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Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut

Developer: Jo-Mei
Publisher: Quantic Dream
Website: https://www.quanticdream.com/en/seaofsolitude
Genre: Adventure, Other, Platformer, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 04/03/21
Price: £17.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

I think we all struggle to talk about mental health, whether it be our own or other people’s. We tend to shy away from it, bottle it up and are then surprised when anybody speaks out about it. This is the beauty of Sea of Solitude, it puts you right in front of those issues to deal with them head-on.

I Can Sea Clearly Now

Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut is an action/adventure game that follows the story of Kay, a girl so lost and hopeless that she has turned into a monster – both metaphorically and literally. Join Kay as she battles her own demons; depression, loneliness and abandonment through a heart-warming adventure to turn this city submerged in darkness back to light.

Upon loading up Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut for the first time, you will notice two things. One is just how beautiful and vibrant this game is whilst also being dark and dingy and two, just how emotional it is. Throughout yours and Kay’s journey you will be required to complete specific tasks in order to continue. These include solving puzzles and confronting the monsters that haunt you, both on foot and by boat.

The gameplay in Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut is mostly relaxed, usually requiring you to traverse from one section of the world to the other in order to face specific memories or emotions that are still haunting her and have manifested themselves into monsters. It is quite linear, with a very limited amount of exploring but that didn’t faze me. The game has no real form of combat – after all, no issue is solved with violence. Instead, Kay must face her problems head-on to find her sea of solitude.

Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut Review
This underwater city looks peaceful… But, it isn’t.

I Have So Many Emoceans

Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut touches on so many difficult subjects and emotions that we all go through, but never really talk about. No matter your past experiences, this game is incredibly relatable. Sea of Solitude is about reading between the lines, finding meaning in everything and to really get the most out of this game, you need to be very open-minded to the subject of mental health.

Though it is a short-lived experience, averaging a 4-hour completion time, I didn’t feel that I needed much more from it. The ending felt like a good place to end – as it should. A lot of games tend to overstay their welcome just for the sake of providing a decent playtime and I’m glad this wasn’t the case here. I feel I enjoyed Sea of Solitude as much as I did because of how relatable I found it. It doesn’t necessarily have an amazing narrative but it reminded me of me in so many ways.

Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut Switch
How does this image make you feel?

It’s a Fantasea

One thing is for sure, Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut has a beautiful aesthetic and it does an amazing job of setting the seane – sorry, scene. When the game is light, bright and colourful you will feel happy and content. But when that monster comes crashing from the depths, the world goes dark. And so do you.

Though there isn’t much to look at throughout the game, what you do see looks fantastic. The constant waves of the ocean, the rain in the dark, even the desolate building submerged in water all have a ton of detail to them. Not to mention the monsters themselves. There is one particular scene where you come into contact with a huge Arctic Fox that simply took my breath away. No other word to describe it than stunning.

Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut performance was pretty good also, I didn’t notice any framerate drops or jarring no matter what was going on on the screen. It is worth noting that it doesn’t look significantly better in docked mode than it does in handheld, but that’s to be expected.

Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut Review
What a beautiful scene.

The Director’s Cut

Sea of Solitude originally released back in 2019 on other consoles but the Nintendo Switch version has now been dubbed ‘The Director’s Cut’. But why? Well, there are a few extra features that have come exclusively to the Switch such as a customisable photo mode and gyroscope integration, but to be honest, I didn’t find myself using this at all. The photo mode however was brilliant, because who doesn’t love a good photo mode?

The Nintendo Switch version does come with a few other updates such as a rewritten script, a new cast of voice actors and also augmented cut scenes and animations that help to bring the whole experience together.

Sea of Solitude: The Director's Cut Switch
There are dark times ahead.

Summary

Overall, Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut is a fantastic tale of loss, change and sadness. One that shouldn’t be taken lightly. A highly relatable short experience that is 100% worth playing through. If you haven’t played this game on other platforms then I absolutely recommend it. If you have played through it previously then I can’t say the changes are that significant to provide you with a different experience than you already have had.

Rapid Reviews Rating

4.5 out of 5

You can purchase Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut from the Nintendo eShop here.

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