Top Critic Average
Publishers: QUANTIC DREAM, Koch Distribution
Genres: Adventure, Action, Platformer
Sea of Solitude does an incredible and masterful job of expressing what it means to suffer from depression, so much so that should you be interested in jumping in and have your own mental health issues I would suggest playing only in short bursts and when you are feeling quite strong. Many of these segments are far too relatable and quite vivid in their depictions of mental distress. The changes made to the Director’s Cut offers subtle enhancements to the game with new voice work that makes it hit home a little harder for American audiences and a photo mode that – while enticing – feels more likely to break the immersion. This is every bit as powerful as it was in 2019, and if you are looking for an emotional story to be fully enveloped in, I can’t imagine something being more passionately and beautifully put together than this game.
Despite a somewhat lacking narrative and a fairly short length – we saw the (beautiful) credits in less than four hours – Sea of Solitude is fun to play while it lasts. It looks superb and there's plenty of variety in the locales even in its brief running time. Sadly, though, it's not a standout – it wasn't on its original release and it still isn't here on the Switch. It's no walking simulator, but in trying to marry its story with somewhat rudimentary platforming gameplay, neither are entirely satisfactory. Of course, your mileage may vary in what the various heavier themes mean to you, but we found them pretty leaden and uninteresting takes on what are admittedly quite universal issues.
I'm aware that parts of this review may sound negative, but I'm glad to have played Sea of Solitude: Director's Cut on the Switch. It felt fresh and had an important message that it mostly succeeded in conveying. It's good if taken as an interactive experience, but it falters when taken as a video game. That's not necessarily bad, but it limits the potential a bit and may not sit well with everyone. Given how well this port turned out, it's worth a look if it piqued your interest and you haven't had a chance to try it elsewhere. This Switch iteration may be the best version of the game that you can currently play.
If you enjoy narrative adventures that are accompanied with laid-back gameplay, then you might want to give Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut a go. However, those who like their experiences more complex, both in terms of gameplay and narrative, might want to think otherwise. Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut pulls on the heartstrings but does so like a blunt instrument, while the actions you perform getting from A to B rarely entertain like they should.
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Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut – Nintendo Switch™ Launch Trailer
Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut – Nintendo Switch™ Announcement Trailer