Sea of Solitude was published in July 2019 and was first published as EA Originals, the “indie” label of the publishing giant Electronic Arts. Twenty months later, Studio Jo-Mei’s work was released on Switch in a Director’s Cut version intended to “highlight the vision of developers,” this time published by Quantic Dream. It remains to be seen whether the boat, loaded with improvements under Kay’s direction, will allow him to break free of his nasty original flaws. The Director’s Cut? Sea of Solitude: Since the Director’s Cut is very close to the original game, our test is just as close. If you want to find out what’s new in this version compared to the one released in 2019, we invite you to read the paragraph “A Switch edition that rides the wave”. Recommended configurations
From storms to shipwrecks
As the waves wave with the feathers of her strange coat, Kay wakes up on a drifting boat in the middle of the storm. His eyes, red like glowing ruby, penetrate the darkness and see a light in the distance. Despite all the adversities, the adventurer goes there, not without the help of the player, who unfolds the beginning of this story with a few pushes of his joystick. Sea of Solitude is a narrative adventure game that consists of many platform phases. In many ways, it could be compared to a conducting simulator (albeit with jumps), despite the feeling of freedom that hiking brings and the possibility of losing if Kay is mistreated. Kay moves with his boat or on foot in the city plains more or less buried under water. The heroine is constantly guided by her emergency torches, which she can fire at any time and whose lights show the way to the next destination. These fires also reveal normally invisible elements that must be stripped of all forms of corruption in order to restore light and progress. You may have understood by reading these few lines. The sea of solitude does not shine because of its originality. The goal of the software developed by Jo-Mei is to wander through refined levels based on the ruins of a civilization, with each wall being a potentially useful platform from which to reach a target revealed by a missile. In the murky waters of this very “artistic” adventure / platform software, the player must therefore lead his boat into a city buried under water in order to rid the world of an insidious threat. Unfortunately, the multiple platform sequences disappoint with their lack of depth. Aside from the frustrating wind tunnels in the final part of the game, there’s nothing else that could add a touch of variety to these phases. The game approaches remain numerous and the goals are difficult to renew. Running away from demonic shadows and exposing bullets gets boring a little too quickly.
The sometimes colorful, sometimes gray world of the Sea of Solitude is home to monstrous creatures, such as the giant piranha that Kay hunts as soon as he puts a shoulder in the water, or the evil turtle that is about to be pushed back with radiant rays. These enemies, lurking in specific locations on the map, are carefully animated and have successful modeling. The various locations the young adventurer visits hide a bestiary that you must avoid until you find a contextual way to destroy them, for example by turning on a light. The times of running away from the big aquatic animal are stressful, and the scenes of stealing items from flying demons that are chasing us like phantos (Super Mario Bros. 2) work quite well. Nevertheless, good game ideas are unfortunately rare. This is perhaps the main problem with Jo-Mei’s title: In contrast to What Remains of Edith Finch, the sensitive topics addressed are rarely served by ideas or interesting game situations. Some experiences use their interventionist side to surprise the player with a strong Sea of Solitude lets itself be carried away without palpitations during its 3/4 hour playing time.
A Switch edition that rides the wave
Sea of Solitude is being sold as “the most personal project” ever created by its designer Cornelia Geppert. It returns to Nintendo Switch in a revised and corrected version. Let’s be clear that the lack of touchscreen management and anecdotal gyro features doesn’t speak for this issue. Yes, there is a photo mode that will surely delight aesthetes, but Sea of Solitude does not deserve your interest thanks to its additional functions: The Director’s Cut, but thanks to its new version. Compared to the Basic Experiences released in 2019, this version changes a lot of dialogue to deliver an adventure that is less obvious about what it has to convey, but whose subject matter gains dramatically in finesse. Goodbye the declaration of intent of the introductory scene, goodbye the various monologues in which Kay systematically formulates what she has on her heart: The Director’s Cut dares the unspoken and it feels good. Even the messages in the bottles that should be picked up have changed. This new edition also benefits from the full dubbing in French of good quality, which was not the case with the original title, which only had English voices and subtitles in our beautiful language. Note that the languages can be changed in the settings and include English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. In addition to the fact that some collectibles have changed location and the music is more present, it’s important to note that the most missed passages that we described in the original review have been corrected. This is the case, for example, with the scene at the school at dusk, which is infested by enemies. Now light sticks on the floor show the way out. In the same way, various lighting elements have been added to the sets to make them easier to read (and to highlight the important elements). Technically, the software on the Nintendo Hybrid is quite good. It must be recognized that the clear artistic direction fits the medium perfectly. However, the viewing distance is less good than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions (especially noticeable at the end of Chapter 5), and the loaded sequences show some small slowdowns. Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut with its revised kinematics is the best way to discover the universe presented by Jo-Mei. Confessed mistake half forgiven: Kay’s epic finally deserves your interest. Notes + positive points A successful artistic direction A finer writing and a French version of good quality protagonists who have been animated with care Some pleasant bosses Most of the failed passages have been corrected – Negative good ideas are too rare Game mechanics that remain on the surface Too many Approaches in the platform phases A very short adventure (3 or 4 hours of playtime No touch management, anecdotal gyroscope) The approach between Jo-Mei and the teams through David Cage is not that improbable as it may be, both studios make us scream. Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut brings a rewritten version of the original title, which is much better controlled. The premature monologues disappear in favor of dialogues better defended by a French synchronization of quality. Incidentally, the software of the Jo-Mei Gar studio of his Mistakes, even if the most n failed sequences have been carefully patched. Despite his good intentions and many inspirations, he rarely manages to keep track of his progress. Yes, the 3D platformer aspect still leaves us unmoved, but the topic and the general presentation are gaining ground. Journaliste jeuxvideo.com March 5th, 2021 at 09:06:58 Readers’ opinions Give your opinion on this game!