seems to struggle with depression from dealing with work stresses and maintaining the relationship with Kay. When he first appears as a beautiful majestic wolf, but when Kay embraces him, his fur shatters and the monster underneath is revealed. It’s not clear if Kay was in a toxic relationship, but it’s definite that her sister helps her cope with the breakup in the end. The ex boyfriend eventually breaks off the relationship to work on himself. Kay is torn and is enveloped in darkness.
Her sister was trying to help her throughout her entire journey. She wanted her to see that she was being selfish and only thinking of herself. This apparently caused a cataclysmic event where Kay’s emotions became total monsters when the whole time Kay’s shortcomings had been the problem all along. I could be entirely wrong about the characters but this is my interpretation of what I experienced.
Sea of Solitude Director’s Cut is now available for the Nintendo Switch with a re-written script, new voice acting cast, and other noteworthy changes.