When I was younger, I resented holidaying. It sounds privileged, I know, but there was something discombobulating about leaving everything behind to go somewhere so distantly removed. Shortly after I turned 10, I went on holiday feeling out of sorts. I had begun feeling depressed, I was starting secondary school and potentially losing my friends. For the most part, I felt low and anxious. Then one day, we went to a lake. With much trepidation, I dipped my toes into the frosty water. As the lake gradually warmed up, I proceeded further into the sea. By the time I was submerged, I felt transported. The lake seemed more alive, my body lighter and my mind freer. There’s something liberating about being surrounded by water. Mythic Ocean offers that exact feeling, only you don’t need to travel for it. Just turn on your Switch and enjoy an enlighteningly transcendent experience.
“This level of detail and attention given to each character extends beyond the superficial and is prevalent in each and every one of their personalities.”
Mythic Ocean is, first and foremost, a game about exploration and talking. While I’d be hesitant to call Mythic Ocean a walking sim if you need a point of comparison, that’s probably the best one. Essentially you must explore vast, vibrant and versatile vistas and assist the various gods that populate them. Each god has its own area, which is often designed around its personality. Take the twin gods Estri and Kestri, whose cascading mountainside riddled with hiding places perfectly matches their playfully mischievous tone. Or Amar, the laid-back god who prioritises having fun above all else. Their realm is decorated with breakdancing crabs, swaying algae and fleets of fishes flurrying around frantically as if dancing.
This level of detail and attention extends beyond the superficial and is prevalent in each and every one of their personalities. By talking to them you can sway their opinion on various facets of their lives and beliefs, and this will, in turn, intrinsically influence who they craft the universe. Take Amar who doesn’t bother themselves with the safety of their realm. By discussing the importance of the things we love and cherish the most, you’re able to alter their perception of protecting their people and offer them a new way of thinking. This can also affect how they treat the other gods in Fables.
“Mythic Ocean is a packed and playful experience.”
Fables are ostensibly the main missions you’ll be undertaking during your time in Mythic Ocean. They don’t amount to much more than meeting with the various gods and discussing an important matter at hand. Fortunately, while this may have become cumbersome and boring, especially as travelling between each god can take a considerable amount of time, Mythic Ocean makes plenty of concessions to ensure you have the best time possible.
For starters, each and every discussion is incredibly immersive and enjoyable. I didn’t find a single character I didn’t connect with on some level, be it emotional or humourous, nor could I find a character I didn’t wish to speak to. Every conversation is littered with interesting anecdotes, fun quips and quick wit, and genuinely touching sentiments and philosophies. Furthermore, reaching each God is a simple process once you’ve found them initially. Simply heading to the map menu will allow you to fast travel to each and every one of them. While this does mitigate the need to explore, you’ll still likely finding yourself venturing out to every nook and cranny to find the various collectables and fish to speak to.
Mythic Ocean is a packed and playful experience, despite not having all that much in terms of gameplay going on. Whether it’s the numerous issues you need to rectify on behalf of the various gods or the discovery of new pages or fish to talk to, you’ll never be bored. I found that the exploration alone was enough to completely immerse me within its world. The inclusion of a huge variety of other fish to speak to outside of the main characters only helped improve this.
“This is a remarkable experience that truly transported me to another world in a way most games try and fail to do.”
It helps too that Mythic Ocean is a truly jaw-dropping experience. From the intricately detailed locations to the incredibly creative design decisions for each of the gods, Mythic Ocean is a truly stunning title. Additionally, its soundtrack is phenomenal. Each region and god have their own specific tune. This only helps add to the personality and charm of every location and character and makes the world feel more alive.
Of course, there are a few minor issues. For one, in some instances when fast travelling to find a god, they’ll spawn you at their usual location, even when they’ve moved. While this is usually quite rare, it happened on a few occasions and left the feature feeling a little redundant. During certain conversations, the game seemed to hurry through dialogue options, meaning I’d miss out on what had been said, or I’d be forced to pick whatever was the top option. Again, both of these issues were very rare and proportionately rather minor. Nothing game-breaking or detrimental to my experience ever popped up.
I’ve had the pleasure of playing some rather immersive experiences as of late. Clawfish and Beasts of Maravilla Island were two particular stand out titles that I highly recommend also. But the beauty of indie gaming is that no two experiences are ever really alike. Mythic Ocean brings a certain charm and uniqueness that I haven’t seen captured anywhere else. From its incredibly creative narrative to its wonderfully written characters, Mythic Ocean never failed to impress. This is a remarkable experience that truly transported me to another world in a way most games try and fail to do.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, code was provided by the publisher.