This Sea of Thieves review looks at the eagerly awaited new game from developer Rare. This multi-player game takes place in a shared world of piracy and adventure, enlivened by grog, music, and sea battles. From the technical brilliance of the ocean world to the intricate magical lore, it draws players in the form of pirates into the spirit of exploration and treasure-hunting. The storyline features both player versus player combat and cooperative quests.
The rich content is constantly being supplemented by new storylines, animals, and quests. Music, animals, lore, and underwater shipwrecks all add to the engaging details that can keep players occupied and entertained. Player and critical reviews have been mixed, but this Sea of Thieves review gives the game an enthusiastic two thumbs up. This is a great way to spend time with a group of friends, or even to find new friends to go adventuring with.
Sea Of Thieves Overview
Sea of Thieves is the world of the pirates, only more so. The multi-player video game creates a pirate ecosystem in which players can have adventures, seek a treasure, have their ships sunk, or learn the lore of the deathless seas. The long-awaited game was released in March 2018, with subsequent (free) updates available online. Developer Rare still has many more plot lines, locales, and lore in store.
The video game is published by Microsoft Studios for Xbox One and Windows 10. Players choose their pirate characters, venture forth on voyages of exploration, seek treasure, and carouse in taverns. Players can go solo or embark on vessels like galleons with four crew members or sloops with two. Vessels can cooperate or engage in player versus player (PvP) combat.
The shared world is populated with other pirate ships which may be friend or foe, trading companies which commission quests and pay for cargo like chickens and pigs, and dangers like the terrifying skellie crews of the undead. As it should be in any self-respecting pirate world, the natural world is itself a formidable challenge, with storms at sea, dangerous passages between sharp rocks, and occasional system-generated monsters like the Kraken and the forthcoming megalodon.
For those hankering for a more peaceful existence, there are taverns where players drink grog with their friends, lore to learn, and legendary worlds to explore. The musical capabilities of the game match the stunning visuals and players can create their own tunes as they sail the azure seas. There are underwater shipwrecks to explore and animals to tend.
You can find out how the game handles, and what the pros and cons are so far, according to those who have played the game and lived to tell the tale.
This vividly realized world gives players a pirate-themed world in which to go questing and treasure hunting with friends. It’s not as structured as some other role-playing games, which many players prefer. This section of the Sea of Thieves review introduces you to the basics. You can find much more in the way of Sea of Thieves reviews at the official website, the YouTube channel, and the forums.
Learning The Ropes
Landlubbers will need to learn the ropes quickly or go under. Even before setting sail, crews must provision up, remembering to bring cages to capture chickens and pigs, weaponry to fend off hostile ships, wooden planks to repair damage to the ship and buckets to bail out seawater. Crews need to learn how to sail: unfurling and turning the sails to take advantage of prevailing winds, navigating, steering and dropping anchor.
Then it’s time to try these skills in the real-world environment of the game, steering through narrow passages between sharp rocks, riding out storms at sea, and repairing damage to the ship. Galleons need four crew members to keep them afloat, and when it’s time to bail out seawater to avoid sinking, you’ll see why.
Choosing A Crew
If you can’t round up four friends to play with, the game will assign you crew members from among others who happen to be playing at the same time. This doesn’t always work out too well, so there are smaller ships, like the brigantine which can be handled by a three-person crew and sloops which need just two crew members. In a pinch, a single player can handle a sloop. Pirates can also take along a handy rowboat for landings and escapes.
Quests And Voyages
Players can choose to just hang out and explore the vivid oceanic and underwater worlds or to undertake voyages and quests commissioned by the three trading companies that dominate the world. The Gold Hoarders, the Merchant Alliance, and the Order of Souls all have different aims but engage pirate ships to undertake voyages for them. This is how pirates can amass treasure and even more important, build their reputations with the trading companies.
Progression: Building Reputation
Progression in this game world happens through voyages and quests that help to build the pirate’s reputation with the trading companies. The end goal is to become a Pirate Legend, but along the way players can share their progression with friends, so all are playing at the same level. This is just another way in which Sea of Thieves is a social and cooperative game.
The reward of building a good reputation with the trading companies is that players will be trusted with even more difficult and dangerous voyages with greater treasures to be gained at the end. As the game progresses from its launch, developers assure us that the Golden Age of Piracy is yet to come.
