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As we had just secured our largest treasure to date, my fellow pirate scouts another ship in the distance.
It’s a larger ship than ours which means it’s got more firepower and more crew on board. It’s still a fair
distance to the nearest outpost so we have to make a decision; do we use our smaller vessel to
outmaneuver the difficult battle ahead of us or do we change course and fight them head on?
Moments like this are what make Sea of Thieves stand out from the crowd. Of course being cowardly
pirates we make a run for it and get to the dock just in time to remove our treasures and get them sold as
the aggressors blow up our boat. When you start your adventure this all seems so distant. It was a
struggle to grasp exactly what the game expected. There’s no tutorial, no quest giver pointing towards
the docks. It’s just all there to be discovered. Things slowly begin to settle in place as I got my bearings
and worked out that no one was going to hold my hand through this dog eat dog world.
After collecting my first couple of voyages I set off to smash up some skeletons and dig up some buried
treasure. Playing alone isn’t the best way to experience the world of Sea of Thieves as even on the
smallest ship, it can be difficult to keep on top of steering, checking which direction you need to go and
keeping the wind in your sails. As soon as I jumped in with a friend the game suddenly opened up and
started to click.
Together managing maneuvers were simple and we even started taking breaks to play a shanty or two. It was then that I
truly got to see how beautiful and charming the world Rare had created is. I don’t believe it to be an
understatement when I say that the way the water looks and feels in this game is better than in any other
before it. When it’s calm it ripples serenely, reflecting the light from the glowing sun above. Then a storm
can hit and moments later the waves are crashing over your ship and it can be difficult to see the
obstacles in front of you. This beautiful world is vast but can feel devoid of anything interesting.
I understand that sailing is half the game and having it feel like you are covering distance is important but
when you look at the world map it feels like there isn’t much of anything there. It began to feel like it was
the same way for the gameplay. Each voyage we took on was much like the last one. As our reputation
increased with the island factions, the voyages became longer and rewarded more spoils. In the end,
though, it was the same things I had started doing on my first voyages. Luckily for Sea of Thieves, what
I was doing was less important and who I was doing it with came to be the thing that I found enjoyment
Traveling the world with my first mate, making up stupid lyrics to the songs we played and panicking
when we headed for certain doom was what made the experience fun.
Having played on both Xbox One X and PC, the controller seems easier for general play but keyboard
and mouse won over for combat. Taking out your enemies is a simple affair of either hitting them with a
sword or shooting them. I never felt like I needed to make any great tactical decisions on how to win in a
fight other than the occasional skeleton that was resistant to one form of damage. There’s a great deal
to love about Sea of Thieves and the adventures that it offers. It is at its best when enjoyed with others
and provides some of the best-shared gaming moments.
The world is beautifully crafted but often feels like it should have more to do while I was inhabiting it.
Rare have promised that they will continue to support the game with new content for the foreseeable
future. If they continue to provide more content then I can see countless hours being played with my
sailing companions and our ever growing greed for gold. For now, Sea of Thieves is one of the best
games about for just being with others and creating some truly memorable experiences.