Sea of Thieves has been one of Microsoft’s most anticipated games to release in the last few years. With the more than obvious lack of Xbox exclusive content, Sea of Thieves had the difficult task of not only living up to the enormous hype surrounding this game, but also surprise fans with something original and needed in the industry. So, it is with great pleasure that I report that the team at Rare fulfills all of this, and then some. Hers is our Sea of Thieves review in progress.
Yes, I love this game.
First, I want to discuss the progression system. Progression lies in leveling up through 3 different factions; Gold Hoarder, Order of Souls, and The Merchant Alliance. To level up in these different factions, you undergo missions you select at the outposts scattered around the world. Once a quest is picked you and your crew begin the voyage to hunt treasure, bounties, and common goods. I love how simple they keep the progression system. You are constantly challenged with harder puzzles, and riddles to solve yes, but the game never throws something at the player that feels out of place. Sea of thieves at its core keeps you focused.
There are other things to do in the world besides solely focusing on plunder, like stealing from other pirates or sinking their ships. Also, Skeleton Forts are a raid-like portion of the world where you and other pirates encounter wave upon wave of the undead, seeking to defend their secured treasure. However, once the fort is cleared of all enemies players receive a key and enter the loot room full of treasure. So yes, in the end, even this has a progression reward, but its different from the regular adventure in the game and a very enthralling challenge.
I can’t in good conscience sing all the praises for Sea of Thieves without acknowledging some issues. These issues include bugs around earned gold not showing up, enemies on missions not spawning like they are meant too, etc. One of the most frustrating glitches I encountered was when I was sailing alone, boat full of loot, when suddenly my boat just rendered out of the game along with all my treasure, never to be seen again.
But even with these flaws, the developers at Rare have been extremely helpful. They have not once been dishonest with news. They are always transparent and are giving regular updates on patches and bug fixes in game. So, with the developers being so helpful to the community, it is a lot easier to forget the game’s few technical issues while the developers figure it out. The game already has more than 1 Million unique users. A number that rare was not anticipating, even after all the betas and stress tests. Again, because they are so transparent and helpful to their community, the oversights are much more forgivable… at least for now.
Some may be worried that the game is to repetitive and is not a full game. To this I say that this game is not for everyone. If you are the type of player that enjoys everything being laid out for you this game is probably not for you. So much of the fun in Sea of Thieves thrives on the unexpected. For example, one of my favorite adventures so far was when an enemy ship sunk me and my crew. Upon respawning, we set sail in the goal to hunt them down and sink their ship in revenge. However, what we ended up doing is having a crew member loading me in a canon, shooting me at the enemy boat (in the middle of the sea). I landed perfectly undetected on the enemy poop deck, threw two chests overboard, and the enemy crew was none the wiser. Three days later and I am still smiling at the thought of that crew trying to figure out what happened to their precious loot.
Sea of Thieves isn’t just a pirate game, it is a role-playing pirate game. If the player isn’t willing to fully embrace the game for what it is, and make their own stories with their own creativity, then they won’t find Sea of Thieves fun. But for someone like me, who has imagination to spare, I am never board during this game, and smiling 90% of the time, ear to ear.
There is so much more to do and see in this wonderful game. Yes, there are minor technical issues, but those won’t be around forever. And with so much islands to explore that I haven’t seen yet, or stories to be told, I can see myself still playing this game 2-3 years down the line.
It is near impossible to give a full review on the game now. I’ve sunk 30 hours into the game so far, and still at a loss as to how I will ever see and do everything.