Now I’ve been excited about the release of Sea of Thieves for some time now, as have a lot of other people yet a few days after its launch the reddit is full of people complaining about a lack of content. I wanted to put my two cents in on this matter and recount my experience of my first few days on the high seas, along with giving everyone an idea about what to expect from the game – that said this isn’t a review.
After booting up the game you get a quick cinematic introducing the basic outline of who/what/where and why before winding up in the aptly named random pirate generator, after a good 15 minutes of choosing the right pirate for myself I found myself waking from a drunken slumber in the tavern atop a map to Athena’s treasure the secretive end game content. Now the game doesn’t hold your hand, as I stumbled out of the tavern I found myself aboard a ship heading out to hunt for some skeletal pirate captains with a chatty crew of 4 on our galleon, having played the beta I quickly remembered the how most things worked though I imagine as a new player it can be quite overwhelming, that said it’s also half the fun. Learning the ropes (quite literally) of our new ship was an experience upon the waves, one that ended up with us ploughing straight into a large rock and quickly needing to patch up our ship but we eventually made it to our destination. A few quests later we set back to cash in our haul, at this point I was rudely kicked from the server, while I was little disappointed not to have got the coin I’d still had an enjoyable first experience upon the waves, and to anyone criticising the server issues seriously how many other massively multi-player games haven’t had server issues at launch or any point since?
The next day I set about upon my second voyage, this time alone in a sloop with the intention of taking in a few sights and grabbing some treasure along the way. I set off on the hunt of treasure, stopping to swim down to a sunken ship for some extra loot; one of the several side activities to come across in the world; as I swam back to my ship treasure in hand I had my first nip from rather large shark, I’m not going to lie it caught me by surprise and I jumped straight out of my skin but I made it back safe and sound. Shortly after I came across another sloop manned by two players, I decided against my better judgement to sail after them a fact they did not look too kindly upon. As I felt cannon shots flying over head I thought the better of my earlier decision and fled off into the sea to fight another day, ultimately falling asleep atop my boat moored to one of Sea of Thieves many islands.
It is however my third voyage that has truly captured the essence of the game, I jumped in a galleon once again with a random crew and I thought lets go all in, so I jumped on the in game chat and put on my best pirate voice! The best bit? Moments later another pirate themed voice jumped at me and so the story began. As we set sail on a treasure hunt quest we as a crew of 4 fell into roles aboard the ship, I took the role of Navigator plotting the route to our destination, my fellow pirate voice took the role of Helmsman and ultimately Captain designating me as simply called Smith so I rolled with it. Our other two far quieter crew members filling in managing sails, supplies, repairs and entertainment, our pirate themed banter continued as we completed several quests and found we worked quite well together as a crew. At this point I thought let’s give a Skull Fort a go – in essence they are similar to a dungeon in an MMO multiple waves of varied enemies followed by a boss – so we set sail setting our ship just off the coast of the fort out of its cannons range, before using our own cannons to fly over there. The fight itself took time and a few lives before we successfully completed it opening up a haul of rich booty, we took this back to trade in for gold before seeking out our next adventure this time as pirate hunters. Upon spotting another galleon in the distance we opted to go and sink them, now every other ship in Sea of Thieves is manned by other players so this was to be no easy feat, things got even more interesting as we spotted another galleon aiming for the same goal resulting in a three way duel. I don’t rather fancy trying to put that battle into words other than suffice to say it was an epic confrontation that only left us standing. The rest of the time I spent with this crew was equal parts exciting as it was hilarious, as we retired for the evening we sent out friend requests and planned to meet again upon the high seas.
I’m not sure my words have properly displayed my excitement and enjoyment of Sea of Thieves so far, I’m not going to go out and say it’s a perfect game it certainly has issues to be resolved but its a game that’s full of potential and with Rare’s plans to continue support for the game for years to come I have high hopes.
I just wanted to address a few of the key criticisms I’ve seen on reddit and elsewhere so far:
- It’s the new No Man’s Sky – This one doesn’t make sense, NMS promised tons it didn’t deliver on at least initially, though were still awaiting true multi-player, whereas as Rare have been entirely frank about what is currently in the game and safe to says it’s there and more.
- There not enough to do – Some of the early quests are a bit basic but they do act as a training ground, it’s an open world pirate game on the other hand so surely you must have some imagination as to what you can do. Would you complain about a Battle Royale only having one type of game mode?
- People taking advantage of in-game systems – There is certainly some flaws with the scuttle ship system currently that will be addressed I’m sure.
- Not enough cosmetics – I’ll be very impressed in anyone’s already unlocked them all.
- Not enough rewards – I agree that there is not enough unlocks and goals if that is the type of gameplay you seek though, but this game is about making your own story not just completing a quest.
These are just the ramblings of one dread pirate anyhow, I for one will be heading back to Sea of Thieves aplenty I just hope to see a few of you upon the waves!