Seafaring as a single pirate in Rare's ambitious "Sea of Thieves" filled me with three thoughts:
I have no idea what I'm doing.
The pulsating seas and islands relax.
"Sea of Thieves" is an online gaming experience that puts you in a world of buried treasure, skeleton warriors and pirate hunts on the high seas. The game features a "shared world experience," much like "Destiny" or "Tom Clancy's The Division." The game is always online, which means that you need an internet connection and an Xbox Live Gold subscription. The player logs on to a server that is completely unknown in a common environment in which anything can happen; they can fight in big sea battles or search for hidden secrets together.
The common world is one of the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the game: anything can happen, but nothing can happen.
As soloist, I was looking for a ship that I could command or stow. But as I scanned the stormy horizons with my binoculars, I realized something: "Sea of Thieves" is not a fun game when you're alone.
Traversal a long time. Solo players do not receive a captain's galleon; instead, it is a much smaller boat that can be operated without crew. "Sea of Thieves" is virtually a pirate simulation that forces players to operate the sails of their ships, navigate the seas, and repair leaks in the hull. This alone can be incredibly overwhelming if things do not go smoothly, but when I just steered the ship to the place I had to go, it was more boring than relaxing.
So, Squad Up: It's a Game Changer
The server loads at the start of the game may have kept me and my friends from jumping on the high seas, but we three had a great time getting our galleon to entertain and control, fight enemy pirates and get drunk on grog together. I have to say, "Sea of Thieves" could have my favorite "drunken" mechanics of a game: the character of the player is marginally unmanageable and vomits plentiful, which creates some fun moments with friends. It's easy to play role-playing as a pirate in "The Sea of Thieves", because although it has a short learning curve, it's easily accessible and so relies on players to create their own stories.
However, the game relies on player narratives is also a weakness. "Sea of Thieves" is pretty empty when it comes to content, with incredibly repetitive tasks that can grow old quickly. The search for buried treasures is a fun and rewarding experience, but to do it again and again, does not lead me to keep playing. It's essentially a rotation of the same three quests: search for buried treasures, fight skeletons, bring cargo. That's it really. Rinse, repeat.
Especially since in "Sea of Thieves" there really is no progression system. Completing quests turns into the player's gold coins that they can spend on new outfits, swords, guns, ship sails, and color schemes, but it's all cosmetic. Cosmetic rewards can be a motivating factor in games like Overwatch or Destiny, but since it's the only progression system that has Sea of Thieves, it tells me that Rare, the game's developer studio, is really focused on gamers Continue to motivate yourself to come back.
Unfortunately, that's not enough. The games are coming very fast, and I would be lying if I said that I have not gone over to the recently released "Far Cry 5". There's just not enough variety in "Sea of Thieves" to really hitch "I'm in and keep investing."
That was the laugh I shared with my friends who played this game, the warmest I have ever had. I can appreciate a game that allows players to just be stupid. It's been a long time since I cried laughing at a game, and "Sea of Thieves" is open enough to allow for situations that can provoke extreme moments of joy.
That's why I appreciate "Sea of Thieves".
However, the most seductive thing about "Sea of Thieves" is the incredible marketing thrust the Xbox makes with its Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Game Pass is a paid subscription where someone can opt for $ 10 per month and has full access to a rotating selection of games, including Sea of Thieves. It makes the investment a bit easier and, above all, I'm glad I did not have to pay $ 60 to play this game.
I like "Sea of Thieves". I had a great time with my friends galvanizing over a beautiful sea. There just is not enough meat on the bone to make any kind of emotional investment that would force me to return. Not to mention that solo sailing was miserable.
So, if "Sea of Thieves" is of interest, then an internet connection and Xbox Live Gold are required. I can not recommend that to anyone who is not interested in a funny collaboration. But good times – albeit limited times – are good for full crews who are interested in harvesting the abundance of the oceans.
My biggest recommendation? Use Xbox Game Pass.
Sea of Thieves is now available on Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.