Call of the Sea was reviewed on the PC version.
Call of The Sea is one of the rare Indie/Puzzle games that enjoys the luxurious balance between good visuals, an awesome narrative, and some actual good voice acting.
Developed by Out of the Blue; and Published by Raw Fury. Call of The Sea is that kind of game that seems to teleport you to a weird fictional world that seems familiar with the writings of Howard Lovecraft and M John Harrison.
The Sea Calls
In Call of the Sea, you find yourself in the 1930s, playing as Norah Everhart, an ordinary woman with a strange skin illness. Your goal is to find Harry Everhart, Norah’s husband, who tried to find a cure for her skin illness. Will Norah find her husband before fate decides Harry’s end? That is for you to unveil.
This game is not so different to a ferry ride. You have your kick-off point, basically Chapter 1; you go through some spooky stuff, But then there’s the weird part in the ride. Between those points, you have some filler moments that are not so important, but imminent.
The thing is, Call of the Sea is not the kind of ride I would go through twice. It’s that ride that you appreciate once and never again. Although the story was tremendously exciting, the composition and order that the story follows was noticeably good.
What a Wonderful Island!
I was surprised to know that Call of the Sea was the developer’s first ever game. I started searching all over their website for a trace of other games they have worked on and I couldn’t find any. The world design is a marvelous achievement for a puzzle game. Sometimes, I abandon the transitioning puzzles and start wandering around like a newborn.
The visual art-style they aimed for was weirdly familiar, maybe because I liked Sea of Thieves? The reasoning behind the cartoon art-style becomes apparent on finishing the game, although ultimately the choice to avoid photorealism could just be budget-related.
Know As You Progress
Neutral puzzle gameplay is not usually something I enjoy. The satisfying part of the gameplay is when you finish a puzzle. The gameplay lies in discovering stuff while wandering around in the environment. The game itself is very linear, but it tends to give you the feeling of an open level game where the game doesn’t tell you a very specific objective, nor are you limited to only walking forward in the level.
What I found unsettling was collecting information earlier than the time I was supposed to do so. It can be annoying, in all honestly – and rather jarring. It’s difficult to give the player freedom, but at the same time make them follow a specific order or flow so the timeline of discovering stuff about the story will make more sense.
Voice Over & Dialogue
Cissy Jones as Norah Everhart was a great casting choice for Call of the Sea. The performance was very impressive. There are exceptions to this, as in any game. For example, in Chapter 4, the setting is reckoned to be very spooky and weird, but Cissy’s voice doesn’t imply that at all. Norah seems comfortable and even amazed.
Yuri Lowenthal’s Harry Everhart was outstandingly remarkable. I don’t believe I’ve heard Lowenthal’s voice since playing Spider-Man, in which he, of course, delivered yet another fantastic performance.
I might be one of the people that mostly talk to themselves, but Norah takes that to another level. I understand that you spend the game alone without A.I. Companions or anything of that kind, so you’ve got to fill it right? Finding a way to have exposition without the character repeatedly talking to herself would have been a nice added touch.
The Prologue… Was… Meh
I had no problem at all with the prologue, but then Norah started talking about her objective to find Harry a lot more frequently, in an exaggerated and over-the-top way of explaining her goal. It’s as if the game was screaming “OBJECTIVES” “YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO FIND HARRY” “HARRY EVERHART” “HER HUSBAND”. It wasn’t a great first impression.
Controls & Accessibility
If you worry about the controls of video games before you buy them, Call of the Sea is not a concern. From playing the game on PC, I found controlling the main character (Norah) very smooth. The mouse is your primary source of interacting with scatters around the world. I mean, I find clicking the mouse honestly easy myself.
The walking is pretty basic stuff; Our traditional W, A, S, D. But, knowing that you can’t jump is a little alienating. This is not a “formally” negative thing to count at all. However, I’m used to playing games where jumping is the standard, so transitioning to Call of the Sea was a little weird.
The controls on Xbox are largely the same. Navigating through buttons was fairly simple. With no obstacles to just jumping in and playing the game, Call of the Sea is inviting to all.
Call of the Sea is an exceedingly good game; very surprising, and very engaging. If you like a good puzzle, adventure or an outright charming narrative, you will absolutely enjoy it. There’s no doubt.
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