A mysterious illness made Norah’s husband leave his home and travel to a remote island to find a cure for his suffering wife. Day by day Norah was getting weaker and weaker, and strange black birthmarks appeared on her hands. The expedition of discovery of her beloved for a long time did not give any sign of life. One day, Norah found a package at the door with instructions on how to get to the island, and despite her weakness, decided to follow the expedition. Its destination was to be Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean.
This is how the story of Call of the Sea, a mystery-like adventure game from Out of Blue studio, begins. As our heroine, Norah, we will have to discover what happened to her husband’s lost journey, and at the same time learn more about the strange disease that is eating her body. As it happens in the genre, while exploring the island, the protagonist will have to deal with many adversities, i.e. puzzles that the player will solve for her.
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I like that the story has been realized here in a past form. Everything has already happened, and as you control the heroine, you discover what actually happened with her husband’s journey. This is a good reference to the classics of the genre of horror literature, for example, thanks to which we can follow the madness that gets people who set their steps on this island in front of us. The game draws an interesting secret to discover and makes you want to read all the notes left by the expedition and guess your own course of events.
Unfortunately, however much I dislike the format, I have a problem with the story. A sick heroine who follows her husband who is to find a cure for her disease is an interesting idea. At the very beginning, we wonder what secrets an exotic island can hide, and in fact everything will be reduced to the mythology of Cthulhu … How much can you ?! I really like Lovecraft’s work, but I’m terribly tired of it right now! Myths were delicious when they retained a certain niche. Today, every second game that builds a mystery must have a reference to Cthulhu.
I have no problem with Call of Cthulhu, because the name itself tells me what the story will be about and I know it from the very beginning, so my attitude is completely different. I would like to play such The Sinking City with great pleasure, because looking at the box I know what to expect. Call of the Sea is a bit deceptive though. I get a colorful island, an unusual introduction, and a promise of something that might even resemble The Witness, and everything is brought back to the Great Ancient Ones and Fishmen anyway. I was terribly disappointed in this.
Dear creators, there are plenty of sources of inspiration on how to present an extraordinary plot with occult and paranormal themes in the background.And even if you absolutely want to be inspired by Lovecraft’s work, there are plenty of unused or lesser-known motifs left. Not everything has to be another Dagon when there are, for example: Color from another universe, Rats in the walls, In the mountains of madness, or one of the less known poetry.
However, this is my personal problem. I have eaten these climates and I can’t help it. I’ve seen fishmen hundreds of times before, but if someone hasn’t got tired of them yet, they should like the story. Importantly, it is not a long game. It took me about 6 hours to go to 100%, but I think that in a game that was just about completion, this time will be reduced to 4-5, although remember that it depends on how quickly someone comes up with solving the puzzles. Perhaps some will find it strange that I praise the fact that the title is not long, but Call of the Sea works great as a “game in between”. The story and gameplay are short enough that they won’t get tired, so you can play it as a relaxation before other productions.
As I announced at the beginning, this is an adventure game of the kind that imitates Myst. It’s just that when the production from Brøderbund Software, and later Ubisoft, had static backgrounds, between which we moved in time-lapse, here the entire environment was reproduced in 3D. During all six chapters, the gameplay is that we wander around the location to find story notes and clues, and when we feel that we have collected enough of them, we move on to grappling with puzzles to push the game forward.
The game is quite demanding, but presents a very linear gameplay that indicates the order in which you do things. Sometimes it is too linear and one would like the production to throw us more often to larger boards, in which we could perform puzzles in any order, even taking side activities, and only then move on. It popped into my mind while playing and I think that with the setting of Call of the Sea, an adventure and intimate open world game would be very reasonable. It should also be noted that the final pieces are noticeably worse. I would rather explore a beautiful island to the very end, rather than wandering around ruins and caves.
And that’s what Call of the Sea is all about. Nice, although not outstanding production. I admit that it is enjoyable to play, but at the same time I find that it is nothing new. Especially when it comes to the storyline. This is a good adventure game, which I especially recommend playing among other, larger games. It will work best in this one. Nevertheless, fans of the genre who are greedy for all novelties should be satisfied.