Sea Call Review
Earlier this year, Microsoft hosted its Inside Xbox presentation, where it showed off some of the first Xbox Series X games. These titles included Call of the Sea, a first-person puzzle game where players assume the role of Norah, a sick woman who ventures to a mysterious island in search of her missing husband. Call of the Sea’s colorful art style was eye-catching around the time it was revealed, and while the final product may not be exactly the killer app the Xbox Series X console needs right now, it’s definitely worth a look. Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
Call of the Sea feels like a simpler version of Myst, with fairer puzzles and a clearer narrative arc driving the whole thing. Norah is a lovely, lovable character who narrates everything as players explore the island, examine things, write down clues, and figure out how to do all sorts of different things. other equipment. Along the way, he finds evidence of his wife and his expedition team, piecing together exactly what happened to them, with things becoming more terrifying as the game progresses.
While Call of the Sea’s narrative tone gets grimmer, visually the game sticks to bright and optimistic colors, with Norah rarely losing her cool and sounding like she’s having fun solving puzzles. Gamers will also have fun solving Call of the Sea’s puzzles, as most of them are challenging without being boring, with logical solutions that players can reach without having to use a guide. . Call of the Sea’s drum puzzle can be frustrating because of how tedious it is and there are a few puzzles near the end of the game that will test one’s patience, but otherwise the game is more “doable” than many firsts. -person puzzle game of the past.
Call of the Sea’s puzzles are spread over six chapters, plus a short prologue and an epilogue, so the game is relatively short. Depending on how quickly one figures out the solutions to its various puzzles, Call of the Sea can be completed in a matter of hours. There is some replay value, however, with secret items to find and a journal to fill out, with players rewarded for achievements for completing these extra tasks.
Those who don’t care about achievements may be put off by Call of the Sea’s short length, but in this case, it’s actually one of the game’s strengths. A shorter experience is appropriate for a puzzle game like Call of the Sea, and unlike other great first-person puzzle games like Valve’s Portal. The short length also ensures that the narrative maintains a pace that keeps things interesting from the beginning of the game to its end, as the plot does not pay attention to padding, instead focusing entirely on existence. of players uncovering one interesting revelation after another.
Call of the Sea is inspired by Lovecraftian stories, but that’s not immediately obvious when players first start the game. Lovecraftian elements are used sparingly in the beginning, but become more pronounced as Norah continues to explore the island. Each chapter introduces more fantastical elements, with Norah believing the increasingly strange events she encounters throughout the story.
There’s a pervasive creepiness to Call of the Sea, with a few small things that go a long way toward achieving it. For example, if players return to the beach in Chapter 1 where Norah’s boat and belongings were, they will find that the boat is gone, seemingly dragged back into the ocean by an unseen entity. At other times, players may look out to sea, and they may see the eerie outline of something staring back at them. Call of the Sea chooses to keep these moments subtle, and they are all the more effective for it.
Each of Call of the Sea’s six chapters has details like these for players to discover, making exploring the game’s world very enjoyable. Players will want to spend some time sightseeing, finding hidden objects, and admiring the graphics. Call of the Sea runs at a solid 4K resolution and 60 frames per second on Xbox Series X (with a bit of chugging in certain parts at the beginning and end), and it’s one of the more graphically-impressive games in the first part of the Xbox Series X library.
It helps that there’s plenty of visual variety for players to look at as well, with each chapter visually different from the next. One chapter will have Norah exploring a sandy beach and the dense jungle that surrounds it, while another sees her carefully making her way on a huge, wrecked ship in the middle of a storm. No space is wasted in the game, and it’s always fun to see what area Norah will investigate next.
The first three chapters of Call of the Sea are brilliant, with gorgeous locations to explore and an interesting story to unravel. The last few chapters are less enjoyable, with the swimming mechanics introduced later in the game slowing things down and rarely holding anything interesting for players. There is a puzzle in Chapter 4 that represents a random difficulty spike, and even those who have read all the previous puzzles will likely find themselves confused.
Call of the Sea struggles to maintain its momentum as it nears the end game in terms of gameplay, but the first few chapters are great and the story remains interesting. While its short length might understandably make you hesitant to buy it outright, it’s an easy recommendation for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, especially anyone looking for a new experience on their Xbox Series X consoles.
Call of the Sea is out now for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Today Technology reviewed the game on Xbox Series X.