Platforms: Xbox One, PC
UPDATED 20/03/2018: Microsoft have been criticised for its’ lack of ‘decent’ Xbox exclusives but Sea Of Thieves is one exclusive that stands out from all of the others. This is a game that relies heavily on teamwork and a real sense of exploration as a team. The premise of living the pirates life is one that no other game has come close to realising and as such, Sea Of Thieves has created a game that feels truly unique. Despite the positives surrounding its unique concept, is there a good game underneath to help bolster the Xbox Exclusive games catalogue?
The Pirates Life
I originally played the Technical Alpha way back when so the game has evolved quite a way since I last played it but I know that some of my early criticisms have been addressed. The is a clearer sense of purpose in the game now and clear quests that you need to complete to earn reputation.
There is still a reliance on playing the game in multiplayer to get the most fun out of the game. Originally back during the Technical Alpha, I joined a crew of two other people and it was only by learning from these seasoned veterans of the game was I able to learn the basics of the game. Now there is not so much reliance of people who have already played and this is a much better intro to the game. That said, there is still a question mark on the end game. Why should you care for becoming a more reputable pirate? What do you achieve in doing so?
These are questions the Rare are looking to address as they continue to develop the game so no real progress here just yet but I am definitely more intrigued to find out what Rare have up their sleeve!
Excelling At Combat
I was a big fan of the combat when I played the game during the Technical Alpha but it seems that this element has come a long way. With so many different ways to engage in combat it still appears to be one of the most fun elements of the game but sadly, it also looks like it is once again better experienced in multiplayer. If you like to play single player then you will quickly become outnumbered from the other crews in the game.
The quest system in the game will encourage you to explore different islands which will force you into combat with AI enemies such as skeletons, snakes and more but it is the constant threat of meeting real players in the game who will steal your loot that makes the game feel so alive. Although, at times, I have to say this also felt like one of the game’s biggest hinderances.
Travelling the seas is now treacherous experience, not only for running into other players but also for experiencing the mythical Kraken. First impressions of this huge monster have not appeared to be as awe inspiring as I thought they would be but just having something like this in the game helps give Sea Of Thieves an extra dimension.
Evolution Until Release
I had a long list of requests for the game during Technical Alpha including NPCs, quests, customisations and so much more. Pretty much all of these have now been added to the game ahead of its full release in March 2018. The only question that still remains is what is this all for?
I know the point of the game after watching many recent videos from popular Youtubers but I still don’t know why I should care for Sea Of Thieves. It is really hard to convince myself there is a rewarding reason to become the ultimate pirate other than to have some fun with my friends and this may just be the downfall for Sea Of Thieves. That said, I am hoping Rare prove me wrong with this concern of mine. I will be using my free trial on Xbox Game Pass to find out for myself!
Verdict (So far)
Sea Of Thieves is impressive and has come a long way since being in Technical Alpha. It looks like the foundations of a great game have been developed but there are still some question marks over how deep the game play truly is. I am excited to jump back into the full game now that the game has released on Xbox One and PC and I will share my thoughts in a full review later this month.