Starting from the Shores of Plenty, adventurers can sail out to the Forsaken Shores, going as far out as the Devil’s Roar, an island with an active volcano. There are plenty of exotic islands without volcanos to explore too, many with chickens, pigs, and treasure that can be exchanged at outposts for gold. As you might imagine, map reading is a premium skill in this game. It helps to be able to solve riddles too. New locales and new adventures are in the works.
Dangers Natural and Supernatural
There are plenty of natural and supernatural dangers lurking on and below the seas as well as on land. First, there are other pirate crews who have made a career choice to separate successful questers from their treasures. Then, there are the storms that can throw your ship off course or even sink it. The ultimate villains in this world are the skeletons of dead pirates who defend the Skeleton Forts and man the cadaver ships. System-wide monsters are the legendary Kraken and the soon-to-be-released megalodon.
Animals But No Parrots
One of the quests pirates undertake for the Merchant Alliance involves finding and bringing back animals like pigs, chickens, and even snakes. These are paid for in gold coins that make up the pirates’ treasure. Some of these animals are cute enough that often players wish they could keep them as pets.
Speaking of pirates and pets, the absence of parrots from the game is the one real peeve we have regarding this world. Peg legs and iron hooks for arms are all very well, but where are the parrots? We hope the developers are paying attention to this Sea of Thieves review and will take immediate steps to correct this omission.
Lore Is The Key
The Order of Souls is only interested in gaining and keeping the magic of the region for itself and will send pirate ships out on its missions. Forewarned is forearmed, and all pirates would do well to acquaint themselves with the lore of this land. From the skeletons of dead pirates to the hidden shrines, they all have a tale to tell about the past and the present.
Storylines And Plot
There may be honor among thieves but there seems to be little among pirates. When another ship is sighted, there’s no way of telling if it is a friend or foe, until it gets close enough to fire cannonballs at your ship or even board it and throw you and your crew overboard. The player versus player (PvP) combats encourage resourcefulness, but many gamers would rather just do their treasure hunting and hone their sailing skills in peace. The unpredictability does, however, add a realistic touch to the pirate world.
Another problem that many gamers face is that, unless you have your own crew or group of friends to set sail with, you may have to join a random ship. This has been a mixed experience for many players. Some have made good friends while others have found themselves confined to the brig for no clear reason. Still, others have resourcefully stowed away on under-manned galleons and eventually usurped the ship after throwing the original crew overboard.
Player versus player calls for strategic and game skills that some find exhilarating. There’s much discussion among gamers about piracy versus griefing, where the latter involves sinking ships and stealing treasures for no plain purpose. This may reflect the online world in general, but the game itself rewards cooperation and collaboration in meeting goals. Ships can also form alliances to complete quests such as storming the Skeleton Fortress.
One oft-heard criticism is that the storylines are limited and not highly developed. This is common in role-playing games and players are encouraged to create their own stories. New narratives are in development from Rare, but many players are happy just to have a pirate-themed world in which to hang out with their friends. The game encourages creativity and inventing your own stories and narratives.
How It Plays
This is where the game scores big in this Sea of Thieves review, with perhaps the most realistic ocean waves in video game history. Thanks to the technical maturity, PvP battles are exhilarating no matter who wins. Players also derive satisfaction from learning to use different moves and features creatively to achieve their goals. The musical scores win extra points for the way melodies are combined when two or three accordion players join in.
Player reviews so far are mixed, with extremes of love-it and hate-it well represented. The lack of structured quests in the game appeals to many players, as it does to this Sea of Thieves review, giving them a chance to narrate their own adventures and create their own progression. Others feel this is the main drawback. Early reviews criticized the game for lacking content, but new releases have addressed that problem. Some players have problems in finding like-minded crews through the in-game player matching system.
While reviews have been mixed, fans of the game are whole-heartedly in favor of the pirate world and eagerly await new developments. For beginners, there’s much useful information about the game to be found on the official website and the YouTube channel. Players have some interesting suggestions that developers might want to note: adding the ability to create and own pirate islands, to keep some cute animals as pets, and even some ecological lessons about ways to protect the coral reefs.
Sea Of Thieves Review Conclusion
Verdict: Arrrr! We mean, yes, this Sea of Thieves Review gives the game two thumbs up! This is a game set in a vivid piratical and oceanic world with much to learn and explore. Challenges and dangers from other crews and natural and supernatural entities can be met with resourcefulness and daring. The game encourages creativity and cooperation and is a great way to spend time with your friends. It would even work as a team-building exercise. With much more yet to come, it has great promise. Buckle yer swashes, me hearties, and set sail for a life of high adventure!