Call of the Sea – Impressions

This will not be a full review since I didn’t finish it, so this will be more of an impression/take on the early parts of the game. Call of the Sea is a puzzle, point & click adventure by the developers Out of the Blue. By typical modern first-person puzzle design, it’s a walking simulator to at least 70% of the gameplay, with the remaining 30% consisting of pressing buttons. I don’t have anything against it per se, so don’t take this aspect as a negative for my unlike of the game, it was just something with this title that put me off it.

As far as the story goes, you play as Noah, a woman with a strange incurable sickness. Her husband, being the chad that he is, goes away on an expedition to some strange far away island to find a cure for his wife. He goes missing, and Noah goes after him after 3 months, traveling to the same godforsaken island. And the search for her husband begins.

Ah, my type of puzzles!

The game seems to be structured in a way, that will have you encounter problems that must be solved (of course), but not in any kind of free-form way which had me frustrated. Like you have to unlock something in your diary before the solution is even possible in a very linear fashion. You will be wasting a lot of time on puzzles that are unsolvable until you continue walking down the linear path, that eventually spells it out for you. I’m not sure the whole game is like this, but man, it did put me in a sour mood. Another problem with the puzzle solving is that the game seems to go the way of The Witness. Just a bunch of random buttons designed by aliens, with you having to figure out what button does what. It wasn’t at all what I expected when I started this Lovecraft inspired adventure. It might actually be one of my worst form of puzzle/point & click adventure things since The Dig by Lucas Arts. Very obtuse, but I guess mysterious in a way, which should be right up my alley, yet, isn’t for some reason.

Call of Cthulhu?

Two other things that had me giving up on the game, is the visuals – while fine technically, I don’t really like the cartoon:y World of Warcraft style at all. Especially not in something that is supposed to be spooky. Another issue I had was with the protagonist, she keeps talking over every little item, and thing you discover/view with your own eyes. Instead of having you, the player, coming up with your own thoughts and impressions, she spells it out for you constantly. I’m fine with it happening at a crucial moment, but every little thing – it’s the equivalent of having animations taking over your character in every story instance. I don’t enjoy it in neither case.

In conclusion I wasn’t very impressed with Call of the Sea, and not to be a contrarian since it seems to be a very popular game, it just didn’t click with me at all. Nor narrative, or puzzles, even if it seemingly should at least going by genre. Oh well, on to the next title inspired by cosmic horrors!

Thanks for reading.

/Thomas


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