Sea of Thieves: Returning From the Depths



2018 was, in my opinion, one of the better years for video games. This is the year where Red Dead Redemption 2, Detroit: Become Human, and God of War made their debut and wowed gamers with their storytelling and groundbreaking features. Another one of these groundbreaking games was Rare’s Sea of Thieves. I was probably the most excited about this game. It was something new that I had never played before, something fresh. Following coverage about the game only made me look forward to it more. Even though it was highly anticipated it wasn’t long until players started leaving the game, including me. However, it seems like players are starting to come back in droves. Curious, I went back and started playing it with a friend of mine to see what all the buzz was about.



Sea of Thieves is among one of the unique games that have come out among games with no main plot. Much like the indie game developers Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky you are free to do pretty much whatever you want. You can go on an adventure to a distant island for buried treasure, transport trade goods across the sea, or fight the undead skeleton captains around the world map. You’re only limited by your imagination. All these activities take place in one of the most beautifully designed maps I have ever seen. Everything looks so vibrant and all the different regions of the map are designed brilliantly. What really caught my attention first though was the water. With it being a pirate game, it would be expected the water would play a big role in the game. Rare did an amazing job with it, making use of the Unreal Engine which was the game engine used by games like Borderlands 3 and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Another cool thing is that the game is exclusively multiplayer. You are sharing the high seas with multiple other pirate crews doing the same things you are. This can lead to many interesting player interactions. Not many like this feature, however, and I will cover that later. You don’t have to face these other cut-throats alone, however. You have the option to invite friends to your crew or jump into a random one online. This drastically changes the way you play. Depending on how large your crew is you will be able to sail in one of three ships. A sloop is meant for one or two people, a brigantine for three people, and a galleon for four. It is definitely worth having a full crew of friends playing together. That’s where I get the most out of the game.


Sloop

For how unique and groundbreaking the game was at launch, most of the hype was lost a few months into it. I myself stopped playing up until recently. This was attributed to a number of things. One reason, and it, unfortunately, is very common for games today was that it felt like an unfinished product. Truth be told it kind of was. The game just didn’t really have much to do at launch. Your imagination could only take you so far and at some point, you would want some kind of direction or end goal that wasn’t just collecting as much gold as you can and customizing your pirate and ship with as much swag as you can. It didn’t have nearly as much content as it does today. Like I mentioned earlier, the open multiplayer concept didn’t exactly thrill many people for the simple fact that people on the internet are awful. This is a problem you can see in many games like Red Dead Redemption Two and Grand Theft Auto 5. While player versus player combat is a big part of the game, many would take it too far, and the skill levels of players would be vastly different. After sinking so much time and resources finding treasure, a player could either sink your ship or outright steal your treasure. This, for obvious reasons, would upset many players. I never had a problem with it though because I knew pirates were going to do what they were going to do. I have to say though, Rare has redeemed themselves and the game.

Me moments before meeting my end

Rare has made leaps and bounds with the development of the game. Nearly two years after the games release it is still producing new content. Skeleton forts were introduced as a raid type game mode you would find in many MMOs as well as skeleton ships that patrol the waters that were absent at launch. If you sail long enough you can also be attacked by a megalodon or the Kraken, which is a terrifying sight when you have a ship full of treasure. All these encounters require a lot of teamwork and coordination to survive. With all the new improvements and content drops, the game finally feels like a full game without sacrificing the main sandbox type gameplay that Rare originally envisioned. Coming back to the game, it just feels more fun. I have more tools at my disposal to create the game I want to play.


If you have left the game or just haven’t picked it up yet I would really recommend giving it a try. The game is a blast when you have some friends in a crew and is a good way to spend a Friday night. The most fun I had was playing in a sloop with one of my best friends. It was a good balance of action and just hanging out on the deck while we sailed to our next location. We did battle with evil skeletons, found buried treasure, and sang sea shanties all while doing it. That’s one of the great things about the game. It’s a good place to hang out and talk with friends. It’s also a good way to find new friends. The game gives you an option to jump into another crew and sail with them. This can be just as rewarding as sailing with your friends. If you ever wanted to live out your wildest pirate fantasies this is the game for you.



Sea of Thieves may have had a rough start, but it has turned into an amazing game. It is definitely a game to go back to if you left, or a game to start playing if you haven’t yet. I am personally glad to see the game make a resurgence this past year and I am excited to start playing again. Many games have been forgotten like Sea of Thieves, what are some games you would like to see make a return? Let me know in the comments below!




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