“A mixture between Ghibli and Silent Hill,” proclaims Cornelia Geppert, Creative Director and Co-Founder of the upcoming Sea of Solitude, and in the recent “first look” gameplay, it is easy to see this.
Until recently, Solitude had been somewhat of a mystery, existing only as a series of six GIFs and a number of screenshots displaying the protagonist, Kay, making her way around a flooded dystopia. The inspiration behind the art style seems overt even just admiring these; the bright palette which has come to be associated with Studio Ghibli painted upon the city, as the grim design scheme of Team Silent pronounces itself in the monster encounters.
However, in the interview and gameplay released recently, Geppert went deeper into the long awaited lore of Sea of Solitude and what players may expect from the episodic adventure. You play as Kay, a girl turned monster in a chaotic, lonely world. Your quest? To explore memories, and find a way to make yourself human again. Exploration, action and puzzles in the visually striking world the brief glimpses have presented comprise the backbone of the game. In doing these, you will encounter monsters in your path, all in the same situation as you: all once human, and all driven to their current state via hopelessness and isolation. These monsters in Sea of Solitude, while reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus, will not fight you, as Geppert says “they help you to progress, and they can also stop you unintentionally from progressing”. Each monster is unique and carries memories not only vital to their past, but to yours also, and will mix up the art style in their own way.
Sea of Solitude is still very much a work in progress and is very early in production. The fact this is the first look gamers have had at it since it’s reveal in February of last year displays that it still has far to go. It has no release date but is definitely something to keep an eye on, and holds overwhelming promise as a unique game in it’s field. Watch this space.