When Sea of Thieves first hit the oceans of Xbox One and PC, I wasn’t interested in it… at all. One of my good friends was playing it and he recounted stories of people killing him and taking his treasure over and over again. The players were expected to make their own story as well?! I thought to myself, why would anyone play this seemingly half baked pirate game?
Fast forward nine months, and I was given a code for Xbox Game Pass. I saw my good friend was still playing Sea of Thieves here and there so I figured, what do I have to lose? So I installed the game, and sent my buddy a message that would be sailing the high seas with him for some loottin’ an’ plunderin’! To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, but I am truly glad that I gave this game a chance. Sea of Thieves is rapidly becoming my favorite co-op game of all time!
Sea of Thieves is a beautifully drawn game. Despite being stylized, everything is believable.
Prior to playing Sea of Thieves, I hadn’t really watched any videos or even seen any images of the actual gameplay. I was under the impression it was cartoony, which is somewhat true, but the quality of the artwork impressed me. While the graphics are stylized, nothing is so extreme to make it unbelievable. Yes, I know that you fight a lot of skeletons, but they fit in perfectly. They aren’t out of place in Sea of Thieves.
I feel that the stylized graphics actually make the game more convincing than realisitic graphics would. Walking skeletons, megladons, the Kraken, skeleton pirate ships rising out of the depths off the starboard bow… these things dont exist in real life, but they do in Sea of Thieves. If Rare had gone with a more realistic approach to things like this, it wouldn’t have been as convincing and therfore, less immersive.
The one thing was in very realistic is the water. Everytime I play, I am amazed by how beautiful the water looks. From the wave height, the way the waves break, the different colors of the water and the foam are all spot on. Part of the reason I enjoy the sailing so much in Sea of Thieves is that, visually, the water is a thing of marvel.
When sailing the seas, there is plenty of adventure, and misadventure to be had.
At it’s core, Sea of Thieves revolves around gathering treasure chests, cargo, pirate captain skulls, and other random trinkets, and delivering them to one of three factions. These items are found either through voyage missions or randomly throughout the game. That being said, this isn’t simply a game of fetch quests. While travelling around the map, there are several different things that a crew can do ranging from PvP battles, to raiding forts, to battling seas monsters.
These encounters make the game intersting as they make each leg of a journey a gamble. For the crew I normally sail with, we like to play it safe and return to outposts often to turn in our treasure. The reason being is that you don’t know when a pirate skeleton ship will appear literally right next to you and attack your ship. They can pelt you with cursed cannonballs that will cause your ship to anything from drop anchor, or make your crew do a little jig. In that short time, you could lose all the riches you have been working to gather, or if you are victorious you can add your hoard. The risk of carrying too much treasure adds an element of danger and excitement that I like.
Sea of Thieves may not have a story in the traditional sense, but the writing is excellent nonetheless.
The writing in Sea of Thieves is admittedly minimal compared to other games, but is effective in creating a humorous world. The skeleton captains you wil face have a wide variety of names that play on typical pirate tropes. A couple examples of the funny names are ‘Captain Lootin Liz Burton’ and ‘Captain Ryan Scurveryson’. Some of voyages you receive are step by step instructions for burried treasure. Once you find what the current steps tells you to, more of the instructions will magically reveal themselves usually with a rhyme to them. They remind me of treasure maps that pirates in movies have and end with something such as “9 paces, North by Northwest, find riches ye’ will”. There are other treasure voyages that are simply just a map with red X’s on them indicating that “there be treasure where X marks the spot!”. You then have to figure out which island is shown on the map, sail there and start digging. The achievements also have a good level of humor in them. One of them is called “Ignoring The Rules Of Engagement” which is unlocked by “Kill an opponent from behind with a Blunderbuss, like a coward. Adding the “like a coward” at the end cracks me up!
Yarrr, X marks the spot you scallywag!
Another thing I find hysterical is the effect drinking too much grog has on a pirate. Too much too fast will make a sailor wobble, hiccup or even barf. The barf can be captured in a bucket and thrown at enemies by the way, so it serves a practicl purpose to imbibe too much everyone now and then. While innebriated, performing any task is more of less impossible…but in a hysterical way! If you play your concertina while “three sheets to the wind”, the notes will be out of tune while you struggle to keep your footing. There is even a treasure chest you can find called “Chest of a Thousand Grogs” that will make you act drunk while you carry it. This makes delivery a barrel of laughs (as well of booze) as you fall off the dock and try and swim ashore.
If you can find a good crew to run with, you can have an absolute blast in Sea of Thieves. Making your own story is a lot of fun as you can decide how long, or short it will be. You aren’t confined to a path laid out by the developers. This game is what you make of it, and you can make it a lot of fun! If you haven’t tried Sea of Thieves yet, I recommend you do. There is never a dull moment.
Ahoy, ’tis be time for a voyage of wealth an’ peril. Will ye become rich or end up in Davey Jones’ locker?